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!


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.


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 or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)