BBD#14 – Purple Fingerling Potato Bread

Purple fingerling potato bread

Purple fingerling potato bread

Bread Baking Day is back, and more colourful than ever.

breadbakingday14This month’s Bread Baking Day is hosted by Boaz of Grain Power, with the theme of “Coloured Breads” as in to bake bread that has an unusual colour in the crust, or crumb, or both.

I wanted to try something different and not use sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash or pumpkin that would tint the loaves a gorgeous, brilliant orange… not that there’s anything wrong with any of those lovely choices, but I was feeling adventurous this month. Mighty adventurous.

How about purple, like an intense purple yam purple?

Unfortunately, the elusive purple yam was nowhere to be found, even at the local special organic foods grocery store close to where I live. I did spot something there that just might work though. The conversation with a grocery store worker went something like this:

Me: Hi! I was wondering, do you by any chance know if these organic purple fingerling potatoes are *purple* inside?

Grocery store worker: Um, I’m not sure. Let’s find out.

[Hacks a potato open with a knife]

Grocery store worker: Well, yup it seems like they are… but don’t worry, they lose a bit of the colour after you boil them.

Me: Oh… but you see, I actually want them to be purple like this.

Grocery store worker: …alright. [confused look]

Me: Thanks, these will do.

Purple fingerling potatoes, scrubbed clean.

Purple fingerling potatoes, scrubbed clean.

Boiled and drained. Look, purple!

Boiled and drained. Look, purple!

Mashed purple potato

Mashed purple potato: I mashed it with the water (the amount used in the bread recipe) to get the consistency of a slurry. Notice the chunks of purple potato left - this will become important in the next few steps.

Eek! Where did all the colour go?

Eek! Where did all the colour go? Sigh. Well, at least the unmashed chunks of purple potato are still visible.

I should have known. See, purple + cream coloured unbleached all-purpose flour + light brown whole wheat flour = brownish greyish + slight hint of purple and not the intense purple I had hoped for.

At any rate, I forged ahead, dividing the dough into three portions and rolling up each like you would for a jellyroll. The dough was then left to rise for a second time in a 9 x 5″ loaf pan.

Ready for the final rise.

Ready for the final rise.

Here we go, fresh out of the oven! A very tender, flavourful and [maybe?] slightly purple loaf of purple fingerling potato bread.

Purple fingerling potato bread

Purple fingerling potato bread

Crumb of purple fingerling potato bread

Crumb of purple fingerling potato bread

I have to say, it made excellent toast with a bit of blackcurrant preserves.

* * *

Purple Fingerling Potato Bread

Based on this sweet potato sandwich rolls recipe from King Arthur Flour


– 1/2 cup (4 oz) potato water (the water saved from after you boil the potatoes)
– 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
– 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter, softened
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 large egg
– roughly 1 cup cooked, mashed purple fingerling potato (I used 3 potatoes)
– 1/4 cup (1 oz) nonfat dry milk
– 1 cup (4 oz) whole wheat flour
– 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups (9 5/8 – 10 5/8 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour

– 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
– sesame seeds to sprinkle on top of the loaf


To make the dough: Place all of the ingredients (holding back 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour) into a medium-sized bowl, and mix until you’ve form a soft, but not sticky dough. Add more flour from your reserved amount if needed to achieve the correct consistency. Knead the dough for 6 minutes, then place it in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour; it will almost double in size and look puffy.

To shape the loaf: After the first rise, deflate the dough and divide it into 3 pieces. Flatten each piece into a rough rectangle and roll up starting from one end of the short side.  Place the three pieces of shaped dough side by side in a lightly greased 9 x 5″ loaf pan. Cover with greased plastic wrap, and let rise for 30 to 35 minutes, until almost doubled. Brush the top of the loaf with the beaten egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if you’re using them.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is a rich golden brown (and slightly greyish purple!) colour, and the center reads above 190°F when measured with an instant-read thermometer. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool on a rack for 5 minutes, before removing from the pan and returning to the rack to cool completely.

* * *

I’m sending a slice of this bread to Boaz, our great BBD host for this month, to Zorra, the founder of BBD, to Zoë for inspiring this purple-coloured bread in the first place with her investigation of different yams and sweet potatoes, and as always, to Susan at Wild Yeast for Yeastspotting.


15 Responses to “BBD#14 – Purple Fingerling Potato Bread”

  1. javapot Says:

    Nice lavender purple! 🙂

  2. Andrea Says:

    I love it! Purple potato bread, just perfect and so creative. I’ve made mashed potatoes out of these before and you almost expect something sweet. That mother nature is such a trickster!

  3. toxobread Says:

    Javapot: Thanks! Lavender purple makes it sound very pretty 🙂

    Andrea: Yes, I thought they were going to be sweet (and they smelled faintly of sweet potatoes) but they turned out to be a nifty, coloured potato. Still an interesting one to bake with though.

  4. BBD#14 - The roundup « Grain Power Says:

    […] from Vermont, used purple potatoes for her purple fingerling potato bread. She was delighted to discover that these potatoes are purple on the inside as well as the outside. […]

  5. Susan/Wild Yeast Says:

    This was a great idea for a colored bread! I love the shape as well as the color.

  6. em Says:

    Purple potatoes! coool. How do they taste on their own? And that loaf has a really cute shape!

  7. toxobread Says:

    Susan: Thanks! I decided to do something fun with the shape and it happened to turn out well.

    Em: Purple potatoes look so exotic to me, but you know what? They taste like mashed potatoes… except the purpleness of them makes me think they’re cooler.

  8. Andrea Says:

    I’ve tagged you with a meme and an award, participate only if you want to:

  9. YeastSpotting December 5, 2008 | Wild Yeast Says:

    […] Purple Fingerling Potato Bread […]

  10. chopchopatoz Says:

    This looks so good~~~~~~and your photos are stunning!

  11. Jessica@Foodmayhem Says:

    I love naturally colored foods. Great job! Try Purple Majesty Potatoes next time. They have a stronger color inside.

  12. toxobread Says:

    Thanks for the tip, Jessica. I’ll try to find Purple Majesty Potatoes, but these purple fingerling potatoes were all that I could come up with at the places I went.

  13. Deb Hall Says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I LOVE this bread. Anyone else noticed that it turns “purple-er” when you toast it? It’s G-R-E-A-T!

    • toxobread Says:

      Deb, I’m so glad that you gave this bread a try and loved it! I did have it toasted but guess was in too much of a hurry to eat it before noticing it had turned more purple haha
      Thanks again for stopping by 🙂

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