Monday, 28 September 2015

Sweet potato bread

As cooler weather seeps into the edges of the day, veggie shops are brightening up with the pinkish purples of sweet potatoes. They'll get bigger and meatier as the season progresses, but the early petite entrants deserve a welcome too!

In my sweet potato bread, I have stuck to the principles of a potato bread, but added Nigella seeds as a sharp counterpoint to the sweetness of sweet potato.  

While on the topic of potato breads, I know that one day, a wise and enlightened baker will explain to me how potatoes, which have no gluten at all, yield an enviably open crumb when kneaded with flour. But until that happens, I will be as proud as a parent, and smile modestly when anyone oohs and aahs at the lightness of my bread. 


200 g sweet potato flesh, cooked and mashed
300 g wholewheat flour
1 t dry yeast
1 egg
200 ml tepid water
5 g sugar
8 g salt
1 T nigella seeds


Dissolve sugar in tepid water in a large bowl. Sprinkle yeast in and leave covered until frothy.

Add the remaining ingredients together to the frothy yeasty liquid and knead. Unlike other breads, you won't really ever get to the silky elastic stage. The most you can hope for is a less sticky dough than you began with. But the flour will get a bit stretchier and that's when you can give your arms a rest. 

Leave the dough aside (covered of course), until the dough rises visibly. It may not double, but as long as it nearly gets there, you're good to take this step off your to do list. Please ignore the reddish hue that the risen dough seems to have. It's the effect of indoor lighting and not the dough.


Shape the dough into a loaf or just plonk it into a greased or non-stick loaf tin. ( I am paranoid about prising off stuck loaves so I do both, i.e. grease non-stick tins. A 12"x4" tin worked perfectly for the quantity in this recipe. 

When the dough rises, slash the loaf and stick it into an oven preheated to 200ÂșC and bake for 40 minutes.

Lift out gently from the tin and set on a rack to cool.