Sweet Potato Sourdough Discard Bread with Bacon

I made a sweet potato sourdough discard bread with bacon. Actually, I made a recipe for sweet potato and bacon and maple syrup sourdough bread. I did. I blame those amazing sweet potato biscuits from Jubilee from a few days ago.

During February 2021, I celebrated Black History Month by cooking from Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin.

We were sitting at the table after dinner the other night, and I was looking at recipes to use leftover mashed sweet potato. I wondered aloud about sweet potato sourdough bread. Mr. uglyducklingbakery suggested bacon (We had just been talking about an okra/bacon/rice dish from Jubilee). And there was no turning back.

a loaf of bread on a dark background with three slices and a knife

The bread dough and final product take on a slightly orange dough from the sweet potato.

mixing the sweet potato into the sourdough discard bread ingredients
a ball of sweet potato sourdough bread dough
the risen loaf of sweet potato sourdough discard bread

Tips and tricks for this recipe

– The amount of water or flour you will need will vary based on your sourdough discard (I use a 100% starter that is equal amounts of water and flour in a small volume levain), your sweet potato, etc. Please don’t think of my amounts as law. You want to end up with a sticky ball of dough at the end of mixing.
– You might consider cooking a smidge more bacon to ensure that you will have enough to account for the snacking that will happen by your family. If you don’t eat meat, please skip the bacon and increase the salt by 1 tsp.
– I bake bread in order to have bread for sandwiches. But you can shape this in any way that makes you happy. I’m jealous of all of those pretty boules out there.

FAQs about this sweet potato sourdough discard bread recipe

Why do you use yeast in your sourdough bread?

I make a cheater’s sourdough using 1/2 tsp of instant yeast and the sourdough discard, so I can finish the loaf in one day – it took 10 hours start to finish.

Can you freeze this bread?

Yes. If we are not going to eat the loaf within a few days, I slice the bread and put the slices in a freezer bag in the freezer to extend the life of the loaf.

What kind of sandwich would you recommend for this bread?

The bread has a smoky flavor from the bacon, resulting in a perfect grilled cheese sandwich. I used taleggio, but a cheddar would also match well.

What are your favorite sourdough discard recipes?

I love this recipe for apple cake and this one for apple muffins. The King Arthur website also has a great list of sourdough discard recipes. The crackers have been my favorite so far.

Why do you add salt after all the other ingredients?

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.

a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of soup

Sweet potato sourdough with bacon

Author uglyducklingbakery


  • 8 strips bacon
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato
  • 1 cup (125g) whole wheat flour
  • 3 cup (375g) bread flour plus more as necessary
  • ½ tsp instant yeast optional
  • 127 g levain/sourdough starter
  • 1 cup (250g) lukewarm water plus more as necessary
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Cook the bacon until just barely crisp (I baked mine on a roasting pan at 425°F). Transfer to a plate covered with paper towels to let cool.
    8 strips bacon
  • 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. Set aside.
    1 cup mashed sweet potato, 1 cup (125g) whole wheat flour, 3 cup (375g) bread flour, 1/2 tsp instant yeast, 127 g levain/sourdough starter, 1 cup (250g) lukewarm water, 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Chop the bacon into small pieces, then add the bacon and 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 85-90°F oven works well here.
    1 tsp salt
  • Every 20-30 minutes for 2-3 hours, reshape the dough into a ball. Do not stress if it's shorter or longer than 20-30 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.
  • Shape and let rise. I really love my bread loaf baker, which gives it a great crust and that loaf shape that I need. A dutch oven also works. I lightly butter my bread loaf baker. Let it rise. How long will depend on whether you were using a well-fed or un-fed starter and/or the amount of yeast. It should again double in size.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F at least one hour before baking.
  • Bake at 450°F in the dutch oven/baker for 30 min, then reduce heat to 350°F, remove lid and bake about another 15 minutes. The internal temperature should be 190-195°F.

What’s next?

If you make this sweet potato sourdough bread, please comment and share a pic! Mr. uglyducklingbakery would want to know.

Or check out other breads for sandwiches in the uglyducklingbakery archives like this sweet Portuguese bread or this brown bread.

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a loaf ofsweet potato sourdough and a small Peppa pig

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