Monday, March 4, 2013

Dinner Train: Catch-22 Soapy Sweet Potato Bread (Recipe 11 - Rosemary Sweet Potato Olive Bread with Feta and Artichokes))

Catch-22 Soapy
Sweet Potato Bread
Let's be clear: Catch-22 was the Dinner Train Book Club read in JUNE.

JUNE 2012.

Do you know how long ago that is?  Long enough that I have friends who now have an adorable 8 month old baby that was not yet born when I met Yossarian!  I have a number of legitimate excuses, but from the minute I read about Yossarian delaying the flights by putting soap in the sweet potatoes, I knew I wanted to somehow use that in whatever recipe I came up with. 

AKA Rosemary Sweet Potato Olive
Bread with Feta and Artichokes
I originally had a plan to make a family favorite, a remnant of my own grandfathers Army days in World War 2, S.O.S - the most disgusting looking yet delectable salt-lick you've ever balked at eating.  I thought I'd bribe the Poptart into teaching me this shameful but beloved family recipe, and provide some Sweet Potato Marshmallow Biscuits to serve it over.  WELL.  That was an epic fail.  It turns out that even with a BA of Honors and a Masters, I cannot handle making the simplest of recipes work.  Biscuits?  They were more like firm, yet awfully doughy weird, flat scones.  So I found a recipe for a pretty simple sweet potato bread, and figured I'd just add the marshmallows in that way. And then the Poptart cancelled because he hurt his knee.  Much like a Catch-22, this was turning into a vicious cycle.

Soap=Feta, Sweet Potatoes, Olives,
and Artichokes
So, here we are now.  March, 2013.  Still no recipe, still no clue what to do.  But then I remembered the No-Knead bread fad, and found myself wondering if there was a way to use sweet potato that way? And what if I used some of the other food sources from the book?  It is set in Italy, and though I liked the idea of using a recipe from the War, I thought using one that incorporated some of the other frequently mentioned foods (if I had to read one more page about those damn black market artichokes...) and Mediterranean roots (black olives) would work - and I could even use that to guide my soap choice: feta!  Hence, I came across a recipe for Sweet Potato Rosemary Bread in a bread pot and realized I was finally ready to make it happen.  Though I was kind of worried the heavy ingredients I was adding would weigh it down, I really worried for nothing.   It turned out so well that I think Yossarian would be pleased; it's hearty and ample enough to weigh down an entire air fleet.  More importantly, it's delicious. 

Where it all starts...
A few tips:
I will caution you that this is NOT a quick recipe.  I started with my patee fermentee on a Saturday around 5pm, and finally popped the toasty hot bread out of the oven around 7:30 on a Sunday.  I think you get the picture.  I'm also not someone who has probably baked bread more than, quite literally, a handful of times, so I had a lot of concerns.  I probably underkneaded originally to combine all the ingredients, leading to some clear steaks in the break where it was clearly not evenly mixed. You can probably also up the accessory ingredients by about a 1/4 cup each; the dough is firm enough that I doubt it will weigh it down.  It also makes quite a bit - you can probably bake it in two batches if you prefer two smaller loves instead of one massive one. 

...and what it turns into, 10 hours late
Do plan on it being delicious, and serving it with more cheeses, wine, a salad, soup, etc.  Or just hot out of the oven, with some delicious olive oil to dip it in.  I had some of mine with a serving of Sausage and White Bean Stew.  I now can only move my fingers to type this because my stomach may weigh more than my head.  Be patient, this recipe is time consuming, but will be something you enjoy for days (literally, I have so.much.bread.). 

Add caption

If the Poptart ever reads this, he should be aware that I have a stash of this frozen, awaiting the day when he finally teaches me how to make the hot mess resembling cat vomit that is S.O.S.  I solemnly swear that if I am ever up to no good, and that if this day ever happens, I will post the recipe.

Rosemary Sweet Potato Olive Bread with Feta and Artichokes (Yossarian's Soapy Sweet Potato Bread)
Serves an entire Air Force squad, takes at least 10 hours
Rosemary Sweet Potato Olive Bread with Feta and Artichokes
aka Catch-22 Soapy Sweet Potato Bread


1 1/2 cups patee frementee at room temperature, cut into small pieces (recipe below)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup chopped marinated artichokes (6oz jar will yield this)
1/2 cup feta
3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
extra flour for kneading

Combined and ready for the first rise.

1.  In a very, very large bowl, mix patee fermentee though lukewarm water thorougly.  You may need to use your hands to tear the dough in half and pseudo-knead it to incorporate start to incorporate all ingredients.  

2. As it starts to come together as you knead it in the bowl, it may seem a little dry.  Add in the artichokes, feta, and olives; this will solve the need for more liquid. 

3. If the bowl is large enough, you can use it; if not, turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead for a few minutes until it forms a solid, yet slightly still sticky ball.    

After the first rise.
4.  Re-flour the bowl, place the dough in it, and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in a non-drafty warm place (I use my unheated oven), and let rise for the first rise for 2-3 hours.

5.  Remove the dough, place it on a well floured surface, lightly knead several times, shape to the shape of your cooking vessel, and put back in the bowl, re-cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for another 2 hours.    

6.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  When warmed, place your covered larger size (mine is 6.75 gallons) Le Creuset, Dutch Oven, or bread pot in the oven for 30 minutes.  

7. Carefully remove it, and even more carefully place the preshaped dough in the hot pot.  Cover, place back in the oven, and bake for 20 minutes.
8.  Remove the cover, and bake for 25 more minutes until the bread is firm and golden brown.

9.  Place on a cooling rack for at 15-20 minutes before slicing (it will actually make it easier to slice if it is cooled!).

10.  Enjoy! 
After the second rise (proofing)
and shaping.
Finally ready to bake!

Patee Fermentee
Well worth the effort for this lovely lump of crusty dough!
Rosemary Sweet Potato Olive Bread with Feta and Artichokes
aka Yossarian's Soapy Sweet Potato Bread
Makes about 2 cups

3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp instant yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water

1) Mix ingredients, kneading lightly to form a ball for around 4 minutes.
2) Place in an oiled bowl, cover and leave in a non-drafty place for about an hour, until it has doubled (again, I use my unheated oven).
3)  Lightly knead to remove some of the air, re-cover, and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
4) Allow at least an hour to warm to room temperature before using; cut into small pieces when you do so it incorporates better.

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