Christmas is over, we are into starving, dieting, and fasting, and I wonder how much food was thrown away this year? All that leftover food from the ritual of gorging makes me feel disgusted, if I am honest. What is it about us that we need to do feast and then famine? Why cannot we moderate ourselves? Believe me, I am in the same camp: no booze, no sweets, more exercise….sigh.
In a fit of housewifery in austerity Britain, in a desire to have a little ray of light in my otherwise dark, alcohol and sugar-free January days, and as a theme continued from Dinner Party Bread (made with leftovers and then made to look fancy) we here at the global HQ of Virtuous Bread are experimenting with all sorts of leftovers in bread.
The Irish and their early Canadian cousins have long put potatoes into their bread: potatoes were cheap and wheat flour was expensive so potatoes were an inexpensive bulking agent in bread. Going one further, we decided to make extra mash and put that into bread. And when we say extra mash, we mean extra mash: full fat milk, butter, salt, pepper, and grainy mustard. Kneaded into white bread with the addition of fresh rosemary, the result was absolutely amazing. Moist, delicately flavoured, soft of crumb, incredible plain and toasted – it disappeared in a flash.
When kneading mash into bread dough, prepare yourself for the fact that it is going to be sticky. Mash is mush, afterall, and it will not contribute to the stretchy springiness of bread dough – rather it will take away from it. Don’t freak out, just keep kneading, sticking, scraping, kneading, sticking scraping….and I promise you, the results will amaze you.
Here’s the recipe!