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

Serves: 16


  • 2¼ tsp. active yeast (1 packet)
  • ¼ cup water, warm (110°–115°F)
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave syrup
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1½ cups sweet potatoes, baked, peeled, and mashed
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. soymilk
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • Additional soymilk, for brushing


  • In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and allow to sit for 5–10 minutes to get bubbly. Stir in maple syrup, oil, sweet potatoes, and 1 cup soymilk. 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 1½ 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" 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 soymilk.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake 40–50 minutes, until golden brown and a hollow sound is produced when loaves are tapped.