|4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced||1 cup lukewarm water|
|3 cups water||1 teaspoon sugar|
|1/2 cup oil or butter||2 tablespoons dry yeast|
|1/2 cup sugar||pinch of ginger|
|1 tablespoon salt||2 cups natural bran|
|1 1/2 cup buttermilk||12 cups white flour|
Hint: add a pinch of ginger to the yeast mixture as Madame Benoit, Quebec's famous cook says it stimulated the yeast's activity.
Cook the potatoes in 3 cups of water until very tender. Drain off the water into a large measuring cup, adjusting the volume to 3 cups. Pour into a large bowl and set aside. To the hot potato water, add the oil, 1/2 cup sugar, salt and buttermilk. Mash the potatoes well and add to the mixture in the bowl. Cool to lukewarm.
Combine 1 cup lukewarm water, 1 teaspoon sugar, yeast and ginger and let stand 10 minutes. Add to the cooled potato mixture. Stir in the bran and 4 cups of flour and beat with an electric mixer on high speed for 1 minute. Mix in the remaining flour 1 cup at a time using a wooden spoon. You may not need all the flour. When the dough is stiff enough to be handled, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it for 10 to 12 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl, brush the top with oil and cover with waxed paper and a tea towel. Let rise in a warm place until double in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch down. Shape into 4 double loaves and place in well-greased 9" x 5" x 3" pans. Let rise until doubled, about 50 minutes in a warm place. Bake at 425 F. for 15 minutes, reducing heat to 375F for 25 minutes or until well browned. Remove from pans at once and cool on wire racks.