Last Minute Thanksgiving Recipes and Sweet Potato Bread
Posted Nov 23 2010 10:11pm
One day, a full Thanksgiving meal will be my personal responsibility. Until then, my friends rely on the sidekick dishes I contribute to their menu. And, if I’m feeling truly lazy, a good bottle of red wine is a peace offering to a disappointed host for not making a dish. Here’s another secret: This Sweet Potato Bread recipe makes two loaves. One loaf is immediately enjoyed, while the other is tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and zip loc for the freezer waiting to defrost after accepting a last minute holiday invitation.
For the past couple of years, this bread has prevented holiday stress and saved time. One year, an extra loaf was brought to a potluck Christmas party hosted by the president of my organization. Her event was held when personal freelance projects were being finalized before the close of the year. Sipping a cup of tea, a loaf of Sweet Potato Bread was removed from the freezer to defrost for an event happening the next day. Instead of wasting time baking, money earned by the hour and arriving at the president’s house with a loaf of bundled bread artistically wrapped in brown paper and twine were thankfully achieved. Already this year, there were two events held in the same week that needed a dish. Instead of spending two weekday afternoons baking, this recipe came to the rescue, again.
By now, the über-organized, foodie individuals are en route to picking up a pre-ordered heritage turkey; the grocery shopping has been completed; produce from the farmer’s market is prepped; and dishes of a menu planned weeks in advance are frozen. They’re nonchalantly opening their first slightly chilled bottle of Beaujolais for the holiday. Non-foodies start planning and prepping a Thanksgiving meal with only a few hours before their first guest arrive. For those individuals who strive to be organized, but fall short of their responsibilities, here’s a list of Thanksgiving recipes from the archives for traveling, breakfast, snacks, side dishes and for leftover turkey. To further be of assistance, this list has hints of where to include a slice of Sweet Potato Bread in a last minute Thanksgiving menu.
Ingredients (Makes 2 loaves)
5 oz. butter; room temperature
1-3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs; room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
5 oz. plus 2 tbsp. water; room temperature
2 cups pumpkin or sweet potato purée (roasted or canned)
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans; roughly chopped; extra for garnish
1/2 cup dried cranberries and/or raisins
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter two 8- or 9-inch loaf pans.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. About 2 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the flour, baking soda, and spices together. Set aside the flour mixture.
3. Add eggs, one at a time. Then include the water, vanilla and pumpkin/sweet potato purée. The mixture will look watery, but it’s okay.
4. Add the flour mixture at a low speed to prevent flour dust. Mix until the flour mixture is just incorporated into the batter. Do not over mix.
5. Gently stir in the nuts and the dried cranberries.
6. Divide the batter equally (your best estimate) among both loaf pans. Sprinkle the nuts on top. Place both loaf pans in the oven. Bake for 45 min. to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Then remove the loaves to a rack to finish cooling.
Note: Recipe reproduced by Neil Kleinberg, Owner/Chef of the Clinton Street Baking Company.
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