Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sweet Potato Rosemary Bread, In and Out

This time, I finally made enough dough to do an inside/outside test, one loaf baked in the baker, one out on the baking stone. The test was a little unfair because in order to get the best out of the baker, I baked the loaf at a slightly higher temperature than would have been ideal for it. Both came out well, but for this loaf at least, the pot-baked loaf was much prettier. Because the pot protected it, the inside loaf showcased the beautiful color of the sweet potatoes much more. I haven't checked for difference in the crumb yet--this is meant to be a fairly fine-grained, soft bread, but I'll update when I do. Pot or no pot, this is a really nice bread. It's made with a pate fermentee, which is really just a piece of yesterday's dough, but you can find instructions for making some here.

Formula: (adapted from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, by Peter Reinhart)
1.5 (about) cups Pate Fermentee
3 cups plus 2 Tblsp A/P flour
1.5 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper (I may have used more)
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 Tblsp olive oil
1 Tblsp crushed dried rosemary (this is really to taste, the recipe recommended 2 Tblsp fresh but i didn't have any, it probably would have been even better)
3/4 cup to one cup water

Cut pate fermentee into small pieces. Mix all ingredients, knead, adding flour or water as needed.
1st rise: two hours at room temp plus 4 hours in the refrigerator (not necessary, scheduling related)
Proof: 1-2 hours, until doubled.
Baked at 450, turned down to 400 later in, for about 45 minutes. Uncovered baker after about 20 mins.


  1. What is pate fermentee? My husband makes a bread in which he adds pureed sweet potatoes or squash to his normal dough and also puts some raisins in. We treat it like a dessert bread(we're not ones to like sweets other than great chocolate).

  2. Rona, pate fermentee is basically a simple dough made the day before and allowed to rise and fall a bit--like adding a bit of yesterday's dough to the increases flavor and gluten strength, and keeping time for the loaf.

  3. So, Katya, What was the outcome of the taste and crumb test on this one? The one from the hot pot is so much more alive looking.