Potato Bread

This recipe came from a very dear friend who has been baking this bread for many years.

Potato Bread 4 loaves

1 medium sized potato - peeled and diced
1 quart water
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp salt
2 packages dry yeast
1 cup warm water
11 to 12 cups sifted bread flour

Cook potato in 1 quart of water until tender. Drain - SAVING the water! Mash the potato until no lumps remain and put it back into the cooking water. Add the butter, sugar, and salt stirring to dissolve. Cool to lukewarm. while cooling, dissolve the yeast in 1 cup warm water and let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Gradually add 6 cups flour into the potato water beating until smooth. Mix in the yeast water beating well. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours. Then work in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth and satiny. Put into a greased 13 quart size bowl, grease the top, cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or so until doubled. Punch down and divide into four equal portions. Form each portion into a loaf and place into a greased 9 inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise 30 to 40 minutes until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Variation: For raisin bread - add an extra 1/2 cup sugar to the potato water; after adding the remaining flour knead in 1 pound raisins, 1/2 tsp ground clove, and 2 tsp ground cinnamon; frost with a powdered sugar glaze after loaves have cooled.