The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Purple Sweet Potato Black Sesame Sourdough 84.5% hydration

Benito's picture
Benito

Purple Sweet Potato Black Sesame Sourdough 84.5% hydration

You might know that this is one of my favourite flavour combinations that I’ve baked a few times now.  However, being me I keep tinkering to see if I can make it better than before, it doesn’t always work out that way.

I made some changes, I haven’t been happy with my lazy preparation of the sweet potatoes so instead of microwaving them, I used the instant pot this time, 18 mins at normal pressure.  This results in a nicer sweet potato that is easy to remove the peel and mash.  The resulting mash is more moist and much better than the drying effects of microwaving.  I did several and froze the mash in portions for future use.

I increased the hydration to 84.5% and pushed bulk quite far, for me in total 80% rise when the bench rest after shaping is included.  I wanted to see if I could achieve a more open crumb than I usually get.

 

Total flour 409 g

Levain 20% 

6 g starter 36 g water 36 g red fife overnight build

 

Saltolyse overnight

81% bread flour 331 g

19% red fife flour 41 g 

Salt 2% 8.18 g

Water 300 g

I added 8 g water during bassinage 84.5% hydration

 

160 g purple sweet potato

 

The dough was developed with initial Rubaud mixing when the levain was added to the saltolysed dough in the morning and 8 g of additional water added.  Further gluten development with 200 slap and folds were done.

30 mins later a bench letterfold was done

30 mins lamination was performed adding both the sweet potato and black sesame seeds.

three sets of coil folds were performed at approximately 30 mins intervals each time waiting until the dough fully relaxed.

Bulk was ended when the aliquot jar reached 60% rise.

Dough shaped into a batard and placed in a banneton and left on the counter for another 60 mins until the aliquot jar reached 80% rise.

Cold Retard until the next day.

 

Preheat oven to 500ºF with dutch oven inside.

Once at 500ºF remove dough from banneton and score.  Brush with water and transfer to the dutch oven, drop the temperature to 450ºF and bake for 20 mins with the lid on.  Drop the temperature to 420ºF and continue to bake lid on for 10 mins.

Remove the lid and continue to bake in dutch oven for 10 mins lid off.

Remove from dutch oven and place on oven rack to complete bake additional 15-20 mins.

 

Post bake analysis.  I think that the combination of higher hydration and moist sweet potatoes along with the bulk pushed to 80% caused the flatter profile of this bake.  That being said, I’m not disappointed with the crumb which is generally more open than what I usually achieve.  At least I know I can achieve this style of crumb if I want to.  Well, I don’t know that I can achieve it consistently yet, more bakes will need to be done to confirm that.

 

I do still enjoy the flavour of this bread.  Regarding the baking, the additional 10 mins of baking with the lid on does, I’m convinced, lead to a thinner crust.  Removing the bread from the dutch oven for the final 15-20 mins of baking also helps thin the bottom crust.  I do need to be careful to fully baking when using this method because this bread was borderline a bit too moist in places where there was a lot of the sweet potato so an additional 5 mins might be needed when there are a lot of wet inclusions and higher hydration dough.

I also think I prefer the sweet potato when it is added earlier in the process to the dough to more evening distribute it.  But it was worthwhile trying this method to compare.

 

Comments

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Nice experimentation. I like to look of the crumb colour with the purple sweet potato in streaks; interesting.

Cheers,

Gavin

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks Gavin. I’m always tweaking things to see how doing things a bit differently might affect the outcome. One thing I do like is the altered baking with extended lid on baking. This I’m convinced can result in a thinner crust which I definitely like. Although I do like a more even crumb I’d like to be able to get a more open crumb like this when I want. I think I’m gradually figuring out how to achieve that. 

mdw's picture
mdw

I have a question about how you prepared the potatoes; Did you just toss them in the pressure cooker whole? And did you add any liquid? Purple sweet potato and bread are my toddler's two favorite foods so you have given me inspiration here. 

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you.  I’ve tried different methods of preparing sweet potatoes for my breads.  The best most flavorful way is to roast them covered with oil and the Al foil for an hour in the oven, however, I don’t like cranking on the oven just to do a sweet potato.  This time I decided to try pressure cooking them because it is fast and yet wouldn’t dry out the potatoes.  So with ½ cup of water in the pressure cook, place your whole sweet potatoes on a trivet in the pressure cooker, and pressure cook for 18 mins at the normal pressure.  That is the setting on the Instant Pot I used.

mdw's picture
mdw

Awesome, thank you for the info. We typically dice it and toss in oil, then use the toaster oven for about 20min (shaking about halfway through). This was our solution to the hot oven just to do a sweet potato problem. But the pressure cooker idea sounds great too.

isand66's picture
isand66

Great looking bake.  Nice idea to use the pressure cooker.

Are you calculating the water content of the sweet potatoes in your hydration?  If not then you actually have an even higher hydrated dough.  

Regards,

Ian

Benito's picture
Benito

Hi Ian, no I am not including the water content of the sweet potatoes in my bread’s hydration.  Is that something you usually do?  I wouldn’t know how much water the sweet potato would contribute, is there a number you usually use?

Thanks

Benny

isand66's picture
isand66

I usually 81% water content for sweet potatoes.  The purple variety tends to be drier so maybe use 50%.  It’s just an approximation and helpful to judge how hydrated you can expect the dough to be.  I always hold back some water and adjust as needed after the first mix.

Benito's picture
Benito

I’ve been adding the sweet potatoes after the dough has already been mixed.  I’ll just have to guess and not push bassinage so far if I’m adding the sweet potatoes.  Also using the pressure cooker made for better moister mashed potatoes and I didn’t account for that since my previous potatoes have been drier.  Something to remember for the next time.  Thanks Ian.

Benny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I have never seen purple sweet potatoes 🍠 in my local markets. Purple Viking potatoes yes but not the yam type only yellow and orange ones. It makes a striking bread with your hands involved. A spectacular bake I have to say. 
Interesting theory you have by extending the covered bake producing a thinner crust. I hope you explore this more to see how that works. 
By the way your flour% don’t add up to 💯 

Don

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks for picking up that error Don, as I changed the ratio of flours for this bake from previous I didn’t fully update those percentages.  I’ve edited the original post and my notes in case someone wants to bake this.  The purple sweet potatoes (Ube) are a bit hard to find.  I was able to find a reliable source finally sometime last year in Chinatown after looking in all sorts of grocery stores.  Silly that I didn’t look in Chinatown sooner.  I’m sure there are many small groceries in Chinatown that carry them, but I go to the one that is nearest and they always have them.  You could of course bake similar bread using the orange sweet potatoes and it would taste very similar but would lack that striking crumb.

I’ve now baked using the longer lid on procedure several times and each time I’ve felt that the crust was just a bit thinner than with the shorter lid on bake.  Of course with the seed crusts it is hard to tell but without the seed crust I’m getting convinced that the crust is thinner when the lid is on for longer.