I learned the joys of putting potatoes in bread during my time in the Napa Valley, so the flavors here are resonant of that magical place, but don't be afraid to change up the herbs or play with nuts and olives. You can't mess it up. Well, you can — I certainly have more than once — but you know what I mean. You can do this by hand, but it's messy, so I wrote this recipe with directions for using a stand mixer. —Duff
Peel and coarsely chop the potatoes. Squeeze the garlic from the garlic head into a medium bowl and add the potatoes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast, 2 cups warm water, and the sugar and let the yeast bloom for about 7 minutes, or until bubbly. Add the olive oil, potatoes, garlic, salt, and flours. Mix on medium speed for 15 minutes.
Turn the dough out into an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Punch it down and let it rise again for 1 hour. Punch it down again and cut the dough in half. Shape each loaf into a ball, place them on a baking sheet, and let them rise for 45 minutes, or until nice and poofy.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush the loaves with olive oil and sprinkle them with a wee bit of salt and some rosemary. Cut a big slash across the top of each and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the loaves are a nice rich brown and sound hollow when tapped. Let cool on a wire rack. Never refrigerate!
Bake potatoes (preferably russet potatoes — the big brown ubiquitous ones) in the oven. Rub the potatoes with a bit of olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Stick 'em with a fork like 20 times all over the place to let the steam out. Place them on a baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees F for 1 hour. The skin will get nice and crispy and you can scoop out the potato meat really easy, and also enjoy the skins as a snack while you bake. (As a poor culinary student, I always saved my potato skins as dinner. How did that bacon end up in my backpack? That's weird!
You should know how to roast garlic — it may save your life one day. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Chop off the pointy end of the head of the garlic and expose the cloves. Drizzle olive oil right onto the exposed garlic, wrap it tightly with aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes. Really, though, don't time it — just roast them until they smell amazing. You'll know it when you smell it. You'll also know very quickly if you over-roast it — it'll smell awful and burnt. Throw that crap away and start over.