Monday, June 29, 2015

Sweet Potato Buns – Great for Burgers, and Learning How to Bake Without Fear

Not only does adding sweet potatoes to a burger bun make it more nutritious, delicious, and significantly more beautiful, but it also presents the perfect opportunity to get pass your flour amount phobia, and finally be able to make dough by feel.

Every once in a while, I’ll get an email from someone whose dough was way too wet, or dry, and I always think the same thing; why would you stop? Some actually tell me they had to throw out the whole batch, which is insane. Your dough’s too wet? Add some flour. Too dry? Add some water.

No matter how exact a recipe is written, you simply can’t go by measurements, volume or weight, and expect perfection. There are too many variables that effect how much flour is needed – like a cup of mashed sweet potatoes, for example.

The best strategy is to not add all the flour at once, and only add enough to achieve the soft, slightly tacky dough seen herein. One of the great advantages of video is being able to see what the dough should look and feel like.

Once you get comfortable with not worrying about exact amounts, but rather exact results, the world of bread opens up to you and your new-found powers. Now, you just need to practice, so with that in mind, I really hope you give these amazing sweet potato buns a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 8 large, 16 medium, or 32 slider-sized rolls:

For sponge:
1 package (2 1/2 tsp) dry active yeast (I used Fleischmann's “RapidRise” Yeast)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup AP flour

Then add:
1 cup mashed orange sweet potato (also sold as yams)
2 tsp honey
1 1/4 teaspoons fine salt
1 large egg
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour AP flour, as needed to form the right texture dough (see blog post)

- Bake at 400 F. for 15 minutes, or until browned. Large buns may take an extra few minutes, and the sliders-sized may take a minute or two less.

38 comments:

Food Junkie said...

Your Kummelweck rolls were awesome (I couldn't stop eating those darn Beef on a Weck sandwiches - so good) so I am going to assume these are every bit as amazing. I will give this a try as soon as I can pick up a sweet potato. My Kitchen Aid Classic has been sitting idle far too long. Is potato bread made in a similar fashion with white potatoes?

Joe Rogers said...

I know this may seem kind of inconvenient, but I was wondering if you had the proportions for the recipe by mass or do you just have it by volume?

Chef John said...

What you see it what you get. ;) Also, are you messing with me after reading that blog post?

Chef John said...

Yes, I assume regular potato bread is the same basic thing.

Eric Pepple said...

Wow! Those look incredible, bookmarked and trying thanks Chef!

rotunder said...

Looks great Chef! In New Zealand we call sweet potatoes "Kumara", so if you want to sound exotic you could call em that

donna mikasa said...

My mom used to make potato rolls and these remind me of them. Looking forward to trying your recipe!

Kashyap Valiveti said...

They look so good!! Any idea if this would be as good with butternut squash?

Teju said...

Hi Chef John, I assume I can make the dough by hand if I don't have a stand mixer. But I wanted to know if it's best to mix by hand or whether it is better to use a wooden spoon or some such utensil? How long do you think I should knead it for? Thanks!

pat b said...

Copious MSG? Love it! Will be trying these soon.

inchrisin said...

Canned yams? Yea, or nay?

Keiko Kitagawa said...

i like this potatato :)
Looks great Chef! In New Zealand we call sweet potatoes "Kumara", so if you want to sound exotic you could call em that

Mizz Kat said...

Have you ever tried to convert something like this to gluten free? These look awesome and I love sweet potatoes but I was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease. Just curious how difficult it would be to alter the flours.

Cherio said...

Can't wait to make, Thanks Chef John

Lutheran Girl said...

Hey Chef John!

I will be eagerly baking these tomorrow morning. I'm wondering if these would work well as hot dog buns as well? Just shape them differently, of course. I'm currently watching your split top hot dog bun video--is the technique basically same?

Thanks!

Chef John said...

Yes the technique would work the same!

Bear said...

Made these today for tomorrow's burgers. They're really good!

MG GH said...

Chef John, is that buns same test as the martin' s potato rolls, are they using also sweet potato ???? or normal potato ??

regards

L Yao said...

I tried these yesterday, they didn't rise as high. not sure what happened.... maybe i kept them too far apart, and they spread out too much? does the spacing matter actually?

Kristiina said...

Could I substitute sweet potatoes to just regular potatoes? I come from a part of the world where sweet potatoes are not so readily available. The buns look so amazingly light and nice though I would like to give it a try :)

Jonathan Conaty said...

First of all, I just discovered your blog and your videos, and I you're hilarious - very enjoyable and fun to watch! Second, I made these, and your Teriyaki burgers for the 4th and they were an absolute hit with people. My wife and I loved them, and had them for lunch again today :) Thank you so much!

kristen krieger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jessica graham said...

What is under the buns on the baking sheet?

Natalie Ford said...

They were awesome, I left you a pic on Instagram :) Love your bread recipes!

Chef John said...

That's a silpat on the pan!

Donald Duncan said...

Humm... Is it just me, or does the Video not match the recipe,
or are you just messing with my mind?
The video says 1 cup of water, the recipe 1/2 cup.
I assume the sugar referred to in the Video is the honey
and finally, but not least, the Video has no sweet potato?

Lutheran Girl said...

Donald, the video doesn't say how much water, but as with all bread recipes, the liquid and flour are variable because of climate conditions (Chef John alluded to that, too). He also said that most bread recipes use white sugar but he's opted to use honey instead as a healthier option, which it also says in the recipe. Lastly, :43 to about 1:40 in the video is dedicated to the sweet potato prep for the dough, and then you add the sweet potato to the yeast/water/flour slurry. Hope that helps!

Maximilian Pohlmann said...

Thanks for the recipe! It tastes great and is so soft! Also the part about the flour was very helpful. When I took them out I thought they've been in too long, because the were really crispy, but after some minutes the crust got perfectly soft! Thanks again! :)

LuisaCA said...

I made these today and they were just wonderful! I nuked my sweet potato (1 lb 1 oz but I had 2 oz leftover) so it was drier than yours. I mashed slices up on a plate with a fork and that worked well. I ended up adding 3-4 Tbs of whey leftover from making ricotta, to boost the liquid factor. I can't wait to finish these so I can make them again !
Another Winner, Chef John!

Wren said...

I've made this recipe twice so far. The first time I thought I could get away with just the salt in Amish-style butter... big mistake. They had Monster rise and were pate a choux airy, but had the distinct metallic taste of over-yeasted bread.

Second time I followed the directions and they tasted much better, though I miss the amazing texture of the goofs.

Thanks for this recipe, I'm adding it to the rotation.

Ramón Garriga said...

Hello Chef John! Thank you for the recipe! I´ve been searching for this for a long time!
I used it to make a loaf!! It´s the most fluffiest and buttery loaf I´ve ever tasted!
Thank you a lot!

https://www.instagram.com/p/-Bdss1MoUd/?taken-by=cucamarcha

nh said...

Hello Chef John
I am a little confused about water in this recipe. total flour is 3 1/2 cups but there is only 1/2 cup of water
it must be dry. why it was sticky in the video?

Thank you,

Chef John said...

because sweet potato!

Unknown said...

Ruh roh, Chef - you left out a few steps before baking! :) It's ok - it gave me a chance to re-watch the video a few times to capture them & put them in the recipe for my Mastercook file. Can't wait to try them!

Iraa Kadchha said...

Hi Chef John

Love your recipes, I'd love to make these but my fiancé is egg intolerant, any suggestions what what to sub it with. I have organ egg replacer powder if that would be any good.

Thanks!

Unknown said...

Possibly one of these: http://chefinyou.com/articles/egg-substitutes-cooking/

Patricia Torrelio said...

Hi, great recipe. I was wondering if I can use white wheat flour instead of AP flour? If so, are the quantities the same? Thanks!

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