We make these delicious and nutritious loaves every Christmas. Thyme gives the pretty braids a lovely flavor. For a change, I often use safflower oil in this recipe. –Suzanne Kesel of Cohocton, New York
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1-1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes, room temperature
- 1 cup warm fat-free milk (110° to 115°)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon cold fat-free milk
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sweet potatoes, milk, oil, honey, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, salt, thyme and 2 cups whole wheat flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining whole wheat flour to form a firm dough.
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray; turn once to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down; divide into six equal portions. Shape each into a 20-in. rope. Place three ropes on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; braid. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Repeat with remaining ropes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 35 minutes.
- Brush loaves with cold milk. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).
Originally published as Hearty Sweet Potato Braids in Light & Tasty December/January 2007, p33
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