Rose Levy Beranbaum’s sweet potato bread

This is my first recipe out of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s tome of a cookbook, The Bread Bible.dsc03750

I have five recipes flagged to try out.  My review of her book is here.

Since I’m going to be a little occupied tomorrow, I decided to make a recipe that didn’t require a long rise or a poolish to start.  One of my flagged recipes, the sweet potato bread, would be ready in approximately 7 hours.  I’m off work today, so that’s what I picked.IMG_6154.JPG  Another bonus is that it uses up some of our million sweet potatoes (thanks CSA!).img_6156

For this recipe (makes one loaf) you will need:


For the sponge:

170g sweet potato (one medium)

117g AP flour

132g room temperature water

13g honey

1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

For the final dough:

180g AP flour

20 grams dry milk powder

3/4 teaspoon instant yeast

18g melted butter

125g mashed sweet potato

Prick your sweet potato all over with a fork.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 50 minutes until soft.  Remove from oven and let cool, then peel and mash.  Mix up the sponge in a large bowl and let rise for one hour.img_6157

I totally messed this up and instead of measuring out my water, I dumped in a whole glass of water without thinking.  So my sponge was the consistency of a very thin batter, and I ended up having to add a ton of flour to the final dough to make up for it.img_6158

Now add your final dough ingredients to the sponge.img_6159img_6160

I probably added an additional two cups of flour to my dough.  I transferred it to my stand mixer and used the dough hook for 15 minutes or so.  Then, when it seemed like it just wasn’t going to have good structure, I kneaded in another half cup or so of flour on the counter with my hands.  When it was finally feeling like a good consistency and holding together, I let it rise for 2 hours in an oiled bowl.img_6167

It rose very well, considering there was no observable activity in the sponge.img_6168At this point, the recipe calls for gently folding the dough a very times and returning it to the bowl for a second rise of 1.5-2 hours.img_6169After that rise:img_6170

Then I gently rolled up the dough and transferred it to a large buttered bread pan for an additional 1.5-2 hours.  I covered it with a tea towel.img_6171After 1.5 hours, I preheated the oven to 550 degrees F with a pizza stone on a low rack and a cast iron skillet on the floor of the oven.  After 2 hours, the dough looked like this:img_6177Beranbaum does not have you score the bread.  I put the bread pan on the rack with the pizza stone and threw about a cup of ice cubes into the cast iron skillet.  img_6179img_6180img_6181Then I bumped the temperature down to 475 degrees F and baked for five minutes. Then I bumped it down to 375 for 15 minutes, after which time I rotated the dough and baked an additional 25 minutes until it was golden brown and the top was hard.img_6182img_6184img_6186

Sadly, I guess I didn’t take a crumb shot before it all got eaten.  Which is a shame because this bread was nice and golden inside.  It had a tight crumb and was very soft.  There was no hint of sweet potato flavor.  I used it for Little Bread Dude’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches this week with no complaints.  If you have sweet potatoes to use up, this is a good recipe for that!

One thought on “Rose Levy Beranbaum’s sweet potato bread

  1. Slow Learner says:

    The fact that you have none left and therefore can’t post a picture speaks very well of the bread! At some point I’d be interested to know which are your 2-3 favorite breads, and which breads does Little Bread Dude most enjoy (besides store-bought! Kid doesn’t know how good he has it!).


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