Bread baking is what happens when I endure a series of sleepless nights. I fill the tiny square box of air in my condo with the waft of freshly baking bread. That and it’s been a while since I’ve baked a good crusty loaf.
I’ve prepared this bread using the overnight no knead method…but with a touch of kneading to incorporate the smashed purple sweet potatoes. The overnight rise and the addition of whey result in a lovely yet subtle sourdough taste.
Purple Potato Boule
- 3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1 1/2 cups room temperature water or whey
- 2/3 cup cooked purple sweet potato puree (orange fleshed sweet potato is fine too!)
- Cornmeal, semolina or wheat bran for dusting
- Mixture of seeds for dusting, optional
In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast. Pour in the water and mix to create a shaggy mess. Cover loosely with plastic and allow to rest in a warm draft-free spot for 2 hours.
Mix in the sweet potato puree and knead in well. Return to a clean bowl, cover with plastic and allow to rest for 12-24 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. The dough will deflate slightly but that is fine. Pull the corners of the dough into the center pressing gently to seal. Flip the dough over seam side down ensuring that the surface is smooth. Gently transfer to a parchment line baking tray dusted with cornmeal. Cover loosely with plastic and allow to rise in a draft free spot for 2 hours.
30 minutes before baking, place your dutch oven into the oven and preheat to 450°F.
Once the dough has risen, spray the surface with water and sprinkle on some seeds if using.
Remove the dutch oven from the oven and gently lift the dough into the pot, parchment paper and all. Cover the pot and return to the oven to 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the bread is deeply golden brown.
This bread freezes beautifully and will toast up to be crispy on the outside but perfectly moist on the inside. Once cooled, cut into thick slices, seal into a freezer bag and toss into the freezer.