Moravian Potato Sugar Bread

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Moravian Potato Sugar Bread

Recipe from The Neighborhood Bakeshop cookbook

  • 1 medium sized potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Boil the potato in the cup of water, uncovered until soft, 12-15 minutes. Drain and reserve the liquid (you’ll need almost 1/2 cup; add more water, if necessary), and let the liquid cool to 95-110F, until lukewarm.

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While you are waiting, mash the potato and set aside.

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Combine 2 tablespoons of the cooled liquid and the yeast in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes until bubbly.

Cream 6 tablespoons butter with granulated sugar until fluffy in a medium bowl. Add the salt and egg. Stir in the mashed potato and the yeast mixture. Add 1/3 cup of the reserved cooking liquid and add the flour, a little at a time, to form a dough.

Turn the soft, moist dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until the dough feels smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover and set aside at room temperature for about 1 1/2 hours, until doubled.

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Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×12 inch baking sheet or jelly roll pan.

Return the dough to a work surface and roll or push it out into a rectangle the size of the pan. Place the dough in the pan and push it down to fill the pan. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 350F. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Dimple the dough by making deep indentations with your fingertips at 1 1/2 inch intervals. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over top.

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Bake until the crust is golden brown and sugar is crunchy, about 20-25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

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Cut into 3-inch squares and serve warm.

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