I decided that I wanted to make a loaf of bread for Thanksgiving dinner. My parents were here visiting me in Flagstaff and I wanted to make them something special. My boyfriend made the meat dish for the evening by marinating a pork loin overnight in garlic, onions and a bottle of dark (porter) beer, then wrapping it in deli counter bacon, sprinkling it with salt and pepper and covering it in pineapple rings. I couldn’t eat it since I’m a vegetarian, but everyone else said it was fantastic and I have a lot of faith in my boyfriend’s cooking skills. My mom made scalloped corn, which I requested. I’ll have to put her recipe up for that sometime in the future. I made mashed potatoes and thought I’d attempt a sweet potato bread. I ended up taking a recipe I admired from the Food network website and altering it by adding chives rather than raisins. I have never made bread before, so this was definitely an experiment for me. It wasn’t perfect, but it was not a total disaster either. I’m happy with how this came out the first time around and the next time I decide to make bread from scratch I’ll go into the recipe with a teeny tiny bit more know-how than before. That’s a successful cooking and learning experience, everyone.
Sweet Potato Chive Bread
2 envelopes (1/4-ounce each) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 small sweet potato, baked, peeled, and mashed
3 1/4 cup flour plus 1 tablespoon
1 cup chives
2 tablespoons butter
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Lightly grease a mixing bowl and baking sheet.
3. In a mixing bowl, whisk the yeast and water together, until the yeast dissolves.
4. Add in the sugar, salt, pepper, and butter. Mix well and let rest for 15 minutes.
5. Stir in the eggs and sweet potatoes.
6. Mix the flour and chives together.
7. Fold in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, working with your hands until all the flour is incorporated.
8. Form the dough into a small ball and sprinkle the dough with the remaining tablespoon of flour.
9. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough once to cover with the oil.
10. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
11. Punch the dough down and roll into an oval loaf about 8 inches by 3 inches.
12. Place the loaf in the center of the prepared baking sheet. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 45 minutes.
13. Bake the bread for about 40 minutes, or until golden.
14. Remove the bread from the oven and transfer to a wire baking sheet and let cool.
15. Slice the bread and serve with butter.
**Note: I added in the chives all on their lonesome when I made this. When I do it again, I will saute them for a few minutes in butter first to let them release some of their flavor and then add them, butter and all, to the bread. I would also, perhaps, add in another sweet potato and see how that changed the taste.**