Warm Loaf for a Chilly Autumn Day: Rich Honey and Ginger Sweet Potato Sandwich Bread

“My dream is to become a farmer. Just a Bohemian guy pulling up his own sweet potatoes for dinner.” Lenny Kravitz

Scientists believe that sweet potato was domesticated thousands of years ago in Central America. After his first voyage to the Americas in 1492, Christopher Columbus took sweet potatoes to Europe. The crop was introduced into China in the late 16th century and spread through Asia, Africa, and Latin America during the 17th and 18th centuries. It’s hardy vegetable, has broad adaptability, and its planting material can be multiplied quickly from very few roots. It is now grown in more developing countries than any other root crop.Sweet potatoes produce more food per acre than any other cultivated plant – including corn and the Irish potato. They are more nourishing than regular potatoes because they contain more sugars and fats, they are a universal food all over the world, baked, candied, boiled and fried. Of the 200 or more varieties there are two main types. The “Jersey” and related varieties having dry mealy flesh, whilst the other type is more watery but richer in sugar and more soft and gelatinous when cooked.

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When added to bread, sweet potato creates and additional layer of deep, earthy sweet flavour and keeps the soft, sandwich loaf type varieties fresh for significantly longer.

“I bought a big bag of potatoes and it’s growing eyes like crazy. Other foods rot. Potatoes want to see.” Bill Callahan

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Ingredients
235 ml water
15 g fresh yeast
120 g whole wheat flour
1 medium sweet potato, cooked and mashed
42 g honey
2 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 large egg
2 tablespoons olive oil
300 g bread flour
3 tbsp rolled oats
2 teaspoons salt

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Method
Combine the water, yeast, and whole wheat flour; stir to form a batter. Allow to ferment for 1 hour. Stir the sweet potato mash into the ferment with a spoon or fork. Mix in the honey, egg, ginger and olive oil, then add the bread flour along with the salt. Mix then knead the dough for 10 minutes (if it is too soft add some additional bread flour). Place the dough in a bowl at room temperature, cover it with plastic wrap, and allow it to ferment for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Shape the risen dough into an oiled sandwich loaf pans. Allow the bread to rise for 45 minutes; meanwhile, preheat an oven to 200-210 degrees C. Bake the bread for about 45-60 minutes, rotating it twice for even baking. Remove the loaf from their pan and place it on a wire rack to cool before slicing.

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