A Holiday Bread Recipe Gift
It's not sourdough, and it's not a technical (weighed ingredients) type of recipe. It is a family holiday tradition that I bake each year, for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and upon request for a special birthday, or homecoming. It's just thrown together, pretty much any old way, using U.S. standard measurements. My family & friends LOVE this bread, and I can think of no one better to share the recipe with, than those here at The Fresh Loaf. Merry Christmas!
*Kitchen Hack - the night before you make your bread, bake your whole sweet potatoes (usually 2 medium/small ones are enough) poked with a fork, on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet @350* for an hour, or until they ooze their juices & the juices start to caramelize on the parchment paper. Leave them to cool on the counter, over night.
Sweet Potato Bread
1 & 1/2 c sweet potato (Roughly 1.5 cups. A little more/less is fine.)
2 c milk (room temp)
1/2 c butter (room temp)
1/4 c brown sugar (packed firm)
2 large eggs (room temp)
2 pkts instant yeast (4.5 tsp)
6+ c bread flour (yesterday it was more like 8 cups)
1 Tbsp salt
Peel the skins off of your sweet potatoes and put them in a large bowl. Peeling is super easy, you just do it with your hands. No peeler necessary. Pour in the milk. Add the stick of butter, brown sugar, yeast, and eggs. Now, get messy. Just sink your hands into it and make a slurry of sloppy goo, making sure to mush up the sweet potato & stick of butter pretty evenly. Add the flour and salt. Mix to form a knead-able dough. (it's messy, so I knead it right in the mixing bowl.)
You will need more flour, based on the moisture content of your sweet potatoes, which can vary. Keep adding flour, until you have a very soft, slightly sticky dough. I hand knead, which takes about ten minutes before my dough passes the window-pane test.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and bulk rise for two hours, at room temperature.
Divide into 6 equal hunks of dough (I do break out my gram scale for this part). Roll each hunk of dough into a long slender shape. Take 3 pieces, and braid them. Repeat, for your second loaf. Place both braids on a large cookie sheet that has been sprayed with no-stick, or coated with shortening, and lightly sprinkled with kosher salt. (I like using coarse ground kosher salt as a substitute for corn meal)
Give your braided dough a final rise, on the counter @ room temp, covered with plastic wrap, for 45 minutes.
Bake @ 350* for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush tops with melted butter.
Allow to rest, for 2 hours before slicing.
I will post pictures of yesterday's loaves, for Christmas Eve.