Serious Eats: Recipes

Bread Baking: Sweet Potato Bread

[Photograph: Donna Currie]

When I go to a grocery store, after I've found the things I came for, I always scout around for interesting new ingredients. When a new ingredient is something I can use in bread, I silently "squeee" a little bit before I toss my prize into my cart.

My latest find was at Whole Foods and the ingredient was at the same time exotic and familiar. Sweet potato flour. Squeeeee!

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I've used white potatoes in bread, and I've used instant mashed potato flakes. And I've used winter squash purée. For no good reason, I've never used mashed sweet potatoes in bread, but this was even better. This is flour, so it's shelf stable. And since it's dry there's no need to make late adjustments for the unknown amount of liquid in mashed potatoes.

White potatoes make bread fluffy but they add no flavor. When I added squash to bread dough, it made the bread a very pale orange, and the flavor was very subtle. But like dried herbs that are stronger than fresh ones, the dried sweet potatoes in the flour added a very distinctive flavor. The color wasn't a bright orange like my double-tomato flatbreads. Instead, it was an earthy orange-tinted light brown.

I let this dough rise twice, but you could skip that second rise and proceed directly to forming and baking. I used active dry yeast here, but instant would be fine as well. I used the same snipping method for slashing this bread as I did for my Dressed-Up White Bread.

About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. She most recently launched the blog Cookistry and has now joined the Serious Eats team with a weekly column about baking.

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