potato bread
Gastronomy Bread Recipes

Potato Bread from Krkonoše

The beautiful and tough area of Krkonoše mountains gave origin to the delicious rye-potato bread. Here is a traditional recipe for you so you can have a piece of traditional Bohemian cuisine at home.

potato bread

The mountains regions have always been tough, with less sunny days during the year, lower temperatures, therefore, harder conditions to grow food. This led to the locals being creative with the resources and gave origin to many recipes that will surprise you with their ingenuity.

potato breadTalking of bread, when cereal was scarce, people though of ways to substitute it with literally any edible they had at their disposal. Some traditional recipes from Krkonoše even call for hay, although today we won’t go to that extreme. This time, I would like to show you how to make potato bread typical in this beautiful region.

In these regions, most meals were made with bread and/or potatoes, either as an ingredient or a side dish. Soups like česnečka or bramboračka were (and still are) served with bread while other dishes, such as kyselo, had bread as the main ingredient (one of very few ingredients).

In fact, bread was often the only food families had according to the sources from the mid 19th century and although life in these regions was so tough we can hardly imagine surviving like that nowadays, it is this life to which we owe the impressive number of bread recipes we know.

And it is no surprise that there were some superstitions about bread, usually related to money and how to ensure to have more. People also had special words for bread and its parts, words that are almost forgotten today. Freshly baked bread was měkovec, a large slice was štramfanec and curdled bread was klučkovitej chleba (Krkonošská kuchařka by Jiří Marhold)

potato bread

This is an easy bread recipe, it’s not too much work to prepare the dough and the only thing you need is the time to let it raise and bake. The potato bread has a slightly sticky and dense texture that tastes just lovely. Unlike the Czech Wheat Rye Bread, the potato bread doesn’t have super crunchy crust but if you give this recipe a chance, you’ll see that it’s worth trying.

This recipe calls for boiled potatoes and I usually make it when I have some leftover potatoes boiled in peel. I find that potatoes boiled in peel give the bread a much better taste (as is the case with potato dumplings). And because I make the bread from leftovers, I make small loafs. I love their shape and they make for cute presents for my homesteading friends. However, if you want a larger loaf, just double or triple the amounts given.

Ingredients

Dough starter

  • 1 tsp of dried active yeast or 20 g of fresh yeast
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of rye flour
  • 3 tsp of lukewarm water

Potato bread dough

  • 120 g of potatoes boiled in peel
  • 450 g of rye flour
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 100 ml of lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp of crushed caraway seeds

For glazing

  • salty water

Potato Break from Krkonoše – Recipe

Dough starter

Stir yeast, sugar and 1 tsp of rye flour into the warm water, cover with a kitchen towel and let the mixture rest until foamy on the surface.

Dough

Peel the potatoes and grate them finely. In a large bowl, combine the potato, rye flour, salt, water and caraway seeds. Knead until everything’s well combined. It won’t take long, the potato bread dough is much easier to knead than the Wheat Rye Bread.

Prepare a baking tray, put a 1 – 2 cm/0.4 – 0.8 in layer of plain flour on it, place the dough on the flour layer, cover it and let the dough rise. Rye flour needs a bit more time than wheat flour to rise, so be patient. If you want to help the process, leave the bowl in a slightly heated oven.

Baking

potato bread

Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F. Place your risen loaf on a baking tray. Mix some water and salt, the solution should be only little salty. Glaze the loaf with the salty water and bake for 10 minutes. Glaze again and bake another 20 minutes. Glaze once more and finish baking for 10 more minutes. Since each oven is a little different, watch your bread. The crust should be dark brown, not black. Also, if you make a larger loaf, you might need to bake the potato bread longer.

potato bread

Take the bread out and let it cool down completely.

 

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