Bread isn’t all that hard to make, it just involves some patience. If you struggle with patience then maybe baking isn’t your thing. The sweet potato puree here can be subbed out with whatever kind of winter squash puree you’ve got laying around, like pumpkin. It keeps the bread moist and just like the roll recipe, it gives the final bread a gorgeous golden color. Make this to go with your favorite vegetable soup or throw it on the table at brunch and watch everyone lose their shit. No matter how you serve it, it’s gonna be a hit.
In medium glass, stir the water and yeast until combined and let it sit for a few minutes to activate the yeast.
While that’s doing its thing, in a large bowl or a stand mixer, whisk together the 4 ½ cups of flour and salt. Now whisk the sweet potato puree, cane sugar, and olive oil into the yeast mixture until everything is the same shade of light orange. Then make a well in the flour mixture. Pour half of the sweet potato mixture into the well. Use a wooden spoon or dough hook or stand mixer on low speed to stir while pouring in the rest of the sweet potato mixture. Knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes or use the dough hook on your stand mixer on medium speed to knead dough 5 minutes, adding more flour as needed, up to ½ cup , until soft, smooth, elastic dough forms. You know what the fuck dough should look like so don’t stress.
Shape the dough into a ball then throw it in a large, greased up bowl and cover. Let this hang out in a warm place for 60-90 minutes or until it’s almost doubled in size.
Once the dough is looking massive, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the maple syrup, almond milk, and olive oil together and warm them up slightly either on the stove top or in the microwave. Now, punch down the dough, knead it a couple of times, then divide it into 3-4 equal parts. Roll each piece until they’re about a foot long and then it’s braiding time.
There are plenty of braiding videos out there, so watch one if you wanna get fancy. A 3-part braid is the easiest, it’s just like a pigtail but the 4-part braid is def prettier. I still get fucking confused when I do it because my fear of doing my own hair runs that deep. Anyway, however you braid it, it’s gonna taste damn good. Brush some of the maple mixture over the braided loaf then cover it again and let it rise for 30 minutes.
Once the 30 minutes is up, warm up your oven to 350. Brush the loaf again with the maple mixture and then bake it for 30-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Let it cool for a bit before slicing this delicious shit up.