Here’s how it all came about…we had some leftover stew, and for some reason I was semi-obsessed with the idea of making flatbreads to go with it. But I wanted to do something different. I wanted to use some unusual ingredient. I thought about all the different kinds of flour in the cupboard. But I’ve already made toasted barley flatbreads, and semolina flatbread. Then I thought about the sweet potato I’d bought on a whim. Why not put that in? And I’d just bought a huge bunch of fresh rosemary, so we’ll have some of that, too. And we’ll roast them together, rather than just boil and purée the potatoes, for more intense roasty flavor. So that’s what I did! The dough was a pleasure to work with – soft and firm at the same time, just as dough should be. I wanted them to be sort of light and puffy, so I made them the way I’d made pita bread one time, on a preheated baking sheet. They puffed beautifully! I was so happy! I love a bread that you can tear apart and use as a spoon, and stuff with delicious foods. I finally let Malcolm eat the remaining flatbread the next day, and it was good reheated as well.
In the early days of this blog, I foolishly used up all my sweet potato songs at once in a small playlist. It’s been a while, and they’re all good songs, so I’m just going to repost it here. Something to listen to while you wait for your dough to rise!
1 t yeast
1 t sugar
3 cups flour
1 t salt
2 t rosemary, chopped
1 medium sized sweet potato (about 1 cup, when puréed)
3 T olive oil
olive oil for roasting
Combine the yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup of warm water, and let sit for about 10 minutes.
Peel the sweet potato and cut it into chunks about an inch square. Coat lightly with olive oil, toss with the rosemary, and roast for about 20 minutes, till the sweet potato is soft and starting to brown and caramelize. Let it cool for a minute or two, and then puree it with the olive oil until it’s as smooth as you can get it. It might have flecks of charred skin, but that’s fine.
Put the flour in a bowl, combine with the salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the yeast & water and scoop in the puréed sweet potato. Mix well with a spoon, and then turn out onto a lightly-floured surface to knead. If you need to add a bit of water or a bit of flour to make it manageable, go right ahead!! Knead for about 7 minutes till it’s very smooth and elastic. Put it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch it down and leave it to rise a second time for about 45 minutes.
Form it into 8 balls. Roll each to be about 1/4 inch thick, and leave them to rise while you preheat the oven to 450. Put a baking sheet in the center of the oven to preheat as well. I put the rolled-out breads on another baking sheet and a bread board – I didn’t bother covering them with a damp cloth, because in the past that’s stuck to the breads and been heckish to disengage!
Once the oven and the baking sheet are hot, put the breads in, two or three at a time (as many as will fit on your sheet) They should puff up after 3 or 4 minutes. Turn them over and let each side get a bit brown, then take them out of the oven. If they don’t puff, don’t worry about it, they’ll still taste good. I usually have 2 that refuse to puff, and 6 that work fine, and we eat them all!!