Breaking bread this holiday season

What’s Cookin’?

By Donna Zitter Bordelon

More bread, I said: Try these recipes for sweet potato and rosemary-olive breads this holiday season.

With Thanksgiving almost here, and Christmas not far behind, a few quick breads to serve, to bring to a holiday dinner, or to give as gifts are a good idea.

The following recipe is really a quick bread, but you will have to dirty a few bowls. Worth it!

SWEET POTATO BREAD

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans, then line them with wax paper or parchment paper (trim paper to fit the top of pan), and grease the paper.

1 stick butter

½ cup yogurt

½ cup honey

1 tsp. cinnamon

1½ cups chopped pecans, divided

In a small saucepan, combine butter, yogurt, honey and cinnamon. Boil for 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup pecans. Allow mixture to cool. Set butter/honey mixture aside.

2 cups grated raw sweet potatoes

Mix the remaining one-half cup pecans with the grated sweet potatoes.

Set sweet potatoes/pecan mixture aside.

1 cup canola oil

¾ cup water

4 eggs, beaten

In a small bowl, mix the oil, water and eggs. Set liquid mixture aside.

3½ cups flour

3 cups sugar

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Add the sweet potatoes/pecan mixture to the flour mixture in the large bowl.

Add liquid mixture to large bowl, and blend just to moisten.

Place 1 cup of batter into each pan. Top each with ½ cup of cooled butter/honey mixture.

Cover with another cup of batter, then another ½ cup of butter/honey mixture.

Finish with remaining batter.

Bake for 65–75 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.

Remove bread from pan and cool slightly, then remove wax or parchment paper.

Bread keeps moist for a few days and freezes well.

Here’s a savory bread that complements the turkey soup recipe in next week’s column.

ROSEMARY-OLIVE BREAD

1 cup onions, chopped

1 Tbsp. oil

½ cup Kalamata olives, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups whole-wheat flour

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking soda

1½ sticks cold butter, cut into 12 pieces

1¼ cup milk

2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped, or 2 tsp. dried

1 tsp. coarse black pepper

1 tsp. flour for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease a 9-inch round pan.

In a small skillet, saute onion over medium-low heat until soft, about 6–7 minutes. Stir occasionally so onion does not brown.

Add garlic and olives and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

Cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs using 2 knives in a scissor fashion, or use your hands.

Stir in milk, rosemary, pepper and onion mixture until all is just evenly moistened.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and with floured hands, shape into a ball. Cut an “x” ¼-inch deep on top and dust with the flour.

Bake 50 minutes.

Eat well, live long, enjoy!

(Questions or tips can be sent to Donna Zitter Bordelon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)