Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pumpkin Sweet Potato Swirl Bread

  • 1 cup sweet potato puree
  • 1 cup pumpkin or winter squash puree
  • 2-6 Tbs. butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups whole grain flour
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. instant yeast*
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. allspice
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves

  • ¼ - ½ cup sugar
  • 2-4 Tbs. cinnamon
  • Raisins or dried cranberries (optional) – OR – cranberry sauce, about ½ cup

This makes great use of leftover pureed squash and sweet potatoes, but if you don’t have those you need to cook them.  It’s easy to microwave one sweet potato, which should be sufficient for this recipe.  Poke holes all over the sweet potato with a fork, microwave for 4 minutes, check for softness, cook longer if needed, cool, and scoop out the insides with a spoon and mash with a fork.  For the pumpkin or squash, chop in half, scoop out seeds and strings, flip each side over on an oiled baking sheet, bake at 400 until soft, about 45 minutes (this varies quite a bit depending on your choice of squash/pumpkin.  Allow to cool, scoop out flesh with a spoon, and mash with a fork. 

Combine the pumpkin and sweet potato with the wet ingredients, followed by the whole wheat flour.  Stir for 1 minute, making sure everything is well combined.  Add the yeast and add the all-purpose flour in small amounts until the dough becomes difficult to stir but is still sticky (you may not use all the flour).  Add the salt and spices and stir to incorporate.  Allow the dough to sit for 5 minutes.  Using wet hands knead the dough.  If it is still very sticky you can add more flour (but it’s okay to have a wet sticky dough because the moisture will help give the dough a better spring in the oven).  Allow the dough to sit for about 30 minutes, then, using wet hands, stretch the dough by grabbing under one side of the dough and pulling it up and over the dough.  This is called a “stretch and fold.”  Do this 4 times, once for each side of the dough, always folding it back over itself.  Wet your hands again and form the dough into a ball (as best as you can).  Cover, and allow to rise until roughly doubled in size, 1-2 hours (depending on house temperature and amount of yeast used).  If using raisins/cranberries, soak them in a cup of water so they don’t dry out when baked.

Lightly flour a counter and roll or stretch the dough out until it is about 6 inches wide and 12-18 inches long (longer stretch = more swirl).  Spread the cranberry sauce on the dough if you’re using it, and mix together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle generously on top of the dough.  Add the wet raisins/cranberries if you’re using them.  Roll the dough tightly (I like to mist the dough with a spray bottle of water as I do this to help the cinnamon sugar stick to the dough).  Place the dough in a greased bread loaf pan (or cut it into two halves and place in two small bread pans).  Dust the top with more cinnamon sugar if you like.  Cover and allow to rise until doubled again in size, 1-2 hours.  Bake at 375 for 40-50 minutes (it will cook a little faster in smaller loaf pans).  If you’re unsure about when a bread is done you can check with a thermometer, which should read above 200 F when the bread is finished and should come out without any sticky dough stuck to it.  Allow the bread to cool fully before slicing.  Enjoy.

PS.  This bread makes amazing egg-in-the-whole as well as grilled cheese.  

*If using dry active yeast follow instructions given on package.  You can up the yeast to 2 tsp. for a faster rise.  I find that the smaller quantity of yeast allows for more flavour development but it also means a slower rise. 

 Guest Recipe Post by Jon Spee
This recipe is a very loose adaptation of the 2:2:2 Bread.

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