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This recipe for light and fluffy Homemade Potato Bread makes two soft loaves that are great for sandwiches, toast, or just sliced warm out of the oven with butter and jam! It’s an easy way of using up your favorite leftover mashed potatoes!

An image of a sliced loaf of homemade potato bread on a cutting board.

There is nothing like a loaf of made-from-scratch, homemade bread! Store-bought bread cannot hold a candle to it. This potato bread recipe is makes a wonderful white bread that is perfect for having on hand to make your favorite sandwiches.

If you have never tried potato bread, it has a wonderful texture and flavor thanks to the mashed potatoes that keep it extra light and fluffy. I’m notorious for making way too many mashed potatoes, so this recipe comes in handy for using up some of those leftovers so they don’t go to waste. 

I also think homemade bread is great for gifting to friends and neighbors, especially with a jar of homemade strawberry jam!

I wanted to include this potato bread for my collection of Idaho-inspired recipes as part of my American Eats series where I am cooking my way across America, one state at a time! Idaho is famous for it’s potatoes, so I thought it would be fun to showcase them in a different way than we normally see.

A piece of homemade bread with strawberry jam on it.

How to Make Potato Bread

  1. Make mashed potatoes. Either use leftover mashed potatoes or peel, chop, and boil 1 potato in salted water until it is fork tender. Drain well, then mash.
  2. Proof yeast in warm water with a little sugar. Combine a little sugar and warm water in a bowl, then stir in yeast and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it is foamy. If the yeast doesn’t bubble up, it likely needs to be replaced.
  3. Mix all of the bread ingredients. First combine the yeast with the milk, eggs, butter, salt, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, then switch to the dough hook and knead, adding additional flour 1/2 cup at a time until a nice soft dough forms. Knead on medium-low speed for 6 minutes.
  4. Let dough rise. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean cloth. Let rise 1-1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size. This is the traditional method, but I have a couple options for speeding things up below.
  5. Punch down and shape into loaves. Squeeze off half of the dough then shape it into an oblong loaf using your hands. Place it into a lightly greased bread pan, turning it so that the smooth side is on top. Repeat with the other half of the dough to make a second loaf of bread. Cover and let the loaves rise for 30-60 minutes.
  6. Bake until golden brown on top. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Just before baking, I like to brush the tops of each loaf with a little water using a pastry brush, then sprinkle them with a little extra flour. This is both decorative and provides an interesting texture to the top crust, but it’s optional. Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown on top and cooked through.
  7. Cool in pans for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

A collage of images showing the steps for how to make potato bread from mashing potatoes, proofing yeast, letting dough rise, to shaping loaves. An image of a loaf of bread that has risen in the pan before baking in the oven.

Two options to help your potato bread dough rise faster

If your house is cool, it will take your bread dough longer to rise. Bread needs a nice, warm place to rise well and traditional methods will take anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on what the temperature is like in your house. That’s still totally an option here, but if you are in a rush, I’ve got a couple other options for speeding up the process!

How to Proof Bread in the Instant Pot

One trick is to let the bread proof in an Instant Pot with a yogurt setting. Just grease the liner of your instant pot with a little oil (about 2 teaspoons, but I always just eyeball it) and transfer the dough to it. Roll the dough around so it’s lightly coated with the oil.

Press the Yogurt button and make sure that the Instant Pot is set to ‘normal’, then cover with a glass lid and let the dough proof for 20-30 minutes until doubled in size.

How to Proof Bread in a Warm Oven

Another option, for anyone who does not have an Instant Pot or doesn’t have one with a yogurt setting, is  trick to making sure you have a nice, warm place for your bread dough to rise is to turn your oven on to it’s lowest setting for 4 minutes. Then turn off the oven and place the bowl of dough inside, covered with a towel, and close the door. Just don’t forget to turn off the oven!

An image of two loaves of homemade potato bread.

Tips for the Best Potato Bread

  • Make sure you are using fresh yeast. If it doesn’t bubble and foam, your yeast is probably old and your bread won’t rise properly.
  • You can absolutely use leftover homemade mashed potatoes! It’s what I do most often rather than boiling and mashing a potato just to make a loaf of bread. Some potato bread recipes say to only use plain mashed potatoes that haven’t had anything added to them like butter or cream, but I think it turns out just fine. Plus, it lets me use up leftovers. The only exception is if you have garlic mashed potatoes or ones that have been seasoned with herbs or other flavors, in which case I would boil and mash a fresh potato.
  • Kneading can be done by hand, but it’s much easier in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  • I recommend using bread flour for this recipe as it gives a chewier texture to the bread, but I have made this with all-purpose flour as well and it still turns out good. I haven’t tried substituting any part of the flour with whole wheat flour yet though, but if you give it a try, let me know how it turns out!
  • Dusting flour on top of the bread is optional, but I love the finish it gives. Another choice is to rub the top of the finished loaves with a stick of softened butter so they have a buttery flavor, which is what I do with my Amish white bread.

An image of a buttered slice of fresh homemade bread made with leftover mashed potatoes. 

More Homemade Bread Recipes You’ll Love

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Potato Bread
Yield: 2 loaves

Potato Bread

This recipe for light and fluffy Potato Bread makes two soft, wonderful loaves that are perfect for sandwiches, toast, or just sliced warm out of the oven with butter and jam! It's a great way of using up your favorite leftover mashed potatoes!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water, lukewarm
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 1/2 to 7 cups bread flour

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast bubbles and is foamy on top.
  2. In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the proofed yeast with the mashed potatoes, milk, eggs, butter, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Beat until combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Switch the paddle attachment for the dough hook and begin to knead the dough on medium-low speed, adding additional flour 1 cup at a time until incorporated to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Knead on medium-low speed for 6-8 minutes until smooth.
  4. Transfer to a clean bowl that has been lightly greased with 1-2 teaspoons of oil oiled. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean cloth, then let the dough rise in a warm spot for 60-90 minutes until doubled in size.
  5. When the dough has risen, make a fist and punch the dough down right in the center to let out air. Pinch the dough in half and shape into 2 loaves by shaping into oblong balls. Place each ball of dough into a bread pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  6. Cover loaves again with plastic wrap or a clean cloth and let them rise for another 30-60 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Just before baking, brush the tops of each loaf with a little water using a pastry brush and sprinkle with a little flour for decoration.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top.
  9. Let cool in the loaf pans for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

NOTE: If you don't have leftover mashed potatoes to use, peel, wash, and chop 1 Russet potato. Place in a medium pan and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cook until the potato is tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain well, then mash. You can even reserve 1 cup of the water the potato was cooked in and use that to activate the yeast.

NOTE: I prefer this recipe using bread flour for a chewier texture, but it will also work with all-purpose flour. Just use an equal amount. I have not tried this recipe subbing in whole wheat flour yet.

NOTE: To speed the rising process, use your Instant Pot yogurt setting. After kneading the dough, transfer it to the lightly oiled liner of the instant pot. Press the Yogurt button and make sure that the Instant Pot is set to 'normal', then cover with a glass lid and let the dough proof for 20-30 minutes until doubled in size.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

36

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 623 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 18mg Sodium: 177mg Carbohydrates: 124g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 3g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 17g

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Curious about foods from other states in my American Eats series? Check them out below!

Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Iowa • Louisiana • Puerto Rico • South Carolina • Texas