Hier geht’s zur deutschen Version dieses Posts

When I – driven from a real “Breaking Bad Bread” experience – challenged my baking buddies from The Fresh Loaf, Facebook and several congenial blogs to create a “Bread for the Knight with the Iron Hand“, I promised myself to try all 30 loaves over time.

One of those congenial blogs is Britta’s Brot vom Niederrhein – Bread from the Lower Rhine.

Britta, 35-year old process engineer and mother of two, named her blog after the lower Rhine region of North Rhine-Westphalia/Germany, where she lives and works.

Britta: “Others knit to relax, I bake!”

“It is pretty here, prettier than many believe. Industrial culture has its charm, the view from a heap to the blast furnaces, chimneys, and the Rhine with its many green meadows and sheep is really pretty.”

The Lower Rhine with its industrial culture has its own charm – coal mine Zollern in Dortmund
Niederrhein Landschaft Natur Schafe 100330-029.jpg
Idyllic contrast to heaps and chimneys: sheep grazing on the Rhine meadows

She finds baking and process engineering have a lot in common: a technical process turns the raw materials into products – only her cakes and breads rise much faster than the industrial plants she is building.

Birthday cake for little pirates!

With fond childhood memories of baking cakes with her grandmother, Britta wanted her kids to have the same experience.

Soon she progressed from simple everyday cakes to more elaborate ones, like the Pirate Ship Cake for her son’s 7th birthday.

And she finally ventured into the realm of home-baked breads. But not without side effects on her married life!

“My husband got used to a fridge and kitchen counter full of (on average) seven pre-doughs on weekends”.

He also has to live with the fact that she can’t leave the house, because her doughs are just ready for the oven.

“Or, alternatively, listen to detailed instructions, so that HE can put the breads into the oven, at the right moment, the right temperature, with or without steam!”.

The bread is made with cooked and raw potatoes

Britta started blogging to save her own recipes and show some of her breads and cakes to other enthusiasts. 

She also wants to help people with diverse food intolerances (like herself) to make delicious pastry, since that is “less easy to find in stores than bread”.

Britta’s Kartoffel-Weizen-Roggen-Brot intrigued me – she didn’t only use cooked potatoes, but added raw potatoes, too.

It is made with two preferments:  a salted sourdough (Monheimer Salzsauer, 2% salt) and pâte fermentée, so that very little additional yeast is needed, and the aroma has time to develop overnight.

Medium wheat flour (Typ 1050), very popular in German breads, is not easily available in the US, but you can use a bread flour/whole wheat mixture instead (see my flour “translation“).

German potatoes normally have thick skins, and need to be peeled. Thin skinned US potatoes can be used with their skin. Reserve the cooking water – you will need some to add to the dough later.

We liked the Double Potato Loaf a lot, it was very moist and flavorful, with a subtle hint of earthiness from the raw potatoes.

Moist and flavorful, with a hint of earthiness

(adapted from Brot vom Niederrhein)

Starter (Monheimer Salzsauer)
90 g medium rye flour
90 g water
18 g rye mother starter (100%)
2 g salt

Pâte Fermentée
52 g bread flour*)
48 g whole wheat flour*)
70 g water
0.5 g instant yeast (or 1.5 g fresh yeast)

Final Dough
200 g starter (all)
170 g pâte fermentée (all)
400 g raw potatoes, grated
220 g cooked potatoes, riced or mashed (reserve cooking water!)
50 g medium rye flour
199 g bread flour*)
181 g whole wheat*)
5 g/1 tsp. molasses
13 g salt
1.5 g instant yeast (or 4.5 g fresh yeast)
more water as needed (I added 40 g potato cooking water)

*) Original recipe: medium wheat flour Typ 1050)

(10:00 – 12:00 am)
Mix all starter ingredients, cover, and leave for 16 – 18 hours at room temperature.

Mix ingredients for pâte fermentée at low speed for until all flour is hydrated, then knead at medium speed for about 6 minutes (DDT: 77-81ºF/25-27ºC). Cover, and leave for 1 hour at room temperature, then place in refrigerator for at least 12 hours (overnight).

You can see the little potato pieces in the dough

Knead all final dough ingredients for 4 minutes at low speed, then 8 minutes at medium-low speed, adding some of the potato cooking water as needed (dough should be very soft and sticky). Let it rest for 40 minutes, with one stretch & fold after 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 482ºF/250ºC, including baking stone and steam pan.

Nicely risen dough

Shape dough into a round and place, seam side up, in a floured rising basket.

Sprinkle with flour, cover, and proof for about 45-60 minutes at room temperature, or until it has grown 1 1/2 times its original size (finger poke test: a dimple should remain visible).

Turn bread out onto a parchment lined baking sheet (or a peel to bake directly on the stone). Score.

Place bread in oven, steaming with a cup of boiling water poured in the steam pan (or whatever steaming method you prefer).

Bake for 15 minutes, remove steam pan, rotate the loaf, reduce heat to 400ºF/200ºC, and bake for another 30 – 40 minutes, until it is dark golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom (internal temperature: 200ºF/93ºC).

BreadStorm users (also of the free version) can download the formula:

Submitted at Yeast Spotting


  1. How nice, this weekend I made a bread also with raw and cooked potatoes… and found it quite nice! Yours does look great as ever, and the story behind is nice to read too.


  2. Thanks!
    Britta even tested different ratios of cooked and raw potatoes in another post on her blog. I like the idea of presenting not only the different breads, but, also, the person behind the post. I hope you join next time, if I come up with a new challenge 🙂


  3. I'm glad you like it, Britta! It was fun to translate and put your information in my post – especially, since both of our husbands have to put up with pre-doughs taking over fridge and counter…


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