Multigrain Date Purple Sweet Potato Bread
I have not made a bread with dates for quite some time and for whatever reason it popped into my head the other day that I needed to make one.
This bake also used some purple sweet potatoes that I baked and then mashed up. I decided to add a little bit into the levain to see what would happen. It did a nice job of making a slightly sweet levain and when added with the sweet dates and the rest of the purple sweet potatoes the flavor on this bake was amazing.
I used some freshly milled high extraction Butlers Gold Whole Wheat flour from Barton Springs Mill along with some freshly milled Danko Rye also from Barton Springs Mill sifted and milled twice. Some KAF bread flour was also added as well.
The overall hydration is higher than indicated in the formula since the purple sweet potatoes definitely add some extra hydration. It adds approximately 58% more water or about 73 additional grams of water to the overall hydration. The dough was pretty manageable even with the extra hydration from the potatoes.
I love the flavor profile on this bake. The crumb was moderately open and nice and soft. You can definitely taste the unique sweetness the dates add. Overall this is one tasty bread. I grilled some the other night brushed with olive oil and topped with some fresh mozzarella. I also snacked on it with some smoked cheddar the other day which was amazing.
Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for around 6-7 hours or until the starter has almost doubled. I used my proofer set at 76 degrees so it took around 5 hours for me. Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.
Main Dough Procedure
Mix the flour and liquids (leave about 50 -70 grams to add after the first mix), together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute. Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes. After 30 minutes or so add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), roasted mashed potatoes, dates (cut into small pieces) and remaining water as needed and mix on low for 5 minutes. Note: If you are using the Ankarsrum mixer like I do, add your water to the bowl first then add in the starter and flours. After your autolyse add in the remaining ingredients and remaining water and mix on low to medium low for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds. Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold. Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold. After a total of 1.5 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.
When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours or if using a proofer set at 80 degrees for one hour. Remove the dough and shape as desired and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap Sprayed with cooking spray and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. (I use my proofer set at 80 F and it takes about 1 hour to 1.5 hours).
Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees F. and prepare it for steam. I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf. I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.
After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for around 35 minutes or until the breads are nice and brown and have an internal temperature around 200-210 F.
Take the bread(s) out of the oven when done and let them cool on a bakers rack for as long as you can resist.
Some photos from our “Dances with Dragons” garden.