Friday, April 9, 2010
Sweet Potato Focaccia
TH: What's for breakfast?
Me: I made a focaccia yesterday. I'm thinking of topping it with some cherry tomatoes and cheese and grilling it in the oven.
TH: Sounds great!
The next morning....
TH: Can you make me the same thing you made yesterday? It was delicious!
The following day....
TH: What's for breakfast?
Me: Focaccia topped with an egg white omelette.
TH: Well, ok.
Later that evening....
TH: What's for dinner?
Me: Chicken stew with some...
TH: Let me guess. Focaccia.
Me: Spot on!
TH: Just how much focaccia did you make?
Me: (injured look)
TH: Now don't give me that look! The bread is delicious, but how many more days are we going to eat it?
I adapted this recipe from The Little Big Cook Book; the original recipe uses potatoes. However, I have been using sweet potatoes in place of potatoes for quite a while now and decided to try them in this recipe.
Plus, they up the nutrition content significantly. After all, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene and vitamins A and C. And most importantly, they are an excellent source of carbohydrates with the additional benefit of having a low Glycemic Index.
Active dry yeast: 1 package or 15 gms
Sugar: 1 .5 tsp
Water: 2 tbsps
Bread / All purpose Flour: 3 cups ( I used 2 and 1/4 cup bread flour; for the balance 3/4 cup, I used wholemeal bread flour)
Sweet Potatoes: 250 gms
Salt: 1.5 tsp
Olive oil: 3 tbsps
Warm water for kneading the dough
Herbs of your choice for the topping.
Mix together the yeast, sugar and 2 tbsps warm water. Set aside till the yeast becomes frothy, about 15-20 minutes.
(A very valuable lesson I learnt in bread making came from this book - HALVE THE YEAST, DOUBLE THE RISING TIME.
Accordingly, I always use half the yeast that a recipe calls for; in this case as well, I used half a package of yeast).
Boil the sweet potatoes; peel and mash while they are still hot.
Mix together the sweet potatoes (they need to be warm when you start making the bread), the flour, salt and 1 and 1/2 tbsp of the olive oil. Make a well in the centre of this mixture and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix to combine the yeast thoroughly.
Then add just enough warm water to make a shaggy dough, I needed 13 tbsps. The dough will be very sticky and clingy - which is how it should be. Knead for a couple of minutes with a wooden spoon and set aside to rise. My dough took about two hours to rise.
Knock out the air from the risen dough - about 3-4 punches should do it - and transfer to a well -oiled jam roll tray. Mine is 7" X 13". Spread the dough with your hands, cover and let it rise for about 45 mins.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C for 10 mins. Meanwhile, dimple the surface with your knuckles, sprinkle the topping of your choice ( I used freshly ground pepper, dried basil leaves and dried garlic flakes ) and drizzle the remaining olive oil on top.
Bake for about 20-25 mins or until the top is a lovely golden brown and the aroma of freshly baked bread permeates through every nook and cranny of your house!
Sending this Sweet Potato Focaccia to Susan's Yeastspotting.
It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!