Monday, July 1, 2013
hawaiian sweet bread
I've always wanted to go to Hawaii (doesn't everyone?). My husband went when he was in high school, and he still talks about it. The gorgeous beaches, the beautiful sunsets, the chocolate-covered macadamia nuts...sigh. I'd love to be there right now instead of baking in the hot Texas summer.
Someday I'll go to Hawaii. Until then, I'll just get a taste of it by baking up fresh loaves of the sweetest bread around. This Hawaiian sweet bread is deliciously sweet and moist thanks to the secret ingredient - a baked potato! It's perfect for chicken salad sandwiches, if you can get the loaf to last that long. Most of the time, we just eat it fresh out of the oven. SO good.
Begin by boiling a large baking potato until it's tender. You don't peel it first, which saves a lot of time. Peel and mash the potato after boiling it, and then measure out 1/2 cup of mashed potato for the bread. Save the rest of the potato for mashed potatoes or potato pancakes at dinner. It won't go to waste!
Important - reserve 1/3 cup of the potato water after boiling and cool it to lukewarm.
Dissolve sugar and yeast into the water, and then add your 1/2 cup of potato. Stir it and let it rise until doubled.
Meanwhile, mix salt and milk in a saucepan and scald it. I basically just let mine cook until it begins to boil, and then I remove it from the heat.
Add a stick of butter to the hot milk and stir it until it melts.
Add eggs and additional sugar to the milk mixture, mixing well. Then, add the milk mixture to the potato mixture, stirring to combine.
Gradually add bread flour, stirring until a soft dough forms. You can use all-purpose flour, but bread flour yields significantly better results in this recipe. Add a total of 4 cups of flour, kneading with your hands if you need to (I generally don't). The resulting dough will be very soft and sticky...that's okay.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a moistened towel. Place in a warm place (like under a windowsill) until the dough has doubled.
Form into two loaves and bake until golden!
Hawaiian Sweet Bread
1 large baking potato
3 T. sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1/3 cup milk
1 t. salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
4 cups bread flour
Boil potato until soft. Save 1/3 cup of boiling water and cool to lukewarm. Peel and mash potato; measure 1/2 cup. Add 3 tablespoons sugar and yeast to lukewarm water. Stir until dissolved. Stir in potato and set aside to rise until doubled. Scald milk and salt. Add butter to milk mixture and stir until melted. Add eggs and remaining sugar to milk mixture; stir to combine, and then add to potato mixture. Gradually add flour until mixture is in dough form (dough will be soft and sticky). Place dough mixture in a bowl sprayed with cooking spray and cover. When dough has doubled in bulk, divide into two equal parts and place in two greased loaf pans. Let dough rise again until double in bulk. Cook in a 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until tops have browned.