If you decide to make this recipe, give yourself plenty of time. You need to prepare a starter the night before and there’s a long period of bulk fermentation before the loaves can be shaped. Then another hour and a half or so of proofing before the bread is baked. You need to be patient…but it’s worth it!
Artisan Sweet Potato and Onion Bread [Vegan]
For the Starter (night before)
- 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (105- 115°F)
- 2/3 cup bread flour
For the Sweet Potato Puree (night before)
- 1 large sweet potato, baked, peeled and pureed. Reserve 1 cup puree for the dough
For the Caramelized Onions (night before)
- 5 - 6 onions, peeled and diced (you want between 6 to 8 cups diced onions before cooking)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- pinch red pepper flake (optional)
For the Bread Dough (in the morning of baking day)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 3/4 cup bread flour plus extra for dusting
- 1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons sweetener
- All of the starter
- 1 cup roasted sweet potato puree
- All of the caramelized onions
To Make the Starter:
- Combine the yeast and water in a small bowl. Let stand for 1 minutes.
- In another bowl whisk together the bread flour and 1/3 cup of the yeast mix. You won't use all the yeast mix and the starter will be very sticky.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature overnight or up to 12 hours.
To Caramelize the Onions:
- In a large skillet over high heat, add the oil and red pepper flakes. Add the onion and salt and stir to coat. When the onions have softened and start to change color, turn the heat down to very low.
- Continue to cook over very low heat until the onions are dark in color and have reduced in volume. You should have around 2 cups or so. Refrigerate until needed.
To Make Sweet Potato Puree:
- Cook the sweet potato however you desire (I microwaved mine). Allow to cool, then remove the flesh and mash. Refrigerate 1 cup of the puree for the bread until needed.
To Make the Dough
- Let the onions and sweet potato puree stand at room temperature for 20 minutes or so while you begin mixing the dough.
- Measure the bread flour into your largest mixing bowl. Add the water and bring together to until there's no dry flour left. You should have a wet, rough dough.
- Cover and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Mix in the starter, honey, sweet potato puree and salt by hand.
- Turn the wet dough onto your work surface. Add just enough flour to allow the dough to be handled. Knead until it forms a loose ball, adding more flour as needed.
- Put the dough ball in a large bowl and cover with oil sprayed plastic wrap.
- During the rise you'll fold the onions into the dough. Every 20 minutes, add 1/4 of the onions to the top of the dough. Fold and turn by lifting each "corner" and folding over the center of the dough. You can start at the far side and turn the bowl until you've folded each corner over. Then turn the dough ball over. Repeat every 20 minutes until all the onions are added.
- After the last addition let the dough remain undisturbed for another 3 hours.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide in half. Shape each half into a round. Let rest 10 minutes.Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and dust with flour.
- Stick your finger through the center of one of the dough balls and form a small hole. Transfer to a baking sheet and continue to stretch the center into a 3 inch hole. (Like a bagel)
- Dust the tops with a little flour and cover w plastic wrap. Let proof for an hour and a half.
- Preheat oven to 450 °F and position the racks so both pans can bake at the same time.
- Bake 15 minutes then rotate the pans.
- Bake 15 minutes more. Remove from oven and let stand at least 15 minutes before serving.
- Sweet Potato