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A vegan bread suitable for Thanksgiving or Christmas! This is so good you non-vegetarian guests won't even notice it isn't their "regular" braided bread. This has the prettiest russet color for the fall/winter dinner table!
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1⁄4 cup lukewarm water
- 1⁄4 cup safflower oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1⁄2 cups cooked well-mashed sweet potatoes
- 3 tablespoons honey (or honey substitute, e.g. maple syrup)
- 1 cup soymilk
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 1⁄2 cup cornmeal
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- soymilk, to brush tops of loaves
- Combine the yeast and the water in a medium mixing bowl and let stand for 10 minutes, or until dissolved.
- Stir in the oil and thyme, then the mashed sweet potato, honey, and soymilk.
- Stir gently until the mixture is smooth.
- In another bowl, combine the flours, cornmeal, and salt.
- Make a well in the center and pour in the wet mixture.
- Work together, using a spoon at first, then hands, until thoroughly combined into a dough.
- Turn out onto a floured board and knead for 8-10 minutes, adding additional flour until the dough loses its stickiness.
- Place in a clean bowl and cover with a tea towel.
- Let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.
- Punch the dough down and turn back out onto the board.
- Divide into six equal pieces.
- With hands, roll each piece into a long coil, about 1" in diameter.
- To make each loaf, braid three coils and pinch the ends together.
- Place the loaves on a floured baking sheet, cover with the tea towel, and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Brush the tops of the loaves with soymilk.
- Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the tops are golden and the loaves feel hollow when tapped.