Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet Potato Bread

Recently I accumulated a surfeit of sweet potatoes. I have a regular organic vegetable and fruit delivery and it seems sweet potatoes are very much in season. My favourite way to serve them is to roast the sweet potatoes along with ordinary potatoes and other vegetables, but as much as my family enjoy roast vegetables, I could see that there was some boredom setting in. Even I was getting a bit fed up. So when I came across a recipe for Cranberry Sweet Potato Bread in my Betty Crocker cookbook, I was intrigued.

There was some hesitation on the part of my family, who were not at all sure that sweet potatoes belonged in baked goods. I admit even I was a little nervous, but I decided to have a go using the Betty Crocker recipe as a blueprint. I made a few changes including substituting milk for water (for nutrition and taste), reducing the salt and slightly increasing the flour.

My hesitant taste testers were amazed. Both loaves were delicious, although we all have a preference for the one with sultanas. Sweet Potato Bread is a great way to use up leftover sweet potatoes or those that are getting a bit past their best. I boiled and mashed mine the day before and left them in the fridge overnight before making the recipe. It makes two loaves so it’s perfect for the holidays, and the smell that wafts through the house while it is baking is redolent of Thanksgiving, Christmas and all good things.

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Sweet Potato Bread

Makes 2 loaves – each loaf serves 12
Adapted from The Betty Crocker Cookbook
Preparation time 15 – 20 minutes
(not including boiling the sweet potatoes)
Total time about 2 hours

2⅓ cups sugar
⅔ cup milk
⅔ cup mild vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups mashed and cooled cooked dark-orange sweet potatoes
(about 1¼ pounds)
4 eggs at room temperature
3½ cups all purpose (plain) flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 generous teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or sultanas
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour or line two 2 pound loaf pans (should be about 9 x 5 inches or 23 x 13 centimeters).

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, milk, oil, vanilla, sweet potatoes and eggs until well blended.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to the sweet potato mixture and stir just until moistened. Stir in the cranberries or raisins and pecans. Or divide the batter evenly between two bowls after stirring in the pecans. Stir half a cup of dried cranberries into one bowl and half a cup of raisins or sultanas into the other. Put the batter in the loaf pans, dividing evenly if you have not already divided the mixture.

Bake 60 to 70 minutes or until a skewer or toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pans.

Loosen the sides of the loaves from the pans (if you use liners you won’t have to do this) and place right side up on a cooling rack. Cool for about 2 hours before slicing – if you can wait that long!

The loaves will keep tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to 4 days.

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1250 great articles for us.
April is a food, lifestyle and travel writer who lives in Berkshire, England. She shares inspiration, tips and trends for anyone who loves food, cooking, entertaining, fashion, travel and the finer things in life at her blog, AprilJHarris.com.
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