This buttermilk sweet potato bread is so full of flavors, a wonderful bread for your sandwiches and toasts!
Sweet potato bread has a lightly crisp crust and a wonderfully soft crumb, a bit like a brioche, although this is not a sweet bread. This bread is delicious at all times whether with butter and jam or as a sandwich with any savory topping.
This bread is made in a jiffy, no mixer involved or even long hard kneading. Start assembling all the ingredients with a spatula into a large bowl, once the dough comes together knead a bit on your counter and you are done. Then on to the proofing, the dough needs to double in volume for about 1.30 to 2 hours, then we shape the breads (This recipe is for 2 loaves) and again they need to double in volume in the molds.
A word about the yeast quantity I used: I have made a few buttermilk breads from around the web and they are all very plump, much plumper than mine. That is because the yeast quantity used is up to 1 1/2 tablespoons, personally I cannot have that much yeast, one slice of these beautiful breads gives me terrible stomach burns. For this recipe I used only 2 teaspoons of yeast, that does not add up to 1 tablespoon, and I find that my breads were very satisfactorily plump. So bear this in mind when making my sweet potato breads and if you prefer plumper breads, just increase the yeast quantity to 1 1/2 tbsp.
This bread freezes well, I like to slice it before freezing then I store it in my freezer into a Ziploc bag, this way we can help ourselves with a slice whenever we want and just pop it in our toaster.
1 (370g) Sweet potato, peeled and cut in small chunks
2 scant tsp (1 x 8 g. pocket) active dry yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
2 tbsp. (30g) unsalted butter
1 tbsp. kosher salt
6 cups (780 g.) all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp. cream
Optional: Sesame seeds
2 bread molds 9 x 5 inches (23 cm x 13.5 cm)
Into a medium saucepan, add the sweet potato chunks, cover with water, bring to boil and cook for about 30 minutes or until the sweet potato is very soft, drain, add to a bowl or shallow dish, puree thoroughly with a fork, set aside to cool
Into a small saucepan or into your microwave, heat the buttermilk and butter no more than up to 100°F (40°C), add the active dry yeast, sprinkle with sugar and set aside until the yeast is bubbly
Into a large bowl, add the flour and salt, stir, make a well in the center, pour the sweet potato puree and buttermilk mixture, start to push all the flour gently all the flour into the liquid and stir until it is all wet and chunky checking that there is no more dry flour at the bottom of the bowl
Sprinkle your counter with some flour and pour the dough, start to knead until your dough is soft and no longer sticky, form a ball and add it to a lightly buttered large bowl, turn it over to coat it on both sides, cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, set aside in a warm place to double in volume (I like to put it in my oven with just the light on), up to 2 hours
Gently deflate the dough with your fingers, halve it equally, flatten each half into a rectangle the long side the same size as the length of your mold, roll the dough up into a cylinder, with the seam side down tuck the extremities under the cylinder and add each cylinder into a mold, set aside to double in volume, about 45 to 60 minutes
Pre-heat your oven at 375°F (190°C), into a small bowl, mix together the egg yolk and cream, brush the top of the two loaves, if you like sprinkle some sesame or poppy seeds, into the oven for about 50 minutes
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