Friday, October 26, 2012

Sweet Potato Walnut Cheese Bread

I should call this Leftover Bread but there are a lot of people out there who turn their noses up at leftovers.  I am not one of them.  My favorite breakfast is, in fact, whatever we ate the night before.  But this bread deserves much more than leftover status, because it is wonderful.  I made it this week as part of the Random Recipe Challenge for October, where the instigator, Dom, from Belleau Kitchen, asked that we delve into our store cupboards and pick a random, forgotten item to make into something delicious.  I took a little liberty with the storage area because my freezer is way worse off than my cupboard.  I have a penchant for bagging little bits of this and that to “use later” (read: hardly ever) and thought it would be more of a challenge and certainly more random since many of the bags aren’t even labeled.  I know, shame on me.   Anyhoo, what I came out with was actually two bags: One with small pieces of leftover cheese, some blue, some chèvre with a soft rind, a little cheddar and one that I imagine might once have been a proud piece of Tomme de Chèvre.  The other bag contained walnuts.  I thought about throwing the second one back in but what’s the challenge in that?  I did an ingredients search on EatYourBooks and came up with a lovely Delia Smith quick bread recipe from her How to Cook Book 1.  I’d have to adapt it to accommodate the walnuts but I figured I could take a little leeway since I had challenged myself with two ingredients, instead of one.  And while I was at it, I decided to use some leftover sweet potatoes from the refrigerator, instead of grating a fresh potato.  After all, clearing out unused stuff was the point of the game!  It feels so good!

Random Recipes #21 - October

Wildly adapted from Delia’s Goats' Cheese, Onion and Potato Bread with Thyme.

1 level cup and a rounded 1/3 cup or 175g flour
1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 oz or 170g cooked sweet potatoes
3.5 oz or 100g walnuts
6 oz or 170g assorted strong cheeses
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 tablespoons milk
1 egg
Olive oil for greasing the cookie sheet
Butter to serve, optional

Preheat the oven to gas 375°F or 190°C.

Pare the hard rind from the cheese, if there is one, and cut it into 1/2 in or 1cm cubes.  I left the soft rind on the chèvre or goats' cheese because we like it.

Chop your walnuts rather coarsely.

Put the flour, baking powder and salt into a big, roomy mixing bowl and whisk to mix, which gives the flour a good airing.  (Delia actually said to sift all three from up high for the same effect but my sifter had left that day, in the airfreight to Dubai, so the spare whisk would have to do.)

Mash your cooked sweet potato and add it to the flour.  Mix the potato in with a fork, until it looks like crumbs.  Use your hands if you need to.

Add two-thirds of the cheese to the potato/flour bowl.

Add in the walnuts and the smoked paprika.

Still using a fork or spoon, gently mix everything thoroughly.

After that, beat the egg with the milk.

Pour the mixture into the bowl, just bringing it all together to a loose, rough dough, still using your fork or a rubber spatula.  It will seem too dry to come together but just keep mixing and turning the bowl and the dough and your patience will be rewarded.   It will come together.

Rub a little olive oil on your baking sheet and transfer the dough on top of the oil.
Pat it gently into a 6-inch or 15 cm rough round.  You may need to wet your hands with some water to keep the dough from sticking to them.

Now lightly press the rest of the cheese into the surface of the dough.

I saved the small chunk of cheddar for this purpose, in case you are wondering why they all look the same. 

Bake the bread on the middle shelf of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove it to a cooling rack or cutting board and serve it still warm if possible.  Slathering of butter optional but delicious.


After note:  To take using leftovers one more step, this was delicious toasted on the griddle the next morning for breakfast.

There is nothing better than bread fresh from the oven, except maybe sweet potato, walnut cheese bread toasted the next day.


  1. what an excellent idea!... I love that you've used your freezer for this and that your bags are un-labelled... it's like freezer bag pot luck... genius! plus a whopping bread!... how gorgeous is that... all that cheese and nuts, divine!... thanks so much for taking part this month x

  2. Thanks, Dom! I hoped my choice lived up to the spirit of the challenge if not the storage space. :) The bread was wonderful and the recipe is so versatile. You can make substitutions and it still tastes great.

  3. That bread looks so delicious and I bet it was extra special with all those different bits of cheese. The sweet potato gives it a lovely colour. I'd never thought of freezing walnuts before, what a great idea. My freezer is full of unlabelled bags of bits and pieces - it's always pot luck when I pull one out.

    Glad to find another fan of Eat Your Books - a great resource :)

  4. EatYourBooks is awesome! I became a lifetime member when such things were still offered. I use it all the time and think Fiona and Jane are geniuses for creating it.

    I've lived in hot climates for most of the last 25 years so I always keep nuts in the freezer. It stops them from turning rancid on you before you can use them.

    Thank you for your kind words! The bread was delicious!

  5. The bread toasted the next day looks absolutely fantastic! Just wish I could eat dairy - having serious cheese envy right now!

  6. Thanks, Ruth! I am sorry about the cheese. Is there any that you can eat? I have heard that folks who can't tolerate regular cheese can eat hard aged cheeses like Parmesan without ill effect. You wouldn't want to put chunks of Parmesan but you could grate it to add to the dough.

  7. Vanessa @ Cakes and TeacupsOctober 30, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    I love sweet potato sweet potato and I haven't tried sweet potato bread. This looks delicious and will have to write it in my pad for breads to try : )

  8. Thanks, Vanessa! I love sweet potato in all its forms. Just baked in the oven when the skin gets crispy and then cut open and slathered with butter is probably my favorite because you taste all the glory of the potato. But this bread ranks right up there! Please let know when you try it.


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