Monday, April 19, 2010

Sweet Potato Bread

Each fall our family looks forward to gleaning sweet potatoes from the local farmers' fields. Last October I was introduced to sweet potato bread and have been making it since. Sweet potatoes are easy to grow or glean but there's one step that must be done in both cases - You need to CURE the sweet potatoes. They do not come out of the ground sweet. Who knew right?

Now some of you might be asking what is gleaning a sweet potato field. The answer is.... picking leftover sweet potatoes out of farmer's fields. When sweet potatoes are ready farmers will till the land bringing the sweet potatoes to the surface. Dump trucks and workers then come and pick all the big sweet potatoes. To glean a field all you need to do is watch the field. After the dump trucks and workers are done with a field (thus don't return for 2-3 days) then it's safe to glean it. Local farmers don't mind people gleaning because they want the sweet potatoes out of the field they just want to pick their sweet potatoes first. If you glean don't go in before the farmers it will ruin it for the rest of us when they close down their field.

After collecting sweet potatoes either by gleaning or growing you need to cure them. They do not come out of the ground sweet. To cure them you need a cool dark place (I used a 5 gal bucket last year). Alternate layers of newspapers and sweet potatoes ending with newspaper on top. Wait 7-10 days. This past year I just stuck my bucket out on the porch, out of the elements and kept it there until I needed potatoes. Worked just fine. You can also freeze sweet potatoes that have been cooked and mashed. Now that you have sweet potatoes it's time to make bread.

Sweet Potato Bread
3 C sugar
4 eggs
1 C vegetable
3 ½ C flour
2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
½ t salt
1 t nutmeg
⅔ C water
2 C sweet potato – cooked, mashed

Combine sugar, eggs and vegetable oil in a bowl. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Add the 2 bowls together. Add ⅓ C water and 1 C sweet potato to the flour mixture and stir. Add remaining water and sweet potato to flour mixture and stir. If desired add 1 C nuts here. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake 350˚ for 1 hour. Bread is done when toothpick comes out clean.

Yield: 24 Servings (12 per loaf)
Nutritional Information
Calories: 272 Total Fat: 10.2g Cholesterol: 35mg Sodium: 172mg Total Carbs: 43g Protein: 3.3g

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