Weekday Vegetarian: Try a Sweet Potato Cornbread with Your Soup
I don't bake as much as I used to because I don't really have a sweet tooth and my kids have left home. However, I'm really intrigued by a book that has come my way called In the Sweet Kitchen by fellow Torontonian Regan Daley. It's an exhaustive guide to baking and I'm looking forward to learning more. I thought I'd go straight to the bread section, because I always want to eat breadIf you've never baked bread before, quick breads are a great introduction. You get a great loaf of bread without the intimidation of using yeast and kneading dough for the first time. The Sweet Potato Cornbread I made is quite different from other cornbreads I've tried and I liked it very much. It was a bit sweeter than I'm used to, but not too much so and it was moist and had a beautiful texture and crumb. There was a nice contrast between the smoothness from the sweet potatoes and sour cream and the crunchiness from the corn meal.
I toasted it for breakfast this morning, and it was delicious. It would also be great paired with a soup to make a lunch, or a light dinner. It took a bit of time to make because you have to cook the sweet potatoes first and then the cooking time is over an hour, but the active time is very short. It took me about ten minutes of effort and it was really easy. Ms. Daley indicates that this bread freezes well, and you can keep it wrapped in plastic and aluminum foil for up to two months, but I don't think mine will last long enough to need freezing.
This recipe is from In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley
Sweet Potato Cornbread
2 cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups full-fat sour cream
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups cooked, mashed, peeled sweet potatoes, cooled (about 2 large or 3 medium)
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans and set aside. Combine the cornmeal and the sugar in a large bowl, then sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir with a whisk until well combined.
2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs just to break them up. Add the sour cream, vanilla and melted butter and whisk gently until the mixture is uniformly creamy and thick. Stir in the mashed sweet potatoes until thoroughly blended. Add the sweet potato mixture to the cornmeal mixture all at once and stir with a wooden spoon just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared loaf pans and smooth the tops.
3. Bake loaves in the middle of the oven for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of each loaf comes out clean. Transfer pans to a rack and cool for 10 minutes, then turn the loaves out of the pans and set right-side up on the racks to cool completely before slicign or wrapping. Store the looaves, welll wrapped at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.