Potato/Rye Bread with Thyme
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
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1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes
1 tablespoon Sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried yeast
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Spray bottle of water
1 cup Dark Rye flour
1 teaspoon Thyme leaves
Scrub potatoes thoroughly and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place potatoes and 1 teaspoon of the sea salt in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender when poked with a knife. Measure out 1/2 cup of potato water and set aside. Drain potatoes in a colander and leave them to cool and dry for 20 minutes.
Pour the 1/2 cup of lukewarm potato water into a small bowl and sprinkle yeast over the top. Mix with a whisk until yeast is dissolved. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Place drained and cooled potatoes in the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for 1 minute to mash potatoes. Add potato water and yeast mixture and continue mixing until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Switch to the hook attachment and add flour and remaining 2 teaspoons of salt. Mix in the oil and thyme. Mix briefly on low speed to start bringing ingredients together, then increase speed to medium and mix for about 11 minutes. (If mixing by hand, add flour and remaining salt and mix with a wooden spoon. Knead with your hands for 10 to 15 minutes.) Dough will appear firm at first, but will become wetter as mixing continues. Check for elasticity by flouring your fingers and stretching some of the dough. Finished dough should stretch about 2 inches without breaking.
Pull dough from bowl onto a floured surface and form into a ball. Place ball in an oiled, medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough proof in a warm room, 70 degrees, for about 45 minutes. Dough will almost double in size.
Place dough on a floured surface and flatten it with your hands. Form dough into a rectangle and, starting with a short end, roll dough away from you into tight log. Stop rolling just before the log is sealed, then flatten the remaining inch of dough with your fingers and dust it with flour. This will prevent the loaf from fully sealing and will cause the seam to open slightly while baking. Wrap loaf, seam side down, in a floured dish towel and let proof at room temperature for 45 minutes. Dough will rise slightly and feel spongy to the touch.
Place baking stone on center rack of oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
Carefully unwrap loaf and set it, seam side up, on a counter or baker\'s peel. Moving quickly, transfer loaf to center of baking stone and heavily mist inside of oven with a spray bottle of water. Bake for 45 minutes, misting oven once more after the first 5 minutes. Finished loaf will be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
This bread is good sliced and toasted for breakfast with a slice of ham on it. Or it makes a very good sandwich for lunch.
Submitted by Alan in Seattle.