KARTOFFELBROT

This is a potato bread originating from Paris.

17TH CENTURY

First of all, the potato comes from actual Peru and was introduced in Europe by the Spanish in the second half of the 16th century. From then and during the 17th century, more and more countries started to produce it. But not the region of “Île de France”, which has Paris in its center. The people there thought that this tubercule brought diseases like flu, meadow, plague and impoverished the soils.

Louis XVI and Antoine Parmentier

During the 18th century, France was subject to a lot of famine, especially during the wars. And that’s when Antoine Parmentier, a successful apothecary, started to work on the potato to find a solution to feed the people.

He discovered many proprieties in it like the starch. To promote the potato in Paris, he decided to have a meal with eminent figures like Benjamin Franklin or Antoine Lavoisier. He cooked many dishes using potato, and baked a potato bread. The meal came out mediocre actually, but the newspaper “Journal de Paris” stated that it was “the discovery of the century”.

I invite you to look out for more information about Antoine Parmentier, who had a really interesting life.

Antoine Parmentier

20TH CENTURY

Few centuries later, during the first World War, a bread was largely baked in Germany : the kriegskartoffelbrot, which means potato war bread.

The German would use potato with spelt or rye flour, sometimes they would add some wheat straw. This bread was know to be really hard to digest and poor in nutrients. The French called it bread K.K. or bread caca which means shit bread. There was a lot of propaganda about it at that time.

French propaganda
Translate it as “The French eat good white bread and the Germans eat… shit”

It was given to the war prisoners in Germany, and was mostly the only thing they had to eat.

Bread during war

Nowadays, many different varieties of potato bread are baked around the world. I used spelt and rye flour in this recipe so that’s why I used the name kartoffelbrot.

I give you here 2 recipes : the first is very quick and easy to make using fresh potato, the other one is a bit longer and require some stiff starter and potato flakes.

Kartoffelbrot (using fresh potato)

This recipe is very easy and quick to make, but the mashed potato will get the bread to be soft and the crust won’t be very crunchy. The taste is however really nice and it’s perfect to eat with a soup, spreaded with some butter.
TYPE: Bread
COUNTRY: France, Germany
YIELD: 1 loaf
KNEADING: 10 mins
FERMENTATION: 1 hr 30 mins
BAKING: 35 mins
TOTAL TIME: 2 hrs 15 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 175 g white bread flour
  • 45 g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 30 g dark rye flour
  • 5 g salt
  • 9 g fresh yeast or 3g dried yeast
  • 300 potato peeled

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook the potatoes in water starting from cold water.
  2. Once they are cooked, drain them while keeping 65g of the cooking water.
  3. Mash the potatoes.
  4. Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix for 3min in 1st speed then 7min in 2nd speed.
  5. Take the dough out and shape into a ball. Place in a floured banneton.

  6. Let the dough prove for around 1 hour and 30 minutes depending of the temperature of your room.
  7. Place the dough on a parchment paper and score 4 cuts.
  8. Bake at 250°C for around 35 minutes.
  9. Take it out and let it cool down on a tray.
  10. Enjoy!
  11. Don’t forget to check out the timelapse video of the baking on my Instagram below :

Kartoffelbrot (using potato flakes)

This is a better version, yet more complex than the previous one. The potato flakes will prevent the bread from being wet and will allow a nice crust. The use of stiff starter gives it a nice taste and a strong rise.
TYPE: Bread
COUNTRY: France, Germany
YIELD: 1 loaf
KNEADING: 10 mins
FERMENTATION: 14 hrs
BAKING: 35 mins
TOTAL TIME: 14 hrs 45 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 175 g white bread flour
  • 45 g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 35 g dark rye flour
  • 5 g salt
  • 3 g fresh yeast or 1g dried yeast
  • 75 g stiff starter
  • 30 g potato flakes
  • 225 g water at room temp.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix everything together for 3min in 1st speed then 7min in 2nd speed.
  2. Let it rest for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  3. Take the dough out and make a ball.

  4. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Shape as a bâtard like in this video.
  6. Put in a floured banneton, cover and put in the fridge for 12 hours.
  7. Take the dough out and place onto a parchment paper.
  8. Score the dough with 4 cuts.
  9. Bake at 250°C for around 35 minutes.
  10. Take it out and let it cool down on a tray.
  11. Enjoy!
  12. Don’t forget to check out the timelapse video of the baking on my Instagram below :

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