Sweet Potato Bread...

>> Monday, 30 August 2010

I know that bread is one of things that can seem like too much effort and mess to make when there are perfectly good, instant options at the supermarket. 95% of the time I will go along with this and just buy those options too. Maybe trying part-baked in some warped attempt to apply domesticity to the pre-produced product and create the smell of warm, bready-comfort throughout the house.

So, I'm not going to argue that you should make this rather than buy bread because it tastes better. It's nice, but with this as an argument, shop-made will often win.

Instead, I think you should make this because the experience of making bread is equally as fulfilling as eating it. Taking the time to mix all your ingredients, 10 minutes of slow kneading, 14 hours of proving and 30 minutes of baking. That's patience. It's a calming, soothing process that focuses on quality and rushing around. It makes me think about that line from a Rudyard Kipling poem "If you can keep your head while all around you are losing theirs".

Take some time for yourself, pummel out your frustrations on the dough and sleep off any stresses whilst it proves. In the morning, wake calm and relaxed and in 25 minutes your home will be filled with the scent of freshly baked bread. You can't get that from a Hovis loaf now can you?????

Sweet Potato Bread

Ingredients (makes 1 large loaf)
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 150g sweet potato
  • 25g fresh yeast (see Top Tips)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 250ml warm water

Step 1: Boil the sweet potato in its skin for about 30 minutes. Leave to cool, remove skin and set-aside

Step 2: Place the flour and potato in a large bowl and mix with hands, squeezing the potato into the mix as you go

Step 3: Crumble in the yeast

Step 4: Dissolve the salt in the warm water and add 2/3 to the flour mix. Combine with our hands adding more water as required until you have a firm but not sticky dough

Step 5: Flour your surface and begin kneading. Start by pummeling down the dough with your fist and then folding the dough in half. Repeat this pummel and fold process for about 10 minutes until your dough turns almost elastic

Step 6: Shape into a round loaf, place on a baking sheet and leave to prove for 14 hours

Step 7: Cook in the oven at 220c/GM 7 for about 25 minutes and leave to cool

Step 8: Slice or tear into generous pieces and serve

Top Tips
  • You can get fresh yeast free from your supermarket!!! Just pop your head behind the bakery section and ask for some and they'll get it for you. Who said nothing comes for free?!
  • I think this would benefit enormously from a little garlic oil and chopped rosemary. I'll be adding this to the dough next time I make it. You could always to this first time...
Helen x

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