SWEET POTATO MARBLE LOAF RECIPE
(WITH VARIATION FOR THREE COLOR BRAIDED BREAD LOAF)
(This recipe makes a bread loaf that is equivalently sized to six dinner rolls. Double it if you’re making it for a family.)
Quick crash course in why the brand of flour you use matters: Look at this bread, it tastes great, is soft and delicious. But it does not have the height or fluffiness of my other tongzhen breads. Why is that? I used Gold Medal Flour in this recipe instead of King Arthur flour. The different brands have different gluten content. to make the dough rise, you need more gluten. My other tongzhen recipe called for adding nonfat dry milk to the recipe, I skipped that because I was out of it and because I was feeling too lazy to run to the store and buy it. Add a fourth of a cup to the dough (and subtract a fourth of a cup of milk from the recipe to compensate) to get that nice cottony loft back that you see pictured in my other tongzhen breads.
3 tbsp flour (King Arthur bread flour or all purpose flour)
1/2 c liquid (1/4 c water + 1/4 c milk)
Mix in saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until it becomes of pudding-like consistency. Let cool.
1/4 c sugar
1 c milk
2 tbsp (1/4 stick) butter
2 tsp (or one packet) yeast
1/2 tsp salt
All the STARTER
Using stand mixer, mix all dough for 15 min. Dough will be sticky and stringy, silky and smooth.
Separate dough into two balls. Add 1/2 c mashed sweet potato (homemade or canned) to one ball. Mix well.
Cover. Let each ball rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
TO MAKE MARBLE LOAF
Roll white dough into rectangle.
Roll orange dough into rectangle half the size of the white dough rectangle.
Place the orange dough rectangle inside the white dough rectangle. (Like this.)
Fold over the white dough rectangle. Keep folding, creating layers of different colors.
Divide into three strands. Braid.
Put on baking sheet lined with silpat. Cover loosely. Let rise 30 min.
Glaze with milk or egg wash (1/4 c milk or water and 1 egg, mixed well). The egg wash gives a shiny finish to the rolls, the milk wash makes the rolls brown but not shiny.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 min.
VARIATION FOR THREE COLOR BRAIDED BREAD:
Divide dough into 3 parts.
One part, leave alone (white).
The second part, add 2tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (brown). (NO, THIS WILL NOT MAKE YOUR BREAD TASTE LIKE CHOCOLATE. AT ALL. THE CHOCOLATE IS BEING USED HERE JUST AS A FOOD COLORING).
The third part, add 1/4 c mashed sweet potato (orange).
Braid and let rise, then glaze with egg wash and bake as above.
Note: Mine tastes great, but the orange white marble color didn’t really come out. I can see why people do this with chocolate and vanilla, usually. Maybe I’ll try the three color braid next time, for a more cool looking effect. I guess I can put orange food coloring to make it more orange looking, but honestly, I don’t like to add artificial coloring if I don’t have to. You bake at home to increase the healthiness in your life, not decrease it. That’s my thought, anyway.
Note2: Next time, try with shredded mashed beets, what a great red color the loaf would be! I totally have to try it! Plus, it would be sooo healthy (and yet, not taste “healthy”).
If you try out my recipe, please let me know how it works for you, and what you did differently to make the recipe “yours”.