Because of all the potato in it, this bread has remarkably tender crumb. The rosemary is just about the best herb when it comes to bread- it's spicy and floral and refined, and it feels like you're dumping a bunch of pine needles into your dough, which is kind of fun.
It does require a pre-ferment, so refer to the biga post for the recipe.
Potato Rosemary Bread, from the Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
Makes 2 one pound loaves
1 1/2 cups (7 oz) biga
3 cups plus 2 T (14 oz) unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 t (.38 oz) salt
1/4 t black pepper (optional)
1 1/4 t (.14 oz) instant yeast
1 cup (6 oz) mashed potatoes
1 T olive oil
2 T (.25 oz) chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 cup to 1 cup (7 or 8 oz) water, room temp
4 T (1 oz) coarsely chopped roasted garlic (optional. I left this out.)
Take the biga out of the fridge about an hour before starting the bread. Cut it into about 10 pieces to help it warm up faster.
Stir together flour, salt, pepper and yeast in a large bowl or in your mixer bowl. Add the biga pieces, mashed potatoes, rosemary, oil and 3/4 cup water. Stir or mix on low speed until the ingredients come toether. Add more water if needed.
Knead for 10 minutes on a floured counter or mix in the mixer for 6 minutes. Add more water or flour as needed- the dough should be cohesive, pliable and tacky, not sticky.
Once the dough can be streched into a thin "windowpane" between your fingers with out tearing, then you can put the ball of dough into an oiled bowl and cover. And if you're adding garlic, you can flatten the dough and sprinkle it on top, then knead for another minute.
Let rise at room temperature for 2 hours, until the dough doubles in size.
Now shape the loaves. You can either form a "boule" circle loaf by creating tension on the top of the loaf by pulling the dough down and tucking underneath or make dinner rolls.
Proof for another hour or two until the loave doubles in size again.
Preheat your oven to 400 and brush the bread with olive oil. Bake the loaves for 20 minutes, rotate, and bake another 10-20 minutes. When done, the loaves will be golden brown and the temperature in the middle should be 195 degrees.
Cool for an hour before slicing.
Delicious with spaghetti, grilled, or straight up.