From Baking with Julia -- easy, adaptable...and yummy
Rustic Potato Bread
1 ½ pounds russet potatoes (about 3)
4 tsp salt
½ cup tepid reserved potato water (80°-90°F)
1 tbsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
Scrub the potatoes and cut them into quarters, peels and all. Toss them into a 2 quart pan, cover with water and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Boil until potatoes are fork tender. Draw off and reserve ½ cup of potato water. Drain the potatoes and spread them out on a cooling rack to dry for 20-30 minutes. It's important that they be dry before mashed.
When the potatoes are cool, stir the yeast into the reserved potato water and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Turn the potatoes into the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment on and mash them. With the mixer on low speed, add the potato and yeast water and the olive oil and mix until the liquids are incorporated into the potatoes.
Replace the paddle with the dough hook. With the mixer still on low, add the flour and the remaining 2 tsp salt. Mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes, then increase speed to medium (be careful...watch for overheating). The dough will be firm at first, then softer as it is mixed until nearly as soft as a brioche.
Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise 20-30 minutes (it will probably not have doubled, but will have risen noticeably).
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place rack and baking stone on bottom rack of oven. You'll be okay if you don't have a baking stone..but they're nice. Prepare baking sheet or peel by rubbing with cornmeal or flour. Have a spray bottle with water handy.
Shaping the dough: Turn dough out onto a floured board and divide in two. Shape each piece into a kind of football shape by first making a ball, then flattening it into a disk. Starting at the far end, roll the dough toward you...and at the last roll, pull the free end of the dough toward you, stretching it, and dust it with flour. Finish rolling up the dough and roll it back and forth till you make a football shape. Place on the resting peel or pan seam side down. Let rise at room temp 20 minutes.
When ready to bake, spray the oven walls with the water and close the door immediately to close the steam in. Turn the breads out steam side up onto the baking sheet or peel...and put in over or transfer to baking stone. Spray the oven with water again and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the crust is very brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing.