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Sweet Potato Shaker Bread

Whenever I'm seeking bread inspiration, I turn to my copy of Linda Collister & Anthony Blake's Country Bread of the World. Tonight, I used their Shaker Squash Bread as a jumping off point, creating a version with sweet potato puree and half the flour. The second part of that was accidental - I just blitzed on the amount of flour. Whoops. Turned out just fine.

1 C half and half
4 T unsalted butter
2-1/2 t active dry yeast
1/2 C organic granulated sugar
1 t smoked sea salt
5 C white whole wheat flour
1-1/2 C sweet potato puree (substitute pumpkin or squash puree, if you like)
2 large eggs

Heat half and half with butter in a pan until the butter has melted. Remove from heat. Add sugar and salt and leave to cool. Add yeast and let bloom for 5 minutes. Mix in half the flour. Add the puree and eggs. Stir in the remaining flour and knead until you have a firm dough that begins to pull away from the edge of the bowl.

Lightly grease the bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise for about 90 minutes. Punch the dough down, divide into three pieces, braid and fold into a buttered loaf pan. Let rise for another 60 minutes. At 50 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake uncovered for approximately 35 minutes until a nice golden brown. Turn onto a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

Bread is best eaten within 4 days, but freshly baked bread in our home barely lasts a day.


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