Sweet Potato Braid
This richly flavored bread will add homespun beauty to your holiday table.
Serves: 16Hands-on: 35 minutesTotal: 3 hours 5 minutesDifficulty: Medium
- 2 1⁄4 tsp. active yeast (1 packet)
- 1⁄4 cup water, warm (110° to 115°F)
- 3 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave syrup
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups sweet potatoes, baked, peeled, and mashed
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. soy milk
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 2 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- Additional soy milk, for brushing
- In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes to get bubbly. Stir in maple syrup, oil, sweet potatoes, and 1 cup soy milk. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole-wheat flour, unbleached flour, and salt. Gradually add wet ingredients to flour mixture, stirring until well incorporated.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, adding all-purpose flour as needed. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Punch dough down and turn out onto a floured surface. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces.
- Shape each piece of dough into a 1-inch-thick rope. To make each loaf, place 3 dough ropes on a lightly greased baking sheet. Braid ropes together with no loose gaps between them, but not too tightly. Pinch the ends together and tuck underneath the loaf. Brush with remaining soy milk.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until golden brown and a hollow sound is produced when loaves are tapped.