For me, November evokes happy memories of the Thanksgiving Day holiday, time spent with my brothers and family and food. Sweet potatoes are central to those memories, none more vivid in my mind than the classic southern-style pie with some vanilla ice cream, candied baked with bourbon or even soup. Although those memories remain strong, when it comes to holiday cooking I’m not much of a traditionalist. I just can’t do the same foods over and over again, year after year. I’ll hit on some of the expected notes but beyond that I like to mix things up.
So, I’m dedicating this month to what I’m just going to call a savory sweet potato bread. A bit of holiday tradition but prepared in a way I’ve not had before. As usual, I’ll start by searching my baking books and the web for recipes that seem to capture the kind of bread I’ve got in mind. Since I’ve been reading Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Bakers Apprentice recently, I’ll start with his recipe for Basic Sourdough Bread and then just search the web for others.
One thing I noticed right away is that a search for sweet potato bread returns a lot more recipes for sweetened quick breads than the naturally leavened, country-style bread I’m interested in baking. Eventually, I came across three that were close to what I was looking for:
- Sweet Potato Sourdough from Wild Yeast – comprehensive site covering all kinds of breads but unfortunately, it seems that regular updates ended in 2014
- Sweet Potato Sourdough from Bakers & Best – site described as “your one stop shop for delicious bread, meals, and University of Michigan photoshops”
- Sweet Potato Yeast Bread from GardenDish – site focused on “helping anyone curious about plant-based cuisine find inspiration, guidance, and support in their journey to a plant-healthy diet”
I’ll follow with an update in mid-November to let you know how things are going and finish with a summary the last Wednesday of November.
This should be fun. Till then.