Mary's Bread

This post is dedicated to my dear sister, Mary. She has five adorable, but picky-eater kids. She buys a bread that her kids would describe as manna. They eat it by the loaf at her house. When our family was at my parents house over Thanksgiving, I learned of this and was enlisted by Mom to help find a recipe that Mary could make on her own rather than buy.

Mary's Bread
Mary's Bread
Being the whole grains nut that I am, I could not condone a pure enriched flour recipe (which is what said manna contains). The ingredient listing was along these lines: enriched wheat flour, water, sugar, salt, yeast, potato flour. We tried to make something like that, but our first take tasted more like cotton than manna. I am pretty sure a bit of salt would have done wonders for it, but I think some whole grains could have added some more flavor too. The next thing we tried was the homemade buttermilk rolls recipe on the back of the Bob's Red Mill Potato Flour. But since that 24 oz. bag cost nearly $6, I thought we should try making it with mashed potatoes rather than potato flour. Sorry Bob. Anyway, the rolls tasted great. Lauren thought they tasted funny, but I thought they were fine. I am going to say any funny flavor was Mom's whole wheat or her powdered buttermilk.

Anyway, I used that recipe as a start for Mary's bread. It was oh so soft and very tasty. I figured this was as close to bread candy as you could get and still have whole grains in it. Anyway, I guess I have managed to sell my own brand well enough that my kids will eat anything that is labeled as "Daddy bread" and tell me it is delicious. This is the first step to making this bread. Talk it up. Let your kids know that Uncle Vernon slaved for days in a hot kitchen trying recipes to get the perfect one. You could even tell them that I baked a loaf to send you, but their cousins snarfed it up so fast that there was nothing left to send. Make them want the "Mommy bread". After you have them craving it, go ahead and bake it. There is no other smell like fresh baked bread. Even bread that tastes bad smells good in the oven. If it is something that your kids enjoy, you could have them help you bake it. This gives them a personal vested interest in the final product and should set a positive prejudice in their minds toward the bread. And if nothing else works, tell them it will make Uncle Vernon cry if they don't try it and like it.

Mary's Bread

  • 1/2 T. active dry yeast
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1/2 C. warm water
  • 3 C. whole wheat flour *See notes below
  • 1/2 C. non-instant powdered milk or 3/4 C. instant powdered milk
  • 1 T. salt
  • 3 C. white flour
  • 1 C. mashed potatoes (about 1 medium potato) *See notes below
  • 1 1/2 C. warm water
  • 3 T. oil
  1. Mix yeast, honey and 1/2 cup warm water. Set aside while mixing other ingredients.
  2. Mix whole wheat flour, powdered milk, salt.
  3. Mix up mashed potatoes until smooth. Slowly add 1 cups warm water until it becomes a smooth potato slurry. Add the oil.
  4. Mix the potato water and yeasted water to the dry mixture. Mix until smooth.
  5. Add the white flour and mix until dough forms a ball. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. (This makes the dough less sticky and reduces kneading time.) Dump onto counter and knead in as little extra flour to make the dough firm, smooth, and tacky. Don't be temped to add too much flour, the potatos make the dough kind of sticky.
  6. Put dough back in clean, oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size.
  7. Punch dough down, divide into two parts. Shape two loaves and place in greased bread pans.
  8. Let rise until almost doubled in size.
  9. Preheat oven to 400°F
  10. Put loaves in oven and reduce heat to 350°F. Bake for 30 minutes or until nice and brown all over.

Makes 2 loaves.


Hard white wheat will give you the lightest colored bread. You still get all the goodness of whole grain without the 'brown bread' color. I personally think that hard red wheat has more flavor, so I always use a 50/50 mix when making bread.

If you are using mashed potatoes from the fridge, zap them in the microwave for 30 seconds to take the chill off them. This will make it easier to get all the lumps out. You will get a softer bread if the potatoes are non-waxy, we are shooting for starchy here. You want a white baking potato, not a yellow or red potato.

Another thing you can do is reduce the amount of whole wheat and white flour by 1 C. each and substitute 2 C. packed instant or quick oats. I think this adds a great flavor to the bread and adds some soluble fiber as well. However, this will also make the final bread much softer because oats have less gluten than wheat, so you might want to add 1 T. vital wheat gluten if the final bread tends to fall apart. Or, just substitute a little less, like 3/4 C. of each flour.

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Hey Vernon!
So, I am curious why all my posts from my blog get all jumbled up when they are uploaded to the family website. Is there something I can do when i'm creating them on my blog that will fix that? or is there nothing I can do and it will always be that way? But I noticed that Lauren's posts look good...so there must be something I can do. Please let me know and if it is something complicated write an email to Charles explaining it to him: charles@rexburg.com.

Wow, Vern!!

After Christmas I am definitely going to try this bread recipe. Thanks for going through all the effort to get a manna like bread! Who could ask for a better brother?!