This Purple Sweet Potato Sourdough Recipe uses mashed Stokes purple sweet potatoes for a soft sandwich loaf with a pale pink color and a rich, slightly sweet flavor. Make this purple sweet potato bread with active sourdough starter or as a sourdough discard bread with a small amount of commercial yeast – you won’t taste the difference.
Read on to learn all about purple sweet potatoes and tips and tricks for this recipe. Or just grab your sourdough starter, hit the Jump to Recipe button, and let’s make a purple sweet potato sourdough!
Stokes purple sweet potatoes have a purple skin and purple flesh. You’re not alone if you get confused about the difference between purple sweet potatoes and yams. Spoiler: the only thing they share in common is their color!
Purple sweet potatoes are slightly drier than the more common orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, but you can use them in many of the same ways. If you’re looking for purple sweet potatoes recipes, try making mashed purple sweet potato with banana, purple sweet potatoes loaded with white beans, or purple sweet potato pancakes aka latkes.
Can’t get enough of the color purple? Check out these ube crinkle cookies, my purple cow milk bread (go Ephs!), or some purple cocktails like the Water Lily, made with creme de violette, or my lavender gimlet, made with Empress 1908 gin.
Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
Variations and substitutions
- Use orange-fleshed or yellow-fleshed sweet potatoes, though you won’t get the same pink color to your sweet potato sourdough. You also may need to adjust the water content in your bread.
- Make a sweet potato sourdough bread with bacon. Yes, bacon.
Recipe tips and tricks
Roast your purple sweet potato until you can pierce it easily with a fork. Let cool and peel.
I use a 100% starter with equal amounts of water and flour in a small volume levain. The amount of water or flour you will need will vary based on your levain, your sweet potato, the humidity in your kitchen, etc. Please consider the recipe as a guide and not law.
You want to end up with a sticky ball of dough at the end of mixing.
You can shape your purple sweet potato sourdough bread in any way that makes you happy. I’m jealous of all of those pretty sourdough boules on Instagram.
I bake bread in order to have an easy-to-slice loaf of bread for sandwiches for my family. And I love the Italian Bread Loaf pan from Emile Henry.
I have acquired the belief, true or not, that you shouldn’t add salt to bread until well after the process has started for fear of direct salt effect on the yeast and bacteria (that whole osmosis and cell wall thing). This is probably overkill, but it is something I always do (i.e. delay adding salt).
If we are not going to eat your sourdough within a few days of baking, slice the bread and put the slices in a freezer bag in the freezer to extend the life of the loaf.
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.
Purple Sweet Potato Sourdough
- 1 cup mashed purple sweet potato
- 1 cup (125 grams) whole wheat flour
- 3 cup (375 grams) bread flour plus more as necessary
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast optional
- 127 grams levain (sourdough starter)
- 1 cup (250 grams) lukewarm water plus more as necessary
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- butter or oil for greasing, if using a loaf pan
- In a large bowl, mix the sweet potato, flours, yeast (if using), levain/starter, water, and maple syrup, initially with a spoon or spatula and then by hand. The mixture should be somewhat sticky, so add small amounts of flour or water as needed. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes.1 cup mashed purple sweet potato, 1 cup (125 grams) whole wheat flour, 3 cup (375 grams) bread flour, ¼ teaspoon instant yeast, 127 grams levain (sourdough starter), 1 cup (250 grams) lukewarm water, 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Add the salt to the bowl and knead until incorporated. Form into a ball and lightly oil the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm location – the microwave or a 85 to 90°F oven works well here.1 teaspoon salt
- Every 20 to 30 minutes for 2 to 3 hours, reshape the dough into a ball. Do not stress if it's shorter or longer than 20 to 30 min intervals. Because of the stickiness, you might need to wet your hands for the first one or two of these. It should double in size and get more pliable.
- Shape and let rise in a greased bread loaf baker or dutch oven. I really love my bread loaf baker, which gives a great crust and that loaf shape that I need. Let it rise until doubled in size – how long will depend on whether you were using a well-fed or un-fed starter and/or the amount of commercial yeast.butter or oil for greasing, if using a loaf pan
- Preheat the oven to 450°F at least one hour before baking.
- Bake at 450°F in the dutch oven/baker for 30 min, then reduce the heat to 350°F, remove the lid and bake about another 15 minutes. When done, the internal temperature of the loaf should be 190 to 195°F, and it will sound hollow when the bottom of the loaf is thumped.
- Let cool for at least one hour before cutting.
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