Purple Sweet Potato Farro Bread

31 Aug

I made a similar version of this bread several weeks ago but gifted them to some friends.  I wanted to try baking it again and decided to sub Farro for the freshly ground Spelt.  Spelt is one of the oldest cultivated grains initially discovered in the fertile crescent of the Middle East. Grano farro is the original grain which other grains are derived. More commonly it’s now grown in Italy in the regions of Lazio, Umbria, Tuscany, the Marches, and Umbria.  It adds a nutty flavor profile and I was very happy with the final result.

The purple sweet potato added a beautiful color and really makes the crumb nice and moist and flavorful.  I highly recommend you give this one a try if you can get your hand on the ingredients.  The purple sweet potato does taste very different than the standard orange version as it is not as sweet so if you decide to sub it will not taste the same.  It will still be good, but I prefer the flavor the purple potatoes imparted.

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.

Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.   You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours  and the sweet potato with 90% of the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, olive oil, salt and the balance of the water and mix on low for 5 minutes.   Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it’s size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 540 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

Lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 25-35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.

Below is the nice moist and colorful crumb.

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