I like baking my own bread and I try to come up with new recipes from time to time.
I made my first bread with ricotta and potatoes last year and I’ve been improving the recipe ever since, to obtain a soft bread, that keeps something from the strong flavour of cheese, while still being able to substitute regular bread.
Potato bread has more calories and more sugar than wheat bread, so we don’t have it on a regular bases. On the other hand, it’s poor in sodium and it has more protein and fibre than wheat bread, so it helps you feel full a long time. It’s also rich in folate and phosphorus.
The recipe works well with ricotta alone, but I’ve decided to go further and make a mix of ricotta and Philadelphia cheese. I’m a big fan of cream cheese and its great texture, so I can’t help myself and I always end up by using it in various combinations. To obtain a strong cheese flavour, I added some Parmigiano. If you prefer a light flavour instead of an intense one, you should skip Parmigiano and simply increase quantities of ricotta and cream cheese.
The yeast dough needs two risings, so empower yourself with patience and pay attention to details. As for the shape, I prefer to play a bit with bread. If you want to maintain my shape, you have to divide the dough and work it a little using the indications below. If you are into easier stuff, you could simply divide the dough in two after the first rising and place it in loaf tins about the size 20cm x 6 cm.
Good to know:
If you want to shape the bread like I did, you will need to use a trick to maintain the hole in the middle. Roll a piece of alluminum foil paper around a pen. Add it in the center of the ring of dough immediately after shaping it, before it starts rising again:
Every time I explain a recipe for a yeast dough, I give the quantity of yeast I use. However, this can vary with the product you use, so it's better to adapt the recipe to what the producer recommends in the indications on the box. I use brewers yeast, which I crumble directly into the flour, but each type of yeast has a specific working method which guarantees better results. So, the best advice I can give you is to prepare the yeast using the producer's recommendation.
Let’s get it started!
- A mix of: 35 grams ricotta, 30 grams of Philadelphia cheese, 30 grams Parmigiano
- Yolk - 1
- Potato - 1, medium
- Bread flour - 350 grams
- Yeast - 20 grams
- Water - 100 ml
- Salt - 12 grams
- 1Boil the potato. Choose a medium one, as you will need to have 115 grams of mashed boiled potato.
- 2Peel the potato, smash it and let it cool.
- 3In a large bowl (the one from the kneading machine, if you use one), mix 115 grams of smashed potato with the blend of cheese and the yolk. Fold in the flour and the yeast, then the salt, and knead the dough gently, while adding lukewarm water. If you use a kneading machine, keep it on a low speed, even if it might take a while to have a smooth dough. You might need to add another 10 ml of water, if you feel the dough is too tough.
- 4Once the dough has a shape, remove it from the bowl and work it for 3-4 minutes on a floured work surface.
- 5Put the dough back in the bowl, cover it with stretch film, and leave it rise for about one and a half hours or until its volume doubles.
- 6After an 90 minutes, move the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide it into 8 pieces of 85-93 grams each. Work each piece to obtain a 35 cm rope of dough.
- 7Cut the rope in 2 shorter ones and interwine them. Use this new rope to make a ring of dough. Place the rings in a baking tray, on parchment paper. Put alluminum foil paper in the centre to keep the hole.
- 8Cover the dough rings with with stretch film, to maintain their humidity. Let them rise for 40 minutes or until doubled.
- 9Bake at 180°C (356°F) for at least 22 minutes, or until they are golden brown.