Friday, April 9, 2010

Sweet Potato Focaccia

One morning....

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!
Me: Sure.

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?

Well, this recipe makes a lot of it! If you, like us, are a family of 2 and 1/2 that doesn't eat too much bread, you might want to halve the recipe.

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.

Turns out that sweet potatoes were indeed perfect in the focaccia. You really can't taste them and yet, the bread does taste a lot better with that slight hint of sweetness.

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.


  1. Lol! nice coversation.
    Bread looks Spongy and delicious.

  2. That is what happened when we bake in large scale, everyday same thing but different topping :( I love the spongy bread!

  3. Haha, wat a conversation...focaccia looks fabulous, i would love to enjoy almost as u guys did with different toppings..

  4. Love this recipe, looks soo softa nd flyffy.. I would love that as my brk, lunch and dinner as well.

  5. love reading the conversation. the focaccia looks perfect...soft and chewy.

  6. Thanks dear for ur lovely comment,,happy to hear came to SA hope u enjoyed ur trip in joburg n in capetown,,me too like capetown n joburg places,,,btw read ur conversation dear lovely words and bread looks soooo spongy n soft dear,,,next time while baking sure follow ur tips,,happy to follow ur blog dear,,

  7. Focaccia sounds yumm, love the clicks! very clean and clear shots!

  8. Looks like sweet potato worked out well after all. Liked how you have shown Focaccia. Nice....

  9. Your focaccia looks fantastic! So smooth and tempting!



  10. this foccacia looks so fluffy I want some !! Pierre de Paris

  11. Can almost feel the lovely aroma of the bread!! Looks too good!

  12. The foccacia looks so spongy n yummy , loved the opening conversation !!
    Thanks for visiting my blog n putting in such a lovely comment ...

    @Little Food Junction

  13. First time here from your comment..

    You have a got a beautiful neat space here with lovely snaps.

    Made my day .. will be going through your recipes and you will surely see me often around :)

  14. Dear aquadaze
    Thank you so much for visiting my Himalayan Blog and your appreciation...whenever you want to visit Kumaon hills and the places i go, just drop a mail to me , i will plan it for you...
    You have an amazing cooking place here..let me see what all you have cooked for me...and will eat them virtually for the time being. I am tagging your blog
    Have a nice week and happy cooking

  15. Lovely -- perfect texture! Thanks for sending this to YeastSpotting!

  16. Sweet potatoes in focaccia? Sounds great!

    Why on earth are the recipes for foccacia so huge!! I have a two person household and had to stop making it because he got sick of it and I was stuck eating it all myself!!

  17. amazing how you can't even tell from the color that the sweet potatoes are in there. i bet it's delish though. will be definitely trying this recipe. thanks!

  18. Very nice! A delicious idea.


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