Andrew of Spitoon Extra is hosting Waiter, There's Something In My...Bread this month and I've had a lot of fun looking through various cookbooks getting ideas for a bread to bake. Today I came upon a bread I'd never heard of in Monday Night at Narsai's by Narsai David and Doris Muscatine. It's Sweet Potato and Garlic Bread and you bake it in a skillet, so it makes a lovely golden loaf that looks like a full moon in the autumn.
I used yams instead of sweet potatoes, since that is what I had in the pantry, and that worked just fine. The yeast got 'proofed' in a little of the water that the yams were cooked in because I wasn't sure if it was too old or not. Because of that I added some extra flour during the last part of the machine mixing to make up for the extra liquid. Otherwise I followed the directions given.
The garlic taste here is mild but present and the yams give it a faint sweetness as well as the mellow color. Yams are also fairly healthy with lots of fiber and vitamin A and beta carotene. The crumb of this bread is tender and moist and the crust is thin but crisp. This is a great bread to go with soup.
Yam and Garlic Bread
1 cup warm water (preferably the water the yams were boiled in)
1 cup mashed yams (boil until tender, then peel and mash)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 package yeast, or 1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 small cloves garlic, crushed
3 cups white bread or all-purpose flour (about)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, softened or salad oil
Place the water, sweet potatoes sugar, and yeast in a mixing bowl. Let rest for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, flour and salt. Mix well with a dough hook or heavy paddle. The dough will be quite soft and sticky. If using a dough hook, you may need to add a little more to keep the dough around the hook. Continue mixing for 2-3 minutes if you are using a mixing machine, 3 to 4 minutes by hand. Spread 1 tablespoon of butter or oil over the dough.
Place the dough in a warm plate to rise, covered with a dish towel. When the dough has doubled in volume, anywhere between 1 and 2 hours, turn it out onto a floured surface and punch it down to get out the air that has inflated it. Kneading a few times also helps in this step. Shape the deflated dough into a ball. This is a very soft dough, so handle it gently and use plenty of flour to keep it from sticking to the board.
Butter or oil a 10-inch skillet. Put the dough in the skillet, and set aside, uncovered, in a warm place until double in volume.
About halfway throught the rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
When the dough has doubled, bake for 35 to 40 minutes to brown well. Turn out onto a rack to cool.
Makes 1 round loaf.