Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day…a soda bread that’s for the Southern and not (just) the Irish.*
No, not the color warmth corrector on my Windows Live Photo Gallery, silly. That ate-too-many-carrots glow can only come from one source: sweet potatoes.Inspired by need to recreate every successful recipe multiple times, my insane love affair with sweet potatoes, and the fact that–just as I am often mistaken as being Irish due to my red hair and affinity for wearing green–I often pretend to be a born-and-bred Southerner, rather than just a raised-and-educated one…I figured it was time to celebrate my false leprechaun heritage by fusing it with my true grit(sy) one.Oh, and the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission is having a “No More ‘Mallows” Sweet Potato Recipe Contest. And you KNOW how I feel about pairing sweet potatoes and marshmallows.
I followed the same basic method from my previous vegan soda bread experiment, but took a sweeter take on it. [And I don't just mean adding mashed sweet 'taters to the "vegan buttermilk."*]
*1 cup unsweetened soymilk to 1 Tbsp. vinegarTo sugah-and-spice up the traditional Irish soda bread formula of flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk, I added cinnamon, cloves, and sucanat sweetener (and healthified everything by using whole wheat pastry flour, as per usual).And while marshmallows might not belong anywhere near my sweet potatoes, pecans certainly do.When you’re Miss Smart, your next thought is, quite naturally, “Why stop there? Why not add dried cranberries and crystallized ginger, too? Those must taste GREAT with sweet potatoes!”And after you finish mushing everything together (also known as kneading) with your “Who needs a Vitamix when you’ve got a pair of these?” hands, you realize that, yes, indeed, they do.Not so sticky that you worry about loose pieces of trash consequently sticking to your shoe should you step on it, but still wet and squishy enough to make you wonder if we added just a little more soymilk could we turn these into muffins*–
*And yes, I did wonder that.^
^And yes, I still do.–the next step is simply to “shape and score” the dough on a cooking sprayed pan.And then step back and let the little oven leprechauns work their magic.Although instead of” hearts and stars and diamonds,” I like to think these are Southern leprechauns who chant a medley of “grits and greens and okra/cornbread and Brunswick stew.”
(Vegan) Sweet Potato Soda Bread
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. sucanat (or other brown) sugar
- 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
- 2 Tbsp. diced crystallized ginger
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together soymilk, vinegar, and mashed sweet potato. Set aside.
- Combine flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and spices in a large mixing bowl.
- Add liquid/wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Mix in crystallized ginger, pecans, and dried cranberries. [I recommend using your hands. ]
- Form into a round loaf and place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Score the top crosswise with a knife.
- Bake 30-40 minutes, ‘tenting’ the loaf with aluminum foil (or covering with a heat-safe bowl) if the top browns too quickly.