Purple sweet potato sourdough bread in just little over three hours.
A few days ago, while speaking with an old friend over the phone, he related that he and his wife now eat plenty of purple sweet potatoes. He said that this potato has one of the highest amount of anti oxidants, in addition to many vitamins and minerals.
This got me curious and I wondered if I could use this in my breads. I searched the internet and found a few recipes of breads using purple sweet potatoes. The one that caught my attention was entitled ‘The Blushing Boule’! But the recipe was so detailed down to the temperature of the dough and the proofing environment; and to produce this loaf, the writer suggests that it would take 19 to 20 hours, ie. overnight.
Determined not to be discouraged, I started formulating my own recipe based on the ingredients and modifying some of this. The recipe I came up with takes slightly over three hours to produce the bread that you see here. I took pains to make this recipe as simple as possible so as to encourage more bakers to try out this bread and benefit from it’s rich, natural source of anti oxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Conditions can vary greatly with water content of your flour, the humidity of the room or kitchen, the temperature etc. So you need to adjust to find the optimal set of conditions to suite your situation.
I hope many will try out the recipe.
- 400g Unbleached Bread Flour
- 170g purple sweet potato, boiled and mashed
- 260g filtered water
- 50g Sourdough Starter ( 1:1)
- 2 tsp organic cane sugar
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
- Additional flour for dusting
- Weigh a small tuber of the purple sweet potato that’s about 170g. More or less makes small difference. Wash the potato using your fingers under running water and then immerse this in a pot of boiling water and boil to cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Do not remove the skin. When you can poke a fork easily into the tuber, it’s cooked. Remove the potato, mash it with the skin into pulp and let cool. The skin contains lots of minerals and vitamins.
- In a KitchenAid bowl, measure in 400g unbleached bread flour. Add in about 1/2 portion of the water into a hole in the dough, and shift the dough over the water to start autolysis.
- To the rest of the water, add in the organic cane sugar and 1 1/2 tsp dry yeast and 50 g of sourdough starter. Let this ferment for about 20 minutes as well.
- At the ending of 20 or 25 minutes, when the yeast water mixture is very active, transfer this to the KA bowl with the flour, and using a dough hook, mix at medium speed for 10 to 15 minutes. Half way through, add in the mashed purple sweet potato and sea salt.
- When the dough is silky smooth and comes off the sides of the bowl, transfer it to a floured mat and fold a few times before forming a ball. Proof covered for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, fold several times again, and proof another 30 minutes. Repeat this at the end of the 30 minutes, and do a final shaping of the dough. Transfer to a floured banneton and proof again covered for 30 to 45 minutes.
- During this time, heat up the Dutch Oven (without the lid,) inside your oven, to 245˚C.
- At the end of the proofing time when the dough has risen considerably, flip the dough onto a baking sheet, and then spray water over it before scoring the dough. Place the dough by lifting it with the edges of the baking paper, and gently lower this into the hot DO. Cover the DO and place this back in the oven. Reduce the temperature to 240˚C and bake for 30 minutes.
- At the end of 30 minutes, remove the DO lid, and bake further at 220˚C for 10 minutes. I prefer to remove the loaf and place this directly on my hot baking stone in the oven.
- When brown, remove the hot loaf. Check the internal temperature if you wish. Mine was 98.1˚C, and then let it cool on a metal rack before slicing!.
400g Bread flour undergoing autolysis
Water, yeast, cane sugar and SD starter mixture.
Final folding and the banneton.
Dough with the seam side up.
After proofing about 40 minutes.
Dough inverted on to baking paper.
30 minutes after baking, remove the DO lid to bake 10 more minutes to brown crust.
Final temperature in dough 98.1˚C
Boule sliced into half, showing crumb.
Bubbles tend to form nearer the top end of the boule during proofing.
The lower end of the boule tends to be denser as a result. So by inverting the boule, the lower denser portion of the dough is now on the top and the bubbles below can push the dough above upwards during the oven rise for that added lift and height!
A close-up of the cut surface of the crumb and crust.
“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”
- Ludwig van Beethoven –