Potato, Cheddar and Rosemary Bread

by Kristin on June 6, 2012

All the food served at the Inishfood festival in Donegal last month was memorable, from one perfect oyster on the beach to a tasting menu with so many courses I lost count, but one of my favourite things was a small loaf of bread served at lunch, still warm from the oven.

Thibault Peigne is a master artisan baker trained in Germany, now living in Ireland, and he talked that day about the art of bread. He also made a range of breads on site that morning, from fresh baguettes to Italian sourdough, but the one I liked best was his potato, cheddar and rosemary bread, with its nod to Ireland with the inclusion of potatoes. As soon as I had Thibault’s version at Inishfood, I knew I wanted to try making it at home.

Surprisingly, potato bread like this doesn’t seem to be traditional in Ireland — the only recipes I found were for things like boxty and farls. Thibault’s bread was based on a fermented sourdough and poolish, but since I have yet to make my own sourdough starter, I made a more basic loaf instead. The next time you have a few scoops of mashed potato left over — or the next time you’re making mash, make a little extra — give this bread a try.

Potato, Cheddar and Rosemary Bread
adapted from How To Be A Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

Makes 2 loaves

The recipe calls for 300 g mashed potatoes, which for me was the equivalent of 2 large potatoes that weighed 600 g (1 1/4 lb) before I peeled and cooked them. If grated, the cheddar melts into the bread, but it still imparts flavour and helps to soften the crumb. If you want the cheese to be a bit more upfront in the bread, try cubing it instead. The basic recipe is open to variations — try chives instead of rosemary; potato, bacon and scallion; or potato and caraway seed.

600 g to 800 g (5 to 6 1/2 cups) strong white flour
300 g (11 oz) mashed potatoes
150 g (1 1/2 cups) mature cheddar, grated or cubed
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary
1 x 7 g sachet fast action yeast
1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
300 ml (1 1/4 cups) warm water

Place 600 g of the flour, the mashed potatoes, cheddar, salt, rosemary and yeast in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the yoghurt, then slowly stir in the water until it starts to form a workable dough. Knead on a floured work surface or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment for about 10 minutes, adding more flour if you need it. It should be a slightly damp, sticky, very heavy dough. Form into a ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Turn the dough to coat it all in the oil, then cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm, draught-free place for about 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) and line 2 loaf tins or 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

Punch down the dough and knead for a minute or two and form into a loaf (if using loaf tins) or a round (if using baking trays). Place the dough in the tins or on the trays and cover loosely with a clean tea towel. Allow to rise again for about 3o minutes, until doubled in size again. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 190°C (375°F) and cook for 10 minutes more, or until it’s cooked through and the base sounds hollow when it’s tapped. Allow the loaves to cool on a rack before slicing.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne @ eBoutique.ie June 7, 2012 at 4:43 pm

I could eat bread morning, noon and night and the fact that it includes potatoes and cheese is like the icing on the cake – will definitely be trying this recipe – yummm.


Kristin June 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Hope you enjoy it, Joanne!


Nessa Robins June 8, 2012 at 11:23 pm

What an unusual combination for a bread but I’d imagine it’s yummy. My hubbie loves leftover mash in a roast meat sandwich, so I know he’d enjoy this. So many amazing recipes were shared through Inishfood!


Kristin June 11, 2012 at 8:28 pm

It’s a lovely savoury bread, I bet you’d all enjoy it!


Magda (@MagdasCauldron) June 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I love a bread with potatoes, it’s always moist and keeps fresh longer. And adding cheddar is delicious idea.


Kristin June 11, 2012 at 8:29 pm

It’s true, this bread kept well for days wrapped up tightly in the fridge. Granted, it did get stale, but it still made perfectly delicious toast.


ATasteOfMadness June 18, 2012 at 5:29 am

I have never heard about a bread that has potatoes in it! This sounds and looks fantastic!


Kristin June 18, 2012 at 8:55 pm

The potatoes give the bread a lovely texture. Hope you enjoy it if you try it!


here be dragons February 19, 2013 at 9:31 pm

sounds delicious! I love rosemary!


Kristin February 25, 2013 at 10:05 pm

If you love rosemary, then you’ll be sure to love this! Thanks for stopping by.


Josie March 1, 2015 at 6:34 pm

does the mash have to be cold? Ta :)


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