This recipe was given to me by a sweet little woman from Hungary named Charlotte. I have the hand written recipe here on a purple note card. The bread is soft, delicious and makes a large loaf to feed many.
Peel and cut up the potatoes in water. She says to use 1 1/2 cups of water and save the water! You simmer the potatoes until soft. Use the cooking water for the bread. I usually use a little more water to have on hand, just in case. This recipe calls for a lot of flour so I usually end up using a bit more water than called for.
While the potatoes cool, put about 5 cups of flour and the salt in a large bowl. And the caraway seeds if using. "Take 3 Tablespoons of flour, mix with 1/2 cup of warm water and the yeast. Set aside 20-30 minutes in a warm place covered with a cloth". Thats not how I usually mix in my yeast, but today we are Hungarians! We do this the Hungarian way!
Rice the potatoes (with a potato ricer, that I picked up just for this recipe) into the bowl with the flour and salt and add the water from the pot. (If you have no ricer, just mash the potatoes up with a fork or potato masher real good).
Mix the flour, potatoes, potato water and salt with a wooden spoon or dough hook in a mixer. Add the additional flour as needed to make a soft dough, tacky, not too sticky. Knead for at least 10 minutes. Put dough in oiled bowl, oil the top, cover and let rise about 1 hour or until double.
Punch down dough and form into 1 or 2 round or oval loaves. Place on baking sheets, put into the cold oven and let rise again, about 20-30 minutes before you turn on oven to 400 degrees. Bake about 45 minutes or until golden in color. (this is if you are making 1 large loaf, as she usually does. If making 2 smaller loaves they will be done sooner.) "Bon appetite!!!". ***NOTE: I usually let the dough rise on the baking sheet while the oven preheats BEFORE putting it in. Ms. Charlotte actually lets the dough rise IN the oven, then after 20-30 minutes turns on the oven with the dough already STILL IN it. The dough warms up as the oven heats and starts baking as it preheats. Its your call which way you want to do it. I sometimes like to bake this bread in a dutch oven for a crustier loaf. (if letting rise on the counter, be sure to oil tops and cover with plastic. Remove of course, before baking.)