Old World Big Loaf

1 medium potato
1 cup warm water
1 - 1/4 oz. pkg. active dry yeast
2 T. olive oil, plus additional for oiling bowl and pan
2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup soy flour
2 t. sea salt
1 t. sesame seeds
1/2 t. poppy seeds

Begin by baking the potato. Wash it well and prick with a fork in several places. Place the potato in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until soft to the touch. Remove the potato from the oven and set aside to cool. When the potato is cool, cut in half, and using a spoon, carefully separate the cooked potato from its skin. Place the cooked potato in a small bowl, mash it well with a fork (should yield 1 cup), and set aside.

In a large bowl, place the warm water, yeast, and olive oil. Stir well to dissolve the yeast, and set aside until bubbly, about 10-15 minutes. Add the reserved mashed potato and stir well to combine. Add the unbleached, whole wheat, and soy flours, and salt, and stir well to form a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead, adding additional flour if needed, until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place a little olive oil in the large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, give it a twist, and turn the ball over to coat the other side. Cover the bowl with a clean towel, place it in a warm place, and leave to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Using a little olive oil, lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a large cookie sheet or pizza pan, and set aside. When the dough has doubled, transfer it to the oiled pan, and stretch it to form a 10-inch circle. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and poppy seeds over the top. Cover the pan with a clean towel, place in a warm place, and leave to rise for an additional 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Remove the towel from the pan. Bake the loaf at 425 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Transfer the loaf to a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: One 10-inch loaf


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