Pane di Patate Rustico | Straight Dough Method

Imagine the aroma of roasting baked potatoes filling your home on a cold fall day. Well, that is the experience you’ll have if you make Pane de Patate Rustico (Rustic Potato Bread). The exterior of the loaves takes on a deep burnished brown color while the interior stays soft and tender. The loaves of bread can be enjoyed on their own or slathered with rich creamy butter or for use for sandwiches filled with roasted meats or vegetables. It also makes wonderful breakfast, toasted and topped with Swiss Cheese, Black Forest Ham, and Poached Eggs. Mmmmm…..are you getting hungry yet?

Russets, please! It is important to use Russet potatoes as they have the highest starch content with a deep potato flavor which makes them the ideal choice for this recipe. The light, mealy texture, and high-starch content help to produce fine crumb that holds on to the moisture in the bread, making the loaves last for up to 5 days.

What should I expect when making this recipe? The recipe for Pane di Patate Rustico uses equal parts mashed potato to all-purpose flour. This makes for an interesting experience when mixing and kneading. The dough will start off dry, crumbly, and firm. We’ll need to put some force when first kneading the ingredients together, but once the dough becomes cohesive it changes and starts to become sticky. No need for flour, just keep a plastic scraper handy and clean your hands and work surface off and continue to knead. The more you knead the softer and smoother the dough will become.

Is there any special equipment I might need? A Baking Stone and Roasting Pan are essential for baking hearth-baked bread that needs steam during the first part of baking the loaves. I recommend Fibra-Ment-D® Baking Stone from they sell baking stones that can fit your oven. I have the 15″ x 20″ baking stone that allows me to bake two 1.5 lbs loaves of bread at the same time. The Roasting Pan I recommend is the Granite Ware Covered Rectangular Roaster. The bottom of the pan is tall and is large enough to cover the 2 loaves of bread during the first phase of baking the bread which traps in the steam allowing the exterior of the bread to stay supple which will create the best oven spring for your loaves of bread.

As with all baking recipes I recommend you weigh the ingredients for the Pane di Patate Rustico. Weighing ensures you have a consistent dough each and every time. As bakers, we are always striving to remove any variables from the process of baking.

The full instructional video for the Pane di Patate Rustico is at the bottom of this blog post. Follow this link to “LIKE” and “SUBSCRIBE” to my YouTube Channel “Just One Bite, Please?”

Equipment: (Shop my Amazon Page for Ingredients & Equipment)

  • Electric Scale, Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Cutting Board
  • Potato Peeler
  • Chefs Knife
  • 2 Quart Saucepan
  • 2-Cup Liquid Measuring Cup
  • Colander
  • ¼-Sheet Tray
  • Dinner Fork

Preparing the Russet Potatoes:                           

  • Measured                         Grams             Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 each                            680 g.            Russet Potatoes
  1. Prepare the potatoes by peeling and cutting them into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
  2. Place the potatoes into a large saucepan with cold water. The potatoes should have at least 2-inches (5 cm) of water over them.
  3. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and boil the potatoes for 12 to 14 minutes or until fork tender.
  4. Remove the cooked potatoes from the heat and pour the potato liquid into a heatproof liquid measuring cup or container and set aside to cool.
  5. Pour the potatoes into a colander in the sink and drain all the water from the potatoes.
  6. Place the potatoes onto a small sheet tray and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  7. Use a dinner fork to mash the potatoes to a fine texture.
  8. Scale the cooled potatoes and reserved potato water for the recipe.

Equipment: (Shop my Amazon Page for Ingredients & Equipment)

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons/Electronic Baking Scale
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Plastic Bowl Scrape
  • Non-Stick Spray or Oil
  • Bench Knife

Pane alla Patate (2 Loaves)

Mixing the Pane alla Patate Dough:

  • Measured                           Grams             Ingredients
  • 7/8 cup                                    198 g.             Potato Water (room temp.)
  • 1-¼ tsp.                                       4 g.              Instant Yeast
  • ¼ cup                                        28 g.              Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3-1/3 cups                               604 g.             Mashed Potatoes (room temp.)
  • 4-¾ cups                                 604 g.             All-Purpose Flour (King Arthur Flour)
  • 1 Tbsp.                                      24 g.             Sea Salt (fine)
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the potato water, instant yeast, extra virgin olive oil, and mashed potatoes. Mix and beat the ingredients with a rubber spatula until well combined.
  2. Add half of the all-purpose flour fold and stir using the rubber spatula to combine. The mixture will be crumbly.
  3. Add the sea salt and remaining all-purpose flour and fold and compress the ingredients together using a plastic bowl scraper until the dough become a shaggy mass.
  4. Scrape and turn the dough out the of the bowl onto the work surface.
  5. Knead and compress the dough firmly using the plastic scraper. Gather any dry ingredients back into the dough. As the dough develops it will become sticky. Use the plastic scraper to clean your hands and the work surface.
  6. Knead and the dough for 6 to 8 minutes or until smooth.
  7. Round the dough into a ball.
  8. Coat a bowl with a light coating of oil or non-stick spray and place the dough into the bowl.
  9. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment the dough for 1 hour at 70℉ to 74℉ (21℃ to 23℃).
  10. After 1 hour. Uncover the dough, lightly flour the work surface and turn the dough onto the work surface.
  11. Divide the dough into 2 pieces weighing approx. 716 grams each.
  12. Gently form and shape each piece of dough into a tight round
  13. Place them seam side down onto the un-floured work surface and cover with plastic wrap.
  14. Rest the dough for 30 minutes.

Equipment: (Shop my Amazon Page for Ingredients & Equipment)

  • Wooden Cutting Board
  • Baker’s Linen (Couche) or Cotton Kitchen Towel
  • Baking Stone
  • Large Roasting Pan or Bowl

Preheat the baking stone and oven to 450℉ (232℃) 1 hour before baking the Pane alla Patate.

Final Shape and Baking:

  1. After the 30 minute rest, uncover and lightly dust the tops of the loaves with flour
  2. Turn the dough over onto the work surface lightly dust and degas the dough.
  3. Shape the loaves into a Bâtard (football) and set aside seam side down on the work surface.
  4. Place the baker’s linen (couche) on the wooden cutting board and lightly dust with flour.
  5. Place the shaped loaves seam side down onto the linen with a pleat between the loaves. Wrap the extra linen over the loaves to maintain the shapes as they proof.
  6. Cover the entire linen with plastic wrap and let proof for 1 hour or until doubled in size at 70℉ to 74℉ (21℃ to 23℃).
  7. After 1 hour, uncover the loaves and gently move each loaf onto a piece of parchment paper with the seam side down onto the peel.
  8. Lightly dust the tops of the loaves with flour.
  9. Slide the rack with the baking stone out for easy access and place the loaves onto the preheated baking stone.
  10. Lightly spray a large roasting pan with water and place over the loaves of bread on the baking stone.
  11. Slide the rack back into the oven and turn the oven down to 425℉ (218℃).
  12. Bake the loaves covered at 425℉ (218℃) for 20 minutes. Then uncover and continue to bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Turn and move the loaves to get even color while baking. The loaves should be deep golden brown and will sound hollow when tapped on the bottoms.
  13. Remove the Pane alla Patate from the oven with a peel and place onto a cooling rack.
  14. Cool completely to room temperature before cutting.
  15. Use a serrated knife to cut the loaves.
  16. Enjoy!

15 thoughts on “Pane di Patate Rustico | Straight Dough Method

  1. Liza Cox

    Hello Alejandro,
    is there a reason these potato doughs are not scored before baking rather than letting them crack?
    Would this still be the case if using bread flour?

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Liza, It is nice to meet you. Because of the tender nature of dough there is no need to score the loaf as they will make their own natural split on the top of the loaf. I like the rustic look of this but you can score the loaf if you like. Bread flour will produce a loaf that has more structure so the bread should be slightly larger in size. I like to hear about your results. Thank you for writing and Happy Baking!

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Helly Caty, Unfortunately, potato flour does not have gluten that is required to create the structure in the bread. Are you looking for a gluten-free alternative?

      1. Caty

        Actually I kindly want a recipe that uses potato and whole-wheat or whole grain flour instead of the white flour…

        Thank you for being humble and your kindness by sharing your experience….

        1. Alejandro Ramon

          Hello Caty, You can use whole wheat flour to replace the white flour in the recipe. I would recommend sourcing​ “Chakki Atta” Indian Whole Wheat Flour which is finely ground and produces a lighter texture than American whole wheat flour. Here is a link to help you find what you are looking for:

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Wu Lu, I appreciate your patience on my response to you. I was away on holiday. You can use Bread Flour for this recipe it will produce a taller and chewier loaf due the higher protein content of the flour. You’ll also notice the dough will seem drier because the higher protein will absorb more of the water in the dough. All-Purpose Flour will create a much more tender and softer loaf of bread. It is great to experiment with the two flours and compare the differences. I’d love to hear how the recipe turned out for you. Thank you for taking the time to write. Have a great day and Happy Baking!

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Quizron, I appreciate you waiting patiently for my response. I was traveling in Italy doing cooking and baking recipe research and just returned home. You can use mashed baked potatoes I would recommend adding an extra 57 grams of water to the recipe to make up for the drier water content of the baked potatoes. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you for writing and have a wonderful day!

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