Monday, November 5, 2012

Sweet Potato Sage Bread (Low Gluten or GF!)

I've been in sweet potatoes lately, thanks to my awesome, certified organic (and local!) CSA.

CSA Week #23 (11/1/12)
A few tiny head lettuces, huge bunch of carrots, eight sweet potatoes (yes!), a head of Romanesco (cool!), a bag of arugula and a bag of "spicy" mix (spring mix).

 Romanesco is a cruciferous veg (related to broccoli & cauliflower). 
You prepare it the same way.  It's supposedly more mild and creamy than either of its cousins.  

 This week's haul of sweets!

Monster carrots (they were SO good).  I glazed them just like that first week of Hakurei Turnips.  

And the week prior, sweets galore as well!
CSA Week #22 (10/24/12):  
Kohlrabi, parsley, carrots, sweet potatoes, beets (yes!), arugula, kale (double yes!!), spinach (yeah!), and lettuce (OK, it was gorgeous).

Here were the sweets:
These were the sweets I had prior to Hurricane Sandy.  Two HUGE ones, one medium, and three smalls.

They made my Hurricane Sweet Potato Pie!
 Roast them taters real good! I do them for at least an hour at 400 degrees until they are oozing and the skin is crispy in some places and they are VERY soft.  

 This color blows me away every time.  

 I used this recipe by The Witchy Kitchen but I had to double the volume of the filling.
If you make it, double the filling recipe or it will not even fill half your pie crust!  I don't think this recipe was ever tested.  But, it was tasty once I made enough of it!

Thirst quenching hurricane provisions in the background: 
TJ's instant coffee, diet iced tea, hot cocoa, ginger ale.

With this week's sweets, I made a Sweet Potato Sage Bread!

Sweet Potato Sage Bread*
*Can be gluten free* Is also soy-free and nut-free (unless you want to add nuts!)
Inspired by Sweet Potato Rosemary Bread in Flying Apron's Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book.

Yield: One loaf

2 cups Brown Rice Flour 
1.5 cups White Whole Wheat Flour*
*or 1.5 cups more BRF for a Gluten-Free bread
1 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour (Chickpea Flour)
1/4 cup Ground Flax Seeds
1 tsp Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum
2 tsps Home Dried Sage, chopped finely
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp cinnamon*
*it adds depth and not so much a "cinnamony" flavor
1/2 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit (apricots would be good)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
(I would have loved to add walnuts but my son is a "no nuts" kinda guy)
1/4 cup EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil :-)
1/4 cup maple syrup (organic if poss)
1 cup lukewarm water 
(just warm to your finger when dipped!)
1/2 tablespoon cake yeast 
(in the refrigerated section of your store)
1 cup pureed sweet potato or yam

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.  I use a double-burner cast iron griddle to bake bread and pizza on and I also preheat that inside the oven.  Spray it or lightly coat with olive oil before preheating.

Combine dry ingredients (flours through nuts) in a bowl and mix well to incorporate.
Dry ingredients (not yet mixed well, haha).

Heat one cup of water in the microwave until just warm to the touch.  45 seconds on 80 percent power for my little microwave is perfect.  If you have a powerful microwave, this would be way too long.  Add the cake yeast and stir until it is dissolved.  You can mash it about, too.  Then, add your warm yeast water to the maple syrup and olive oil in a large mixing bowl:

Cake yeast.  Ain't she purdy?

 Wet ingredients with yeast added.  Let sit about five minutes for yeast to "activate." Will look creamy/cloudy and bubbles will form.

Add dry ingredients a little at a time, alternating with some sweet potato until a lovely dough forms.  Do not over mix.  Strangely, I had a full half cup of dry ingredients left over when I did mine.  Not sure why, but maybe my sweet potato was lowish in moisture.  Anyway, use your judgement about when to stop adding the dry ingredients.  You want the dough to be moist and pliable, but not too dry.  

Take your preheated cast iron griddle (or baking pan or pizza stone) out of the oven and put it on your (heat proof) counter.   Get ready to add your loaf!

On a floured work surface (I use a RoulPat mat dusted with a little flour) knead your loaf gently only a few times just to incorporate everything.  Shape into a loaf and lift gently (I slid the whole loaf onto my forearm) and place on your griddle/sheet/stone.  Slash a few times gently with a floured knife.  I sprayed my loaf with olive oil to give it some extra moisture in the oven.  If you don't have a Misto, just brush some oil on to lightly coat your loaf.  Bake at 300 degrees for about one hour and five minutes.  Done when a toothpick comes out clean and it has started to brown on the bottom. Do not overbake this bread.

 Raw loaf ready for the oven!

 Baked loaf! Not sure why it cracked so much, probably still a little too dry, but it was delish!

 The loaf had just the right flavor: herby (but not too strong, my husband said he wanted more herbs in it, actually), sweet from the potato and raisins and with a touch of warmth from the cinnamon.  It has a moist crumb, and is quite satisfying, dense and chewy and has a lovely golden color from the sweet potatoes.  Yum!

Would be great for a sandwich, toast, french toast (!), bread pudding or even cubed and toasted as a stuffing for your Thanksgiving Seitan Roast (I'd mix it with veg sausage and nuts, definitely) or as a dressing baked on the side of your Thanksgiving main dish (I'd still add veg sausage and nuts and dried cranberries!).

Hope everyone is well.



  1. This post makes me miss my CSA share--I didn't sign up this year bc even a half share was just too much food for me to keep up with. Bread looks divine and comforting.

    1. Yeah, I totally understand, it's a TON of food. We may split a share next year because the volume of a full share for just three of us is very overwhelming. But, at the same time, I want tons of certain things but not tons of others, and I did learn a lot this year about how to work with large volumes of produce (canning, freezing, drying, etc.). We'll probably just go for it again next year knowing us.

      I bet you could find someone to split the half share with (I know how large a half share is as well!). It's SO worth it if you can get it to work out.


  2. Yum, yum, yum. If you've got too much have you tried juicing? I get through lots of veggies that way...