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Beautiful and delicious yeast bread gets its slightly sweet flavor naturally from yams. The bread also gets a slight kick of flavor from white pepper and spices. Sweet potatoes may be substituted for the yams.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 cups very warm (110-115 degrees F.) water
  • 5 to 6 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon each allspice and mace
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup cooked yam puree (from 1 to 2 yams)
  • 1 egg for glaze

Preparation:

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a large bowl. Mix 5 cups flour with the salt, white pepper, allspice, and mace. Stir into the yeast mixture.

Add butter, the yam puree, and additional flour, if necessary, to make a moist but kneadable dough. Knead until dough is elastic - 10 to 15 minutes by hand or 5 minutes in an electric mixer with doughhook. Then put in a buttered bowl, cover with plastic and a towel or plate, and let rise in a warm (75 to 80 degrees F.) place until doubled.

Punch dough down and let rise again about 45 minutes. Punch down and shape into one large round loaf or divide between 2 buttered standard bread pans (9 by 5 by 3 inches). Let rise once more for another 45 minutes.

Beat egg with a teaspoon of water and use as glaze for top of bread. Bake at 425 degrees F. until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when rapped with the knuckles, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool on a rack at least an hour before slicing.

Yield: 1 large round loaf or 2 smaller ones

Recipe Source: I Hear America Cooking by Betty Fussell (Viking Penguin)
Reprinted with permission.

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