The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sweet Potato-Onion Cranberry Bread

isand66's picture

Sweet Potato-Onion Cranberry Bread

I had some leftover purple sweet potatoes and caramelized onions so threw this bread together.  I thought the cranberries would make a nice addition to the flavor profile along with the nice nutty fresh milled spelt flour.

I gave a loaf to my good friend who happens to be a professional photographer at Wes Steinberg Studios.  He did me a favor and did some head-shots for my LinkedIn profile which came out excellent (or at least as good as the subject matter would allow :)).  I asked him to shoot some photos of the bread as well and I added some of them in this post.  I think you can easily tell which ones he did and I did using my Iphone.

Well, I guess the bread tasted pretty good since he called me up the next day and asked me to bake 3 more loaves for Turkey Day!

The crumb was nice and moist from the yogurt, sweet potatoes and onions and the loaf was perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches or turkey.


Note: Water content of the Sweet Potatoes is approximately 59 grams which is not reflected in the overall hydration but was taken into account when formulating the amount of water to use.

Download the BreadStorm File Here

Levain Directions

Mix all the Levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours and 85% or so, of the water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), olive oil, potatoes, yogurt, and the rest of the water and mix on low for 4 minutes.  Now add the cranberries and onions and mix until incorporated about 25 seconds or so.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 1.5 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (If you have a proofer you can set it to 80 degrees and follow above steps but you should be finished in 1 hour).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1 hour (Spelt tends to proof very quickly, so if you don't use Spelt I would leave the dough out for 1.5 to 2 hours).    Remove the dough and shape as desired.   Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  The dough will take about 1 hour depending on your room temperature (if not using Spelt it will take 1.5 to 2 hours).  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 540 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 25-35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.


Danni3ll3's picture

Great combo that I would never have thought of putting together. That being said, it sounds delicious!!! 

And I love the pictures! To be honest, I am not totally sure which are who’s (whose?)-Need some grammatical help here... Great job!

isand66's picture

You are too kind.  I really liked the way this one came out.  It was nice and moist without the porridge addition, which is what I was trying to accomplish.

The photos on the round cutting board are mine, and the others are his.

Again, glad you like it and thanks for your comment.


Danni3ll3's picture

just as nice as his! 

isand66's picture

😁You're too kind!

Elsie_iu's picture

yet I much prefer the garden background with natural lights. It just looks much more appealing to me and it has that Ian touch. No offense to the photographer at all but the photos he took look a bit like advertisement posters (not necessarily a good or bad thing). I find the ones you took more "real" :)

What a sweet bread for thanksgiving! Let me count: cranberries, caramelized onions, sweet potatoes and spelt. The bread has so many ingredients that belong to the holiday. No wonder your photographer friend requested more. Now what you could do is throw in some toasted popcorn flour to amp the thanksgiving flavour up further!

Now what should I include in my thanksgiving-inspired bread to make it unique?  You've used so many ideas up already...

isand66's picture

You are too kind about the bread and the photos.  I don't have any Popcorn flour...yet 😉! 

I'm sure you will come up with something unique as well.  You don't seem to have any trouble doing that!

I'm about to put another bread in the oven shortly.  This one is not quite as crazy....but my normal is not the same as most peoples!

Have a great weekend.


pmccool's picture

If you'd included some diced turkey, you would have had Thanksgiving dinner in every bite.  Minus the turkey gravy, of course.  (Which I wouldn’t be surprised to see in one of your breads.)

That's a gorgeous bread, no matter who took the pictures.  And the flavors must be heavenly. 


isand66's picture

Turkey gravy......interesting idea 😉.  Appreciate your kind words Paul.  It certainly was a very tasty one and I was very happy with how it turned out.

Have a great weekend and look forward to seeing some of your bakes soon.


trailrunner's picture

Lovely combination and I can't tell his photos from yours :)  You are talented in more ways than one !   c

isand66's picture

Thanks so much Caroline.  I always try to make the bread look nice and taste good of course!

Happy Baking!  Hope to see some posts from you soon.  Are you home or off traveling?

DesigningWoman's picture

And at the same time come up with this combination that sounds like a natural? Lovely as ever, and I can just taste that crumb. Surprised you didn't use gravy as some of the liquid 😄. 

I've just put together a 1.2.3 loaf with polenta... not really porridge yet, but I'll get there one of these days.

About the photography: I like the moody lighting your friend used, but to be honest, your images are just as good. In fact, I thought the ones one the round board were his!

Great stuff all around.

Enjoy it!


MontBaybaker's picture

Ian, that bake will be great on its own, or as the start of a post-Thanksgiving sandwich (my preferred way to eat turkey).  Thanks for another well-crafted recipe!

isand66's picture

Glad you like it and hope you try it yourself and let me know how it comes out.

Happy Baking!


Cedarmountain's picture

I agree with Paul's comment...your bread is a real all-in-one-bite Thanksgiving bread minus the turkey and gravy!  And with leftovers after Thanksgiving I think it would make for a delicious Thanksgiving themed hot turkey sandwich, served open faced, toasted with turkey, gravy!  Beautlful bread Ian, very nice!