I started with the same potato/sweet potato bread used to make the hotdog buns -- by now a mere cousin of RLB's Bread Bible and blog version. I doubled the potato and used high-gluten flour in the main dough to compensate, and added some liquid starter for flavor and ease of shaping. (I don't use the milk powder or butter for allergy reasons.)
This makes one showy loaf about 14 inches long but relatively flat, as braids go. (If you want a deeper/taller slice, you could rise and bake this in a pan, or make the ropes shorter and fatter.)
First the potatoes: boiled a regular (white) potato and the purple Vilotte (i think, they weren't labelled) fingerlings until tender, then drained and mashed. The sweet potato i cooked like i normally do: in the microwave, then mashed. I ended up with about 70-80 g of each.
|Cooked and mashed potato varieties. They are in matchy bowls because i can. :D|
|The completed doughs -- kneading in the potato and oil or vegan butter. It's unintentionally a big smiley.|
Shape each into a ball then let rise covered until doubled. I put them right on a nonstick mat.
|Before the first rise, and after the second.|
Press the ends together and tuck them in. Flip the pan and braid the other end the opposite way, keeping the tension even... this keeps the shape consistent.
Cover (I use another pan to make sure there won't be sticking) and let the braid rise until it about doubles, about another 40 minutes. It should feel puffy, almost wobbly, when pressed with a fingertip.
Bake at 375 about 30 minutes. (I don't like eggwashing savory breads that don't have egg in them, especially ones that color well on their own, but you do you!) It's done if you hear a hollow sound when tapping lightly underneath.
|Nicely colored! As you can see the white and purple strands broke a little as they rose and oven-sprang...|
My braid looked fine when it went into the oven, but as it rose and baked, the regular and purple ropes kind of fell out compared to the orange. It might be because of extra moisture from boiling, so next time I'll cook all the potato types by the same method and give up having cooking liquid in favor of ropes that keep their shape. (Of course, there will be an update when I accomplish that!)
Let the braid cool to the touch before you slice... even with the potato, it's a delicate crumb that will crush and gum up if it's too hot. But look how pretty!