Updated: Jun 6, 2020
This is one of my favourite recipes because it’s pretty easy even if you've never made bread before, and it tastes delicious. Kumara is a great vegetable to keep in the house because it stores for a long time and is available year round. Make this recipe and eat it fresh out of the oven with some olive oil or your favourite pickle/relish. There is nothing more rewarding than cracking into a warm, crusty loaf that you have created with your own two hands! This recipe is adapted from Nadia Lim's cookbook Vegful.
Time: 30 minutes (+ 1 hour 45 minutes rising and 20 minutes cooking time)
300 g kumara (any kind), peeled and chopped into 2-cm cubes
250 ml tepid water
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp active dried yeast
2 tsp salt
12 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for the top of the dough)
450 g high grade flour
1-2 Sprigs rosemary and some flaky sea salt for the top
Cook kumara in boiling, salted water until a fork goes through with no resistance. Drain and mash well.
As the kumara boils, combine the warm water and sugar in a large mixing bowl. The water should be just warm, so when you dip a finger in you shouldn't feel a change in temperature. Sprinkle the yeast on top and stir gently. Set aside to allow the yeast to bloom and become frothy, about 10 minutes.
Whisk in the mashed kumara, salt and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Sift in the flour. Mix until just combined, being careful not to over-mix.
Tip the dough out onto a clean, dry surface, sprinkled with a small amount of flour. Bring together with your hands and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour as needed. The dough should be soft; if it’s really sticky, add a little more flour.
Drizzle the inside of the bowl you made the dough in with oil. Fold the edges of the dough underneath to create a smooth, rounded top, then place in the oiled bowl. Drizzle and rub dough with a little olive oil to prevent a crust forming on top. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place, for 1 hour until it has doubled in size.
Drizzle a baking tray with olive oil. Slide dough onto the oiled tray.
Use your fingertips to make indentations in the dough while gently stretching and flattening it into an oval shape about 1.5-cm thick.
Drizzle with olive oil, cover with the tea towel and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes to rise again.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Once the dough has risen, press your fingertips into the dough to make more indentations. Sprinkle with rosemary and salt. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden and puffed around the edges. Best eaten fresh out of the oven while it’s still warm!
Sahmay is studying a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Environmental Science at AUT. She is very fond of native plants and spends her spare time hiking and trying to figure out which berries and mushrooms she can consume without dying.