"I have the simplest tastes. I am simply satisfied with the best." - Oscar Wilde

"I came, I saw, I ate." - Au Gourmand

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sweet Potato & Fava Bean Bread - October 15, 2010

Who doesn't like freshly baked bread? Even a mediocre bread has its moment when it has just come out of the oven. But, this bread is so moist and mochi-mochi* that you should be aware the danger of devouring the whole thing right there in the kitchen.
*Mochi is sticky sweet rice cake; therefor, not surprisingly, "mochi-mochi" refers to the texture of mochi.

Ingredients {1 Big Loaf Pan - Approximately 5 x 9}
  • Sweet potato - 1 medium, roasted and pureed
  • Spelt flour (can be any kind of flour) - 1 cup
  • Brown rice flour - 1 cup
  • Tapioca flour - 3/4 cup
  • Xanthan gum (if you don't have it, you don't have it) - 1 tablespoon
  • Chia seeds & Flax seeds (other seeds as you see fit; or almond powder) - 1 tablespoon each
  • Sweet, stewed fava beans (or azuki beans)* - 3/4 cup, diced (obviously no need to dice for azuki)
  • Sesame seeds (To be sprinkled on top of the loaf)
  • Dry yeast - 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • Baking powder (because this is not a traditional wheat based bread, it will rise better if you add baking power to help it along) - 2 teaspoons
  • Eggs 2
  • Whole milk (I do not believe in low-fat, and God forbid, fat-free milk) - 1 cup, warmed to 110F
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon
  • Palm sugar (or other unrefined sugar; the earthiness of raw sugar works well with the sweet potato, not to mention, it is healthier) - 5 tablespoons
*You can buy prepared beans in Japanese grocery stores; or you can just stew them on your own.

  1. Put all the dry ingredients (flour, yeast, baking powder, sugar, salt, seeds) into a bowl. Mix.
  2. Put eggs and sweet potato puree into a big bowl. Mix well.
  3. Add the diced beans into the egg-sweet potato mixture and incorporate.
  4. Pour half of the milk into the egg-sweet potato mixture.
  5. Start adding flour mixture to the wet bowl:  Add 1/2, then mix (blender works here). Then add another 1/4, mix, and the last 1/4 and mix.
  6. Add the rest of the milk.
  7. Blend at high speed for 5 minutes. Since the dough is softer than regular bread dough, kneading by hands will not work.
  8. Put the dough into a bowl and let it rise:  I use my rice cooker. But you can figure out other ways, such as a pan of hot water in the oven.  Let it do its thing for approximately 40 minutes.
  9. Prepare the loaf pan:  Cut baking sheets to the right size (then you do not have to butter up the pan) and put it into the pan.
  10. Once the dough has risen, put the sticky mess into the pan. 
  11. Let it rise again:  You can place the loaf pan on the oven top and use the heat from the oven as it pre-heats.  I will have a kettle boiling right next to it to get the steam going at the same time.
  12. Sprinkle sesame seeds.
  13. Bake for 25 minutes at 410F (but my oven seems to be on the lower temperature side).
  14. Stick a skewer in; nothing sticks to it, it is done!
  15. Smell it, ogle it, and admire it because the loaf is simply glorious!

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