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Sweet potatoes make this the best from-scratch breakfast bread

Slices are even better when slathered with butter.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Every Sunday, I bake a slew of breakfast goods for my kids to eat all week. They need to be delicious from day one and still taste good by Friday, be at least a little nutritious and not make a mess in the car. This sweet potato bread — imagine a pumpkin bread but way better — has emerged as a clear winner.

Sweet potatoes bring more natural sweetness and tenderness to this loaf than pumpkin, and a combination of oil and yogurt keeps the slices from drying out while adding a complex richness. The stir-by-hand batter results in a quick bread that’s hearty but not heavy. It’s a great way to start the day or for an afternoon break with tea, but it can play the role of cake for dessert too, especially if you top thick slices with ice cream.

Sweet Potato Bread

1 ½ hours, largely unattended. Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf.

You can use any leftover sweet potato you have on hand, whether roasted or steamed, or you can microwave a whole one that’s been pricked with a fork until tender, about 5 minutes on high. Canned sweet potato works, though the bread will be a touch less flavorful.

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin or apple pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ½ cup grape seed or other neutral oil
  • ¾ cup mashed or puréed sweet potato
  • ½ cup plain whole-milk yogurt

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the parchment.
  2. Whisk the flour, spice, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk both sugars, the egg and oil in a large bowl until smooth. Add the sweet potato and yogurt and whisk just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and fold until no traces of flour remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  3. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes.
  4. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, then turn out and discard the parchment.

Variations
Sweet Potato Olive Oil Bread: Substitute extra-virgin olive oil for the neutral-flavored oil.
Sweet Potato Nut Bread: Fold 1 cup toasted and chopped walnuts or pecans into the batter.

Make ahead: The loaf will keep tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 1 week at room temperature.

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