Still baking with my Mother-In-Law: Traditional, old-fashioned Starter Potato Bread

“She went down to the threshing floor, and did according to all that her mother-in-law told her.”

Ruth 3:6, Bible

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”

Ruth 1:16-17, Bible 

Bread making is a traditional activity in Hungary and Transylvania, hence my Mother and my Mother-in-Law are both professionals. They have it all…they have it on hand…BUT they have it in head and heart, not in hand. Therefore, when I ask for a recipe, the answer is usually: “You know, just like I alway do…” Well, I do know, but to share, all processes need to be measured and noted. However, the results of their recipes, showing all their skills, roots and love certainly worth the effort…


Only if bread could talk…This bread sure has it all (literally, as it is made with a mixture of sourdough and fresh yeast). The potato bread is moist and heavy in texture, perfect for accompanying soup or stews. Its flavor improves with age and its tight texture makes it for great toast. Its simple to make, though it does require some kneading. It has a deep, tangy, not a potato taste, but somehow the addition of potato helps keep the bread fresh and soft. But the bread might be gone before it has a chance to dry…


Ingredient (make 2 loaves)

Starter: 300 ml (100% hydration, liquid) sourdough culture, 6 tbsp flour

Dough: 2 medium potatoes (about 300 g when boiled and crushed), 500 ml water (together with the amount kept back from boiling the potatoes), 30 g fresh yeast, about 1000 g white flour, 2 tbsp oil, 2 tsp salt



To make the starter ferment mix the sourdough culture with the flour and let it rest and rise for a couple of hours (until bubbly). After the resting mix in all the other ingredients, including finely crushed boiled potatoes and let ir rise for another couple of hours. After the second rise divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape it into loaf tins. Let it rise for the third time for about 45 minutes. Bake in pre-heated hot oven for 45 minutes.


6 thoughts on “Still baking with my Mother-In-Law: Traditional, old-fashioned Starter Potato Bread

  1. I love this recipe, and am happy I can use my sourdough in it. You are so lucky to have such talented bakers around you to learn from. It’s so nice that they are family. None of my family members bake so I’ve learned everything I know by myself.

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