Friday, October 21, 2011

Sweet Potato Bread

Remember the giant sweet potato our neighbors gave us? It's back!  I had already made Rosemary Sweet Potato Biscuits with a chunk of this giant spud.  I made a batch of soup yesterday for lunch (more on that in a later post) and thought it would be great to have some kind of fresh bread with it.  While deciding what to make I ran across this recipe for Sweet Potato Bread on Hodgson Mill's website.  I wanted bread.  I had most of the world's biggest sweet potato still sitting around.  So I made this bread. 

Let me say that I have never made homemade bread before, other than quick breads.  I still have a slight phobia of working with yeast, but I mustered up some confidence and set out to make a loaf of my own.  And it was awesome!  It turns out that homemade bread is so much better than store bought.  I had a hard time having just one piece.  Okay, just two.  I really wanted to hold that loaf with both hands and just start attacking it.  Let this be my warning to you. 

And it actually wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  Here's how it went down:

The first step is to dissolve the yeast in warm water. 

Let it set for 10 minutes.  After that time it should have about doubled in volume, be kind of foamy/frothy, and smell nice and yeasty.  Hmm...apparently yeasty is a real word!

While the yeast is doing its thing, combine the milk, honey, and butter and heat to 135 degrees.  I used a measuring cup so I could use my microwave to heat it .  I like the easy way!

Combine your milk mixture (which is tasty by the way!) with the sweet potatoes in a blender or food processor.  I used the food processor.
Add the whole wheat flour and salt and mix well.  The original recipe didn't say to use a food processor for adding the flour, but I did anyway.  I like the easy way!
Add the yeast and egg white.  Mix it again.  Add the rest of the flour and mix until you have a soft dough.
Now for the kneading.  You can continue to use the food processor at this point, but I switched to my stand mixer with the dough hook and kneaded the dough for 4 minutes.  Remember from our pizza crust that kneaded dough should be soft, smooth, and should bounce back when pressed.
Move the dough to a greased bowl and coat with oil.  I sprayed mine with cooking spray.  I like the easy way!  Cover the bowl with a damp towel, place it in a warm spot, and let the dough rise for about an hour.  Remember that now is the time we take a walk.  Or do dishes.  I guess it's up to you!
And we're back.  Punch the dough down and move it to a floured surface or a sheet of waxed paper.  I used wax paper because...I like the easy way!  To shape the dough, first form it into a rectangle.  Then fold it into thirds like a business letter.  Pinch the seams to seal it.  See.  It's not so hard!
Place your dough in a greased loaf pan with the seam side down.  Once again, cover and let it rise for about another hour. 
Maybe you can do some aerobics this time.  You'll probably be pretty tired after about 45 minutes, so go ahead and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  When the dough is done rising, bake for 30-35 minutes.  It will be nice and golden brown.  It will smell delicious, and so will your home.
Let the bread cool, then dig in.  And be so glad you did aerobics today.

Sweet Potato Bread
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (115 degrees)
3/4 cup skim milk
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg white
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour*
Dissolve yeast to warm water and let sit for 10 minutes.
In a large measuring cup or saucepan, combine milk, butter, and honey. Heat to 135 degree F. (1 1/2 minutes in a microwave or 4 minutes in a saucepan). Puree mashed sweet potato and liquid in a blender. Pour this puree into a large mixing bowl, add the salt and whole wheat flour, and mix well (you may use a mixer).
Then add yeast and egg whites and mix well. Add the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and satiny, 10 minutes by hand or 4 minutes in an electric mixer or food processor fitted with a dough hook. Put dough in greased bowl, turning to coat thoroughly. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm draft-free place until dough rises just above tops of pans, about 1 hour.
Knead down. turn onto a lightly floured surface. Let rest for 10 minutes. Grease a 9X5X3-inch loaf pan. Shape dough into a loaf and put into pan, seam side down. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until dough rises just above tops of pan, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove bread immediately and let cool on rack. When completely cooled, the bread can be sliced and frozen.
*The original recipe called for 1 cup of bread flour and 1/2 cup AP flour.  I didn't have bread flour so I used all AP.  It was still delicious!

Adapted from Hodgson Mill

No comments:

Post a Comment