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Polish Potato Bread Recipe – Chleb Ziemniaczany

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A loaf of Polish potato bread with one end sliced, showing the texture of the crumb, on a wooden cutting board with a dark background.

Polish potato bread is a truly unique recipe. It uses potato as part of the base of the dough which makes it so much healthier than using pure processed flour. Aside from the obvious health benefits, potatoes contain starch. This starch helps preserve the quality of bread and keeps it fresh for much longer. Polish potato bread also toasts better. 

These benefits of Polish potato bread arise because potato flour increases the water absorption. You will notice this when you are kneading the dough. Increased water absorption means that the bread does not dry up quickly, which in turn keeps it fresh for longer. It also improves the leavening of the bread.

Potatoes In Poland

Potatoes are one of the most important crops in Poland and are used extensively in Polish cuisine. In Polish, they are called kartoffel or zieminak. The potato is so well loved in the country that bards and poets have written poems about this humble tuber.

Originating from Peru, this crop reached the shores of Europe thanks to the explorations of Christopher Colombus. In Poland, King Jan III Sobieski is credited with bringing potatoes to the country. The tale goes that he sent a bag of potatoes for his wife as a gift. This was way back during the Vienna siege. While he may have sent the humble potato to Poland, it was Pawel Wienczarek, the palace gardener who actually grew them.

Polish Potato Bread Recipe – Chleb Ziemniaczany

Part I – Peel And Boil The Potato

For this recipe you will need one average sized potato. Peel the potato and boil it. Make sure that it is boiled well. Blend the potato to get a smooth consistency. If your potato is not boiled well, you will have lumps. This does not combine well with the dough and will give you substandard Polish potato bread.

Part II – Knead All The Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl add 3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 2 tsps. of instant yeast, 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of sugar. Mix them such that all the ingredients are evenly distributed in the flour. Add in the blended potato, ¾ cup of warm water and 3 tbsps. of olive oil

Make sure that the water is warm and not hot. The warm water serves two purposes. It activates the yeast and it helps get the dough to the right consistency. If you use hot water, it will kill the yeast and the bread will not rise.

Knead the mixture together using your hand or a food processor.

Knead the dough.
Knead the dough.

Part III – Cover The Dough With A Clean Kitchen Cloth

Place the dough in the center of the bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen cloth. The cloth will keep the dough from drying. Keep the dough in a nice warm area so that it doubles in size. This should take approximately 1 hour.

Part IV – Knead The Dough

Use a flat floured surface and knead the dough again. The flour will prevent the dough from sticking to the surface. You can also oil or flour your hands so that the dough does not stick to them. For this part, you cannot use a food processor.

Knead the dough on a floured flat surface.
Knead the dough on a floured flat surface.

Part V – Place The Dough In A Bread Proofing Basket

After you are done kneading the dough, form a smooth bowl with it and place it in a bread proofing basket.

If you don’t have a bread proofing basket, don’t worry. You can make one yourself. Use a strainer for this. Line it with a clean kitchen cloth. Sprinkle the cloth with flour. The entire cloth needs to be covered with flour so make sure that you sprinkle generously. 

Place the dough in a bread proofing basket.
Place the dough in a bread proofing basket.

Part VI – Cover The Basket With Another Cloth

This dough should now be covered with another kitchen cloth. Set it aside for 1 hour. The dough will rise again.

Part VII – Preheat the oven to 465°F (240°C)

Part VIII – Line The Baking Tray With Parchment Paper

Part IX – Carefully Transfer The Bread

Place the dough onto the parchment lined baking tray. Try not to deflate the Polish potato bread. Avoid excess handling of the dough too.

Part X – Brush The Bread With Water

Use a brush and coat the top of the bread with water. This will help the Polish potato bread get a nice shiny crust. 

Part XI – Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 390°F (200°C).

Part XII – Bake for another 20 minutes.

Perfectly baked Polish potato bread.
Perfectly baked Polish potato bread.

Polish Potato Bread Recipe Frequently Asked Questions

Is Polish Potato Bread Healthy?

Polish potato bread is much healthier than commercially made bread. The potatoes add a good deal of nutrients. The Vitamin C in potatoes is a great antioxidant and also helps prevent diseases like scurvy. It also contains more iron, calcium potassium and manganese than other bread.

In addition to all the nutrients, Polish potato bread stays fresh for much longer. This means that it does not require preservatives when baking. 

Does Polish Potato Bread Cause A Spike In Insulin?

Polish potato bread is high in carbohydrates so it causes a spike in Insulin. This is especially important for diabetics because it also causes a spike in blood sugar levels. Unlike healthy people, diabetics do not have a corresponding rise in their Insulin levels which means that their blood sugar stays high for longer.

This is why they need to be careful about how much Polish potato bread they consume.

Should I Refrigerate Polish Potato Bread?

Polish potato bread should not be refrigerated as it will go stale faster. If you want to preserve it for long, store it in a cool dry location.

Yield: 20 slices

Polish Potato Bread Recipe - Chleb Ziemniaczany

Freshly baked Polish potato bread loaf on a wooden board with a dark background.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 average potato
  • 2 tsps of instant yeast
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • ¾ cup of warm water
  • 3 tbsps of oil or olive oil

Instructions

  1. Peel, boil, and blend the potato to get a smooth consistency.
  2. Knead all the ingredients in a bowl (using your hands) or in a food processor.
  3. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen cloth and wait for about 1 hour until it doubles its size.
  4. Knead the dough again on the flat, floured surface. Form it into a smooth bowl.
  5. Place the dough in the bread-proofing basket. If you don't have any, line the strainer with a clean kitchen cloth, and sprinkle it with flour. Make sure the entire cloth is covered with flour, otherwise the dough may stick to it.
  6. Cover the basket with another cloth and wait for another hour for the dough to grow.
  7. Preheat the oven to 465°F (240°C).
  8. Line the baking tray with parchment paper.
  9. Carefully transfer the bread to the baking tray by turning the basket over.
  10. Brush the bread with water.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 390°F (200°C).
  12. Bake for another 20 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

20

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 114Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 118mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 3g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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