This is my first recipe out of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s tome of a cookbook, The Bread Bible.
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. Another bonus is that it uses up some of our million sweet potatoes (thanks CSA!).
For this recipe (makes one loaf) you will need:
For the sponge:
170g sweet potato (one medium)
117g AP flour
132g room temperature water
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.
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.
Now add your final dough ingredients to the sponge.
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.
It rose very well, considering there was no observable activity in the sponge.At 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.After that rise:
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.After 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:Beranbaum 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. Then 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.
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!