The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Purple Sweet Potato Bread

isand66's picture

Purple Sweet Potato Bread

I promised a couple of my friends that I would bring them some bread when we met up for lunch this week.  I had a few purple sweet potatoes in the pantry and wanted to use them in this bake.  The last time I used them the color did not come through very well, so I upped the amount of potato to 35% and the color really came out perfect.  The purple sweet potato is not as high in water content as the orange style and not as sweet, but it does add a wonderful texture to the bread that is worth trying.

I also used some freshly milled whole wheat flour with the bran sifted out using a #40 sieve as well as some spelt, also sifted.  My procedure is to then re-mill the flour at the finest setting which I have been finding really works well.

Since I was gifting these I didn't get a crumb shot of the loaves, but I made one small roll to try for myself and you can see the wonderful purple tinted open crumb further below.

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.

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.  I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.   You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours  and the sweet potato with 90% of the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, olive oil, salt and the balance of the water and mix on low for 5 minutes.   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 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  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.

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.

Below is the nice moist and colorful crumb.

Some photos from the gardens for your viewing pleasure :).



















Benito's picture

Gorgeous looking bread you’ve made, sounds delicious.

isand66's picture

Glad you like it.  It’s very tasty too!

JBT's picture

Beautiful bread! By an extraordinary coincidence (or perhaps great minds think alike?) I logged in today to post about the purple sweet potato bread I baked this morning. I greatly admire your results and next time might try your method. :)

isand66's picture

Thanks for your kind words.  I really love the way this one turned out.  I'm baking it again today since I gave these away.  Look forward to seeing how yours came out.  

Happy Baking!


dabrownman's picture

Matches the color of the crumb perfectly.  Love the openness if the crumb too.  I see a T- Rex slash on there too.  Very nice all the way around.

The best to you and yours - happy baking

isand66's picture

Appreciate the kind words and glad you liked it.  The crumb was nice and moist and I was very happy with the color.

Best regards to Lucy and the rest of the family.



Elsie_iu's picture

color-wise. They share the same beauty too. The pastel purple crumb is lovely! It looks so much better than my greyish purple purple rice bread (even at just 10%!). I can only comfort myself by thinking that the darker the color, the more the antioxidant anthocyanin and the healthier it gets... 

Lots of whole grains and mashed sweet potatoes this time! Must be very pleasant to eat :)

isand66's picture

I was very happy and surprised that the color was so purple.  I purposely upped the potato content to try and see if it would give me a deeper color and it did.  I gave both of these away to some friends and only had a small roll to taste myself.  The taste was excellent and worth making again when I get some more purple potatoes.  I have to go to Whole Foods market to get them as they are not common in the other markets closer to my house.

If you can get some by you give it a try.  Make sure to roast the potatoes so you get more sweetness out of them rather than boiling or steaming which makes the potatoes pretty bland.

Happy Baking!