Friday, April 20, 2012

RECIPE - Yam Bread (Pão de Cará)

We all know that there's no bread like homemade bread, even if we don't often get a chance to make it or taste it. Homemade bread blesses both the baker and the consumer, and no matter how spectacularly good a loaf of storebought bread might be, it can't hold a candle to bread from one's own oven.

Brazilian home bakers often add pureed potato, sweet potato or yams to their bread dough, which gives the final product an unidentifiable light sweetness and a marvelously airy texture. This recipe calls for the type of yam Brazilians call cará, but the bread can be made equally successfully with mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes - though obviously the taste will differ depending on which tuber you choose.
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RECIPE - Yam Bread (Pão de Cará) 

5 cups unbleached all-purpose wheat flour, sifted
pinch of salt
1/2 cup demarara sugar (or other brown sugar)
1 Tbsp instant yeast
2 whole free-range eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp softened butter
1 cup cooked and mashed yams
1/2 cup whole milk
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In a large metal or glass mixing bowl, combine the sifted flour, the salt, the sugar and the yeast. Mix well with a wooden or plastic spoon. Add the eggs, butter and yams, mixing in each ingredient as it is added. Finally add the milk in small quantities, making sure that each is incorporated before adding more.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and knead it for 10-15 minutes, adding a bit more flour if required from time to time, or until you have a smooth, elastic and non-sticky dough. Form into a large ball.

Place the kneaded dough in a clean bowl, cover with a clean cloth towel and put it in a warm, non-drafty place. Let the dough rise for about one hour, or until it has doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Return the dough to the working surface, punch down and form into loaves (large or small as desired). If you wish you can also cook the bread in prepared greased and floured loaf pans. If not using loaf pans, place the formed loaves on a greased and floured cookie sheet.

Bake the bread in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the loaves have a nice browned crust and sound hollow when tapped. Let cool completely on a wire rack, then store or serve.


Recipe translated and adapted from Cozinha Natureba.

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