Monday, November 26, 2018

Mashed Potato Bread

This soft, sweet Potato Bread is brioche-rich and makes both great sandwiches (hello, PB&J!) and simple toast. Sesame seeds on top add an optional but decadent crunch!

Now that we're in the home stretch of the year, our fridge and freezer space has become premium real estate. While cleaning out one of the shelves of our deep freezer, I stumbled on a plastic container of mashed potatoes from our (Canadian) Thanksgiving that I had set aside for baking after the success of my Chocolate Mashed Potato Cake. Turns out I saved way more than I thought, and with the holidays approaching there is no space or need for 5 chocolate cakes lying about!

However, the need for bread at my house is constant. I did a quick Pinterest search and landed on this recipe on Num's the Word. The original bread was white and looked airy and fluffy with a crumb perfect for holding onto a Toast Topper, but my mom prefers her starches whole grain so I swapped the all-purpose flour for whole wheat bread flour. This bread is sweet and almost brioche-like, and I wanted to compliment this flavour (and the nuttiness of whole wheat) with a topping of sesame seeds. The seeds added a delicious crunch as well! I was extremely glad that I doubled the batch, since the leftovers freeze beautifully and my mom couldn't get enough of it. In fact, this recipe (made into rolls) was nominated by my family as the bread dish for our annual Christmas Eve party! I'm sure I'll have plenty of leftover potatoes in the New Year to play with as well, I can't wait to try a few variations like stuffing it with dried fruit, swirling in some jam or even making the bread more savoury with less sugar and some herbs like thyme, rosemary or dill!

When do you usually eat bread? With us it's either a lazy weekend breakfast or alongside a soup or salad with lunch. Comment below!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Chocolate Mashed Potato Cake

This lovely Bundt cake is made with an unusually moist and tender ingredient: potatoes! Buttermilk, butter and melted chocolate up the flavour even more.

Since we're in between Thanksgivings here in North America (Canada's was back at the beginning of October) I thought I'd share a couple ways to make use of the one thing we always have leftovers of - mashed potatoes. We don't eat a lot of potatoes in my family day-to-day - most often time determines pasta is the starch of choice - but on special occasions we can be guaranteed to mash up a good couple of pounds of them. Not all the potatoes we mash are used right away, some we pack away for the next day where we twice bake them mixed with cheese and herbs (yum). However, this past Thanksgiving saw the beginning of a period of much personal craziness in our lives so the potatoes found themselves in the freezer.

Apparently, mashed potatoes are supposed to freeze fine. Well, say what you like internet sources, but what I thawed out was not the pillowy plain goodness I was hoping for. However, the potatoes still had a double use, for breakfast and dessert. Since dessert comes first, so does this cake! I found the basic recipe on Food52, and while I kept the ingredients (mostly) the same I reverted to the traditional cream - dry - wet - dry method of mixing rather than the reverse creaming in the original. Making sure to beat the batter smooth with electric beaters (I'm not strong enough with just a spatula) was crucial for the texture, which was velvety and moist without being damp like some other cakes can be. In fact, it was flavourful and rich enough to serve without adornment (although a dusting of icing sugar or a drizzle of chocolate (or cherry) sauce wouldn't be out of place) and disappeared in the staff room, even when the school is filled with all us sickies!