Leftover Mashed Potatoes Are The Key To Spongy Homemade Bread

Mashed potatoes are one of life's greatest pleasures, but you can only eat them for so many days in a row before routine starts to make them feel a little stale. So what do you do with that Tupperware full of thick mashed potatoes? You might think to fry them into pancakes, stir them into soup, or spread them on top of a shepherd's pie, but one of the best ways to use them up is to make bread. 

Potato bread, or Kartoffelbrot, is a traditional German bread made using mashed or riced potatoes in addition to bread flour. The potatoes create a loaf of bread that is spongy and moist, and most recipes only need to rise for about half an hour, making them both quick to make and efficient for using up leftovers. The fluffy texture of this bread is unbeatable, and it's perfect for dipping, sandwiching, or just about anything you like to do with bread. Learning how to make it will be a total game-changer for using up leftover mash (or even raw potatoes that may expire soon).

Two types of potato bread to try

The first version of potato bread was created around the end of the 18th century by French pharmacist Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, and it became a crucial staple on European tables in times of famine, when flour was in short supply but hardy potato crops were plentiful. The popular German-style Kartoffelsbrot can be made with just mashed potatoes, yeast, and bread flour. The dough also requires some oil or fat as well as salt, but your mashed potatoes may already contain these. These ingredients are kneaded together and left to rise, then baked into a spongy, tender loaf.

The Irish also developed a form of potato bread called farls, which is more like a flatbread than a fluffy loaf, and even easier to make than Kartoffelbrot, as it does not need to be leavened with yeast. To make a flat potato bread similar to farls, just mix flour and mashed potatoes together, roll them flat, and cook them on in pan with olive oil or butter on the stovetop. This style of bread is somewhat reminiscent of a potato pancake and is great for breakfast.

How to use potato bread

Potato bread can be made with leftover mash or a fresh batch of our easiest mashed potato recipe. The resulting squishy loaf with a subtle sweetness can be used for just about anything. Dip plain or toasted potato bread in a nutty carrot and apple soup, or use it in sandwiches that can benefit from a fluffy and soft base. Potato bread can even be enjoyed for dessert if you bake it into a delicious bread pudding.

If you make small, round loaves instead of a large one, you can use potato bread as hamburger buns. Potato buns also make for a spectacular grilled cheese, as the squishiness of the bread melds with the gooey cheese to create the perfect bite. If you decide to make farls, eat is as the Irish do with fried tomatoes and eggs. You can also toss in some grated cheese, chopped onion, zucchini, or other ingredients into the dough to add extra flavor and turn your farls into a more substantial snack. Cinnamon sugar can even be added for a sweet twist.