Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Yeast Sweet Potato Bread Mini Loaves

I first made a full sized sweet potato bread loaf with home grown sweet potatoes when my mom visited last November for my daughter's band senior night. The bread had a beautiful orange color and tasted great toasted with soup. In December, I donated some mini loaves to my daughter's winter guard bake sale. My daughter's math teacher bought a loaf and asked for the recipe.

I used the "Spiced Pumpkin Bread" recipe in The Bread Box Recipe Book that came with my old Toastmaster bread machine as a rough guide the first two times I made this bread. I mixed the dough with my KitchenAid mixer and added flour, oil, yeast, and water as necessary to get the correct dough consistency. When I tried to write the recipe, I had trouble duplicating my original results.

After many loaves, I finally have a successful recipe to make mini loaves. My daughter gave her teachers loaves made with the following recipe as end of the year teacher gifts.

I think some of my problems writing the recipe were due to difference in sweet potatoes. Although my subsequent loaves had a nice golden color, none of them were the brilliant orange of the original loaves made with fresh sweet potatoes. Since sweet potatoes differ, if your dough is too sticky, slowly add more flour. If your dough is not elastic, gradually add more oil. If you want your bread to rise more, add more yeast the next time you make it or try letting it rise longer.


I like to buy yeast in bulk; the individual packages sold in most grocery stores are not cost effective. I am currently using Fleischmann's Instant Dry Yeast that I bought at Sam's where two 1-lb vacuum packed packages are sold together. I store in the unopened yeast in my cabinet. Once open, I store the yeast in a bottle in the refrigerator. To ensure the yeast is good, my first step in making bread is mixing the yeast with warm water and a little sugar and letting it sit until the yeast starts working (e.g., liquid gets frothy as bubbles begin to form).

Sweet Potatoes

To prepare the sweet potatoes for the bread, I cut them in half and pressure cook them for 10 minutes after the pressure cooker is at pressure.

Mini Pan Size

My mini pans measure 3 1/8" X 5 5/8" at the top, 2 1/4" X 4 3/4" at the bottom, and 2" deep.

1/4 CupWarm water
1 1/2 TbspYeast
1 CupSweet potato, mashed (about 1 large potato)
1/4 CupVegetable oil
1/4 CupBrown sugar, packed
2 TspSalt
1 TspLemon juice
1 Egg
4 CupsBread Flour
Vegetable shortening for greasing loaf pans
  1. In a small bowl or pyrex measuring cup, mix lukewarm water, yeast, and pinch of sugar. Let sit 5-10 minutes until yeast starts working, liquid gets frothy as bubbles begin to form.
  2. While waiting, mix sweet potato, vegetable oil, brown sugar, salt, lemon juice and egg in a large mixer using the flat beater.
  3. Add bread flour to liquid mixture, one cup at a time, mixing lightly after each cup. If flour flies in air, turn mixer quickly on and off until flour begins to be incorporated. Repeat until all 4 cups are added.
  4. Add yeast mixture to flour and stir until moist. Remove flat beater and replace with dough hook. Cover mixer with a kitchen towel, and let dough sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Mix using dough hook until dough is smooth and elastic. If dough is too sticky, add small amount of flour and mix. Repeat if needed.
  6. Put dough in oiled bowl and allow to rise until double about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
  7. Remove from dough from bowl, and knead lightly by hand. Divide into four equal parts. Using a rolling pin, roll each part into a rectangle 4 1/2" X 12". Starting at one short end, roll up into a loaf. Put in a greased mini-loaf pan.
  8. Allow dough to rise in pans until loaf shaped, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
  9. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake 15 minutes until loaves are light brown. Cover loaf pans with aluminum foil and bake 10-15 minutes more, until bread sounds hollow when tapped.
  10. Allow to cool 5 minutes before removing from pans.

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