Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sweet Potato Whole Wheat Rolls

I have only made bread a few times in my life, and I have only attempted it solo once.  On my first solo attempt, the bread was dry.  My brother, an expert bread baker, told me I probably added too much flour.  The dough should be coming off the sides of the bowl but still sticky.  Keeping that in mind, I tried again.  I used a recipe as my basis, but reduced it by half.  I also used whole wheat flour instead of white flour, butter instead of shortening, and sweet potatoes instead of squash.

My ingredients were 3/4 cup of mashed sweet potatoes, 1/2 cup scalded milk, 1 package active dry yeast, 1/4 cup warm water, 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup butter.  The glass bowl contains the sweet potatoes that I boiled and mashed.

I began by dissolving the yeast in warm water.  For leavening purposes, the ideal temperature for yeast is 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  It begins to die at around 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  Salt inhibits yeast growth, while sugar encourages it to grow.

I combined the 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, sugar, and salt.

To those ingredients, I added the butter, sweet potatoes, yeasty water, and hot milk.  Sweet potatoes began being cultivated in the Americas 5,000 years ago.  They are very healthy; they contain complex carbohydrates, vitamin A, calcium, iron and vitamin C.  They can be grown in poor soil and are eaten throughout the world.

After adding the hot milk, I stirred the dough.  The recipe said to add as much as 1/2 cup of flour to obtain the appropriate dough texture.  I found that I did not need to add in any additional flour.  The dough was forming a ball without any more flour.

I kneaded the dough for eight minutes.  When I made bread with my bother, my dough had an air bubble, which made for a misshaped loaf.  I was a little overly aggressive kneading the dough to prevent this from happening.

This is a picture of my dough after it had risen for an hour in a warm, draft free location and had doubled in size.

I divided the dough into 6 lumps and placed them in a buttered baking pan. 

The rolls rose for 30 minutes before being baked in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

These rolls were moist.  They tasted and smelled incredible.   I am in a bread making mood; more fresh baked bread is definitely in my future.

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