Soft and Pillowy Homemade Potato Bread Recipe

This homemade potato bread recipe makes a pillowy soft loaf that’s perfect for slicing. It stays soft and fresh for days; make a loaf or two over the weekend and you’ll have fresh sandwich bread all week. 

Give this family favorite Portuguese sweet bread a try, too!

Contributed by Shannon Stonger

loaf of potato bread with slices cut.

Homemade bread is a wonderful place to start in moving away from consumption and towards production. In preparing this staple at home you can control ingredients, avoid plastic packaging, and enjoy that incredible aroma that will permeate your home.

Whether you want a sandwich loaf or a dinner roll to go with your soup, homemade bread has no store-bought equivalent.

loaf of potato bread

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Homemade Potato Bread Recipe

What we want in a homemade bread is something wholesome and delicious; frugal and sustainable. And if ever there were a soft, pillowy, high-rising bread that is nearly foolproof, it is the potato bread recipe.

Adding this seemingly mundane root vegetable lends a starchy, wholesome element to this loaf that gives it a softness lasting for days.

Potatoes are fairly easy to grow and if like us you plant hundreds of them, you can use them up in breads such as this. While leftover mashed potatoes can be used here, a plain freshly cooked potato is your best bet for purity of flavor.

homemade potato bread, sliced from a loaf

Unenriched by oils, eggs, or milk, this is a frugal staple for a homesteader. Add a potato to the basic flour, water, sugar, yeast formula and you’ve got a potato bread recipe that just might become your favorite homemade bread. (Though you should try all of these bread recipes to be sure!)

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Ingredients

Bread flour — The protein content in bread flour is higher than all purpose flour. That higher protein means lots of gluten, which gives bread its stretch and elasticity. Can you use all-purpose flour instead? You can, but the texture of the bread may be slightly less chewy.

Potato You’ll use a medium sized potato for this recipe. Russet potatoes work well, but you can really use whatever kind you have on hand. 

Active Dry Yeast — This is the ingredient that gives the bread loft.

Sugar — Use your favorite brand of granulated cane sugar. I prefer organic.

Sea Salt  Bread baked without salt is terribly bland, so be sure to include this staple ingredient!

mashed potato in bowl + shaggy dough

Making this Potato Bread

Start by boiling and mashing a potato. As mentioned above, starting with a freshly cooked potato will net the best results, but if you’re frugal and want to utilize leftover mashed potatoes, you won’t break the bread! Use about 1/2 cup mashed potatoes to replace the whole cooked potato.

Allow the yeast to proof and combine the ingredients in a large bowl to form a shaggy dough. 

hands working bread dough + formed ball of dough

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, you can mix the dough with a dough hook in the bowl of your stand mixer. 

ball of potato bread dough in a bowl + dough in loaf pan before baking

Let the dough rise until it has doubled in volume, which will take about an hour os so. Punch down and transfer dough to a loaf pan and allow to rise again. 

Bake until golden and allow to cool before slicing.

Toast this bread for breakfast, make soft sandwiches, or butter it up alongside a hearty soup. Whatever way you serve it, you’ll appreciate its soft crumb and wholesome flavor.

Storage

Place cooled bread in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to a week. For longer storage, you can freeze the bread. It will last a couple of months in the freezer. 

Golden loaf of potato bread in a loaf pan

★ Did you make this potato bread recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

loaf of potato bread with slices cut.

Homemade Potato Bread Recipe

Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

This homemade potato bread recipe makes a pillowy soft loaf that's perfect for slicing. It stays soft and fresh for days; make a loaf or two over the weekend and you'll have fresh sandwich bread all week. 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium starchy potato (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup reserved potato water
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3.5 cups bread flour, plus more for kneading

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop potato and place in a small saucepan. Cover with water and boil potato until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool until warm before proceeding with recipe.
  2. Once potato is cooled down, remove it from the pan of boiling water and mash, reserving cooking water. Mash potatoes until smooth and then measure one cup of that mash.
  3. Place in a large mixing bowl along with 1/2 cup of the reserved potato water, sugar, and 3/4 cup warm water. Mix together until uniform and then sprinkle on the active dry yeast. Stir to combine and allow to proof for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles begin to form.
  4. Stir in the salt and then the flour, starting with three cups. Stir with a wooden or metal spoon until the dough comes together into a shaggy mass, as in the photo. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, adding flour as needed to keep it from sticking, until the dough is soft and the gluten developed.
  5. Place back in the mixing bowl and cover with a tea towel, beeswax wrap, or plastic wrap. Allow to rise for about 1-1.25 hours, until doubled in volume.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x5" bread pan and punch down the dough. Flatten the dough on a lightly floured work surface, creating a rectangle. Fold the dough onto itself like an envelope to create a loaf shape.
  7. Gently move the dough to the prepared bread pan and dust with flour. Cover with a towel and leave to rise an additional 30-35 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Transfer bread to the oven and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. You can find out if the bread is fully baked by turning it out of its pan and thumping the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, it is done.
  8. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Notes

If you have leftover baked or boiled potatoes, you may use those in place of the freshly boiled potato. You'll need about 1/2 cup mashed potatoes. Use warm water to replace the cooking water called for in the recipe.

If you wish to double the recipe to make two loaves, divide the dough in half and bake in two loaf pans.

You can also make this dough in a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook or use a bread machine to mix it on the dough setting. (I prefer not to cook it in a bread machine; baking it in loaf pans makes a nicer loaf of bread. That said, you can certainly bake it in the machine if you'd like!)

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 268mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

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sliced loaf of bread on a cutting board from above

Originally published in February 2019; this post has been updated.

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About the author: Shannon Stonger is the founder of the blog Nourishing Days, where she shares her family’s journey towards sustainability. She is the author of The Doable Off-Grid Homestead, Traditionally Fermented Foods, and the sourdough baking book 100% Rye. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and lives with her husband, five children, and various farm animals on their five-acre homestead in Texas.

33 comments… add one
  • Esther Davis Jan 29, 2023 @ 23:28

    Can I use some whole wheat or spelt flour for part of the white?

    • AttainableSustainable Feb 2, 2023 @ 7:44

      I haven’t tried that in this recipe, but I think it would work. Give it a try and let us know how it turns out!

  • LADNEA Aug 28, 2022 @ 4:54

    I am trying to eat less or no sugar and I have most recipes call for sugar. What is the use of sugar in this recipe? If it can be left out then I will have less chance of the sweating and shaking I get from even a tiny bit of sugar.
    Thank you for all the work you have done and offer to us <3

    • AttainableSustainable Aug 30, 2022 @ 4:54

      Any recipe that needs to rise with yeast will have some form of sugar in it. Sometimes honey works, I haven’t tried that in this recipe but if that’s easier on your body you could see how it does. Good luck!

  • Rebecca Shupe Jun 5, 2022 @ 14:00

    Made this today with a golden potato and it was great! We ended up with 2 loaves though even with the 3 1/2 cups flour but maybe bread pans are smaller lol!

    • AttainableSustainable Jun 7, 2022 @ 2:25

      Sounds delicious, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Karalee Mar 9, 2022 @ 9:32

    Mom used to buy potato bread. I recently tested out ramen made with potato and wheat flour and it was surprisingly good.

    • AttainableSustainable Mar 10, 2022 @ 6:50

      That sounds good 🙂

  • Philip Jurkowich Nov 9, 2021 @ 11:25

    Delicious and simple. It’s a bit sticky but that’s why you flour the board and your hands. This will certainly be made frequently. Thank you for sharing

    • AttainableSustainable Nov 9, 2021 @ 13:24

      You’re welcome, glad you love it!

  • Jan Dec 1, 2020 @ 15:54

    Excellent texture, crust ,and taste! Thank you

  • Jenny Jun 30, 2020 @ 5:41

    Could I use Rye flour instead of bread flour?

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 1, 2020 @ 8:19

      I haven’t tried this. If you do, let us know how it turns out!

  • Karen Jun 3, 2020 @ 23:51

    Can this be made using a bread machine?

    • Kris Bordessa Jun 21, 2020 @ 15:47

      I haven’t tried this to say!

  • Brittany Apr 22, 2020 @ 10:53

    Would this make a good hamburger bun? Any idea how long to bake?

    • Kris Bordessa Apr 28, 2020 @ 7:09

      I haven’t tried it — if you do, let us know!

  • Angela Bessah Apr 21, 2020 @ 2:01

    Can this be made using gluten free all purpose flour mix?

    • Kris Bordessa May 21, 2020 @ 12:21

      It will not result in a comparable loaf. Gluten free yeast breads are hard to get right!

  • Carole Sullivan Apr 4, 2020 @ 23:40

    Very good and easy recipe. I love that it makes one loaf. I had leftover mashed potatoes, so I bagged and froze them along with the potato water to make two more future loaves. Will probably be making this bread at least once a week.

  • Patsy Apr 4, 2020 @ 17:09

    Potato bread is my favorite bread to make. I’m surprised there is no fat.

  • Christiane Mar 31, 2020 @ 23:41

    Thank you so much for this recipe. The bread tastes delicious and is very fluffy as promised. Will make this one again.

  • Sharon Gherman Mar 29, 2020 @ 9:26

    I’ve used mashed potato flakes for this purpose, too.

  • Fiona Mar 28, 2020 @ 12:23

    We are low on flour and yeast and not able to get to the shops as in lockdown for corona virus. Even with 6 cups of flour this is still a sticky mess – even stuck to a silicone sheet which is impressive. A waste of time and a waste of ingredients.

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 29, 2020 @ 13:15

      I’m so sorry to hear that you had trouble with this recipe. 🙁

    • Helen Apr 19, 2020 @ 22:13

      It came out beautifully – our new favourite bread. The dough is pretty sticky but if you just ignore that and put enough flour on your hands/board that you can shape it and plonk it in the loaf tin it turns out wonderfully

    • Bill Dec 30, 2020 @ 19:52

      I made this recipe in a double batch to get 2 loaves. I used 7 cups of flour and very generously floured my board for kneading, because of the stickiness. If you take the time to get all the dough off your spoons and fingers, i promise you will be happy with the results.

  • Kim Dec 28, 2019 @ 11:51

    Am I missing it. Where do you add the mashed potatoe?

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 30, 2019 @ 14:05

      Steps 2 & 3.

  • Ashleigh Dec 1, 2019 @ 14:19

    Could I substitute almond flour? I’m trying to find a good bread recipe that’s not filled with gluten and weed killer but I don’t like any of the Paleo or keto recipes. I thought I’d give potato bread a try.

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 1, 2019 @ 18:22

      I’m gluten free as well, so I know that you can’t just sub almond flour. It won’t work. I need to get some of my GF recipes up on the site!

  • Lisa Mar 14, 2019 @ 10:39

    Maybe I am missing it, but I do not see when to add the 3/4 cup warm water and the sugar.

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 20, 2019 @ 13:36

      Thanks so much for alerting me to this. Sometimes things get lost when I insert them into the recipe card form! It’s been fixed.

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