Potato Bread Recipe – Make-ahead Refrigerator Dough

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This Potato Bread Recipe creates a dough that you can keep in the refrigerator and use anytime you’re craving freshly-baked homemade bread or rolls.

Potato Bread Recipe - Make dough once and enjoy fresh loaves daily

Nothing goes better with Irish Lamb Stew for your St. Patrick’s Day feast than thick slices of potato bread slathered in butter. Potato Bread is one of the first breads that I made as a new bride. It came from a 1970s-era Betty Crocker cookbook I’d found at a garage sale, a book that became my cooking Bible for the first several years of marriage.

I lost that cookbook during one of our military moves, and I miss it. With my scribbles on various pages and our ratings (from 1 to 5 stars) of different recipes, it was a kind of time capsule of our first years together. Slowly but surely, as my cooking skills improved, I’d edit recipes to eliminate things like condensed cream of whatever soups or scads of shortening and replace them with healthier ingredients.

One thing that didn’t change much was this Potato Bread Recipe. Oh, I adjusted the amounts a bit over time and modified the process to make it even faster, but it’s mostly the same one I’ve been making for nearly 20 years now. It’s just that easy and that good.


My favorite part about this recipe is that you can make and refrigerate the dough over the weekend, then pull out enough to make a loaf or pan of rolls throughout the week. Talk about a convenient way to enjoy fresh from the oven bread (and that gorgeous smell) even on busy weeknights! Of course, you can just as easily bake it all at once if you’d prefer — the leftovers freeze beautifully.

Potato Bread Recipe

Potato Bread - Peel the potatoes

If you’re the kind of person who always makes far more mashed potatoes than your family can eat at one meal — I sure am — you’re going to LOVE this recipe! Leftover mashed potatoes never taste quite as good the next day, so this is a delicious way to use them. It’s even better if you plan ahead and save the potato cooking water.

Potato Bread Recipe - Make the dough

Unlike trickier bread recipes, you don’t have to feed and proof the yeast or sift ingredients. Just add everything to the bowl of a stand mixer at the same time and start mixing.

In a bread machine, follow your manufacturer’s directions about the order — some say to add dry ingredients then liquids, others say just the opposite.

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Potato Bread Recipe - Don't overwork the dough

Once you’ve got the ingredients combined, it’s time to start kneading. That’s usually my favorite part of making bread, and I’ve been known to transfer dough from my stand mixer to a well-floured counter because I enjoy kneading dough that much. It’s relaxing!

But if you go the manual route as I do, you’ll need to use more flour since this is a very sticky dough to work with, and that will lead to a denser, heavier result. That’s why, with this potato bread recipe, I don’t indulge in kneading by hand. It just changes the bread’s tilth that much.

Instead, I let the stand mixer’s dough hook do the work for me — roughly 7 minutes. (If you’re using a bread machine, let it go through the entire kneading cycle but stop it before the rise.)

Potato Bread Recipe - Store dough in an oiled bowl

Once kneaded, transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl and cover it tightly with cling wrap or a lid. Now, refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours — or up to five days! When you’re ready to bake, pinch off as much dough as needed — about 1/2 for a regular sized loaf or 1/3 to make eight rolls in a pie pan. Shape the dough appropriately and let it rise until almost doubled.

Since the dough is cold, letting it rise can take as long as 4 hours. You can speed it up by putting the dough in a warm place, though. I’ve got a microwave oven mounted over my stove with a light beneath it; putting the dough in the microwave with that light on helps it rise in as little as 2 hours. If you’ve got a gas oven, the pilot light alone keeps it warm enough to help the dough rise more quickly, too.

Once the dough has risen, bake loaves for 40 minutes or rolls for 30 then check for doneness by inserting a thermometer in the center. Bread is ready when the temperature reaches 190°F. Since potato bread is more dense and moist than plain flour bread, the old “hollow sound when you tap it” test doesn’t work, but the thermometer doesn’t lie.

Ready to make your own?

Rustic Potato Bread Recipe

This dough is best made the day before baking and can keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so you can make a fresh loaf any night of the week.
Print Recipe
Irish Lamb Stew is part of our St. Patrick's Day Feast
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:40 mins
Rising and Resting Time:7 hrs
Total Time:7 hrs 50 mins


  • Large bowl for batter
  • Stand mixer (optional)
  • Cling wrap or a clean towel to cover
  • Loaf pans



  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • cups lukewarm water (leftover potato-cooking water is best)
  • 12 tablespoons butter softened (1 1/2 sticks)
  • teaspoons table salt
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes unseasoned, room temperature
  • 6-7 cups white all-purpose flour divided


  • Grease the inside of a very large bowl and set it aside.
  • Set aside 1 cup of flour. To the bowl of a stand mixer, add all of the remaining ingredients in the order written. Using the flat mixing paddle, beat the ingredients together for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides as needed. Add the remaining flour as needed until the dough is firm, not runny.
  • Switch to the dough hook and knead at medium speed for 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to the greased bowl and cover it tightly with greased cling wrap or a clean tea towel. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours and up to 5 days before baking.
  • For one loaf, remove half the dough from the bowl. Shape it into a log and place it in a greased loaf pan. 
    For 8 rolls, grease a pie pan and shape the dough into eight 1-inch balls. Arrange these around the edges of the pan, one inch apart, with one in the very center.
  • Lightly cover the pan with greased cling wrap and let the dough rise until almost doubled. At room temperature, this can take 4 hours. Placing it in a warm spot reduces the rising time to 2 hours.
  • When the rising time is almost over, preheat the oven to 350°F / 177°C. Bake the loaf for 40 minutes (30 minutes for rolls) then check for doneness. It is ready when the crust is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the center reads 190°F / 88°C.
  • Remove from oven and place the pan on a rack. For loaves, wait 5 minutes then gently turn the loaf onto the rack to finish cooling. Allow rolls to cool in pan.
  • Use the remaining dough within 5 days, following the same directions for rising and baking.

Bread Machine Users

  • Add ingredients in the order recommended by your machine’s manufacturer. Run the standard cycle but stop after kneading. Transfer the dough to a large, greased bowl and proceed with the rest of the recipe as written above.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 302mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 197IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 2mg
Servings: 24 slices
Calories: 195kcal
Author: Katie Berry

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Recipe Rating



    Has anyone tried this with sweet potatoes?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Not that I know of. If you do, let me know how it turns out!

  2. Is this a sweet bread?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      No, it’s not sweet. I know there are some potato breads that are, but this tastes more like a loaf of thick and fluffy sandwich bread.

  3. This is the exact recipe that my mother has made for the last 35 years. It is wonderful! Its a bit tricky for me trying to get the right amount of flour as to not add too much and it become too heavy. Glad you added to use the potato water as I think this helps with flavor. Also glad to see the option for the bread machine. Use bread machine flour here instead of the all purpose? The original original recipe I believes calls for shortening but subbing it with the butter has a much better flavor!