Sweet Potato Maple Vegan Beer Bread
I don’t know if beer is exactly healthy, but let’s say it is.
It would mean that this bread is pure health food. Sure, I’ll go with that.
When I made Honey Maple Beer Bread, I was so pleased with the taste, texture, and ease of the one-bowl, no-kneading recipe, I knew I had to experiment more.
This bread is based on that recipe, but it’s vegan and refined sugar-free. That’s right, there are no eggs in this fluffy-rising loaf with a soft, moist, open crumb.
There’s no refined sugar used. The natural sweetness from the sweet potato, along with maple syrup and robust dark molasses, provide a gentle and subtle sweetness.
I microwaved one small sweet potato, peeled it, mashed it in a big mixing bowl, and then added a drizzle of oil, molasses, (sugar-free) maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I imagine you could use about 1/2 cup pumpkin puree if you have any lingering and begging to be used.
You can take this bread more savory by skipping the molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, and replacing with garlic powder, onion powder, curry, seasoning salt, or a favorite grill seasoning. I suggest agave instead of maple because it’s cleaner tasting and won’t compete as much with the savory elements.
Stir in all-purpose flour baking powder, and pour a 12-ounce bottle of beer over it. It’ll foam up and look like a bubbling science experiment, which is the yeast in the beer interacting with the baking powder, and all those bubbles are going to help the dough rise in the oven.
I haven’t tested using whole wheat flour, but I wouldn’t use more than 50% or the bread could be very dense, and/or not rise well. I have no idea if gluten-free flour blends will work.
I’m in Aruba and selected it from a local grocery store because it was 12-ounces and many local brews are bottled smaller. The label was in English and I could read it, and I’ve seen people drink it in bars in the U.S., so I figured it wasn’t awful.
The Stella was lighter in color than the pumpkin-flavored Blue Moon I used in my last beer bread, and the resulting loaf is much paler, which was surprising, considering the orange sweet potato. Sometimes with baking I’m still really surprised by what comes out of the oven 30 minutes later.
This loaf has a firmer outer crust, with a soft, ridiculously moist, dense yet springy interior.
The sweet potato lends tons of moisture and slight texture, reminiscent of the texture you’d find in a grainy or wheaty loaf, minus any whole grains or whole wheat flour used.
The spices and maple flavor are present, but on the fainter side. Normally I go very heavy-handed with spices, but kept them to a modest level. It’s less sweet and less spiced than the Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread because I wanted it to be good sandwich bread or for toasting, and not be too overloaded with heavy spices.
It makes excellent toast, and I bet it would have made excellent French toast, but the loaf was devoured in record time. My family commented on how soft and moist the bread is, and both of them scarfed down 2 slices of toast. Then they asked for 2 more slices, each. There went the loaf.
Not only is it the easiest bread you’ll ever make, but since it’s free from refined sugars and it’s vegan, feel free to have at least 3 or 4 warm, buttery slices of this health food. No joke, best toast I’ve ever had.
Sweet Potato Maple Vegan Beer Bread
The beer bread, which does not taste like beer, is made in one bowl in minutes, there’s no kneading, it’s vegan, and refined sugar-free. No eggs in this fluffy-rising loaf with a firmer exterior and a soft, moist, open crumb on the interior. There’s no refined sugar used, and the natural sweetness from the sweet potato, along with maple syrup and robust dark molasses, provide a gentle and subtle sweetness. Baking times will vary based on moisture level of sweet potato, climate and oven variances, and brand of beer used. Since it’s free from refined sugars and it’s vegan, feel free to have a few extra slices. Makes great sandwich bread or toast.
about 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato (the flesh from 1 small cooked and peeled sweet potato)
2 tablespoons canola, vegetable, or melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons light, medium, dark molasses (not blackstrap, too bitter)
1/3 cup maple syrup (I used sugar-free)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
12 ounces beer (I used Stella Artois; use your favorite beer)
- Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
- Add the sweet potato to a large mixing bowl (I microwaved the sweet potato for 7 minutes, let it cool momentarily, peeled it, and mashed it with a fork in the mixing bowl).
- Add the next 7 ingredients, through optional salt, and whisk to combine. Some small sweet potato lumps will be present and that’s okay.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and slowly pour the beer over the top. It will bubble and foam. Stir until combined and no white bits remain at bottom of bowl. Batter is thick, gloppy, and dense.
- Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until top is domed, firm and set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice using a serrated knife. Bread is best fresh, but will keep airtight for up to 4 days. I prefer it toasted with butter, and makes good sandwich bread.
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Have you ever made beer bread?