Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Savory Sweet Potato Bread

Happy New Year!

Let me start out by saying that I have no idea what's going on here. One assumes that it's some sort of sweet potato sports event/community activity/rave/love-in, but it's really none of our business what root vegetables get up to on their own time ("what happens in Sweet Potato Land..." etc.). Ours is not to reason why: suffice to say I found the image of tuber shenanigans diverting, and thought it might make an amusing accompaniment to this recipe. (The other association that pops into my head when I think about sweet potatoes is this song from A Mighty Wind. You're welcome.)

So. Of all good days in the year, this recipe was conceived on Christmas Eve, when I needed to use up existing leftovers in order to make room for the ones that would be filling the refrigerator the following day (welcome to my November-December world). There was a bowl of mashed sweet potatoes just sitting there looking needy, and a savory loaf seemed like an appealing change from all the sweet breads and muffins with which we are surrounded at this time of year. So I basically took my usual pumpkin bread, switched up the seasonings, and exchanged nuts for raisins or chocolate chips. Et voila! This bread is delicious served warm, at room temperature, or - perhaps best of all - toasted, with a little Earth Balance and Marmite on top for a perfect winter breakfast.

Savory Sweet Potato Bread
~ 2.5 cups white whole wheat flour
~ 1 tbsp. baking powder
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, sage, garlic powder, onion powder
~ 1/2 tsp. each: white pepper, smoked paprika, baking soda
~ 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
~ 2 cups mashed sweet potato (or pumpkin)
~ 1/4 cup canola oil
~ 3/4 cup plain, unsweetened soy or rice milk

~ Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
~ In a large mixing bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients, making sure the walnuts are well coated with the flour mixture.
~ Combine the wet ingredients (sweet potato through soy milk) and mix thoroughly.
~ Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the sweet potato mixture; combine thoroughly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
~ Transfer the batter to your prepared loaf pan, and bake at 375 in the center of the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted comes out clean. (Ovens vary wildly; mine tends to be a bit slow, so just keep an eye on things!)
~ Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

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