Sweet Potato Buns
I know, you guys have gotten used to this being dessert central. Where are the cookies? Who’s bringing the cinnamon rolls? Where’s the frosting and glazes and sprinkle toppings? Well, sometimes we need to offset all that sugar with something savory, and with summer suddenly descending on us in a sweaty mist of grassy smells and Mexican beers, I thought you may enjoy this recipe for sweet potato buns- the vehicle your summer burgers have been waiting for. If you’re up for a yeasty challenge (and I promise that’s not nearly as weird as it sounds), let’s dive in!
I’m going to go out on a limb and claim sweet potatoes as a Southern thing. I know someone is going to come on here and man-splain to me about how sweet potatoes are prevalent here and there, how they actually originated in South America, how people in, I don’t know, Milwaukee really know what they’re doing with everyone’s favorite orange root vegetable. But look- who did it best? Who’s been topping sweet potatoes with pecans and marshmallows and buttery brown sugar since I don’t know when? What about flash frying them or tossing them in skillets with green peppers and bits of crispy bacon? Who’s been making sweet potato cinnamon rolls like… wait, that’s me. The point is, sweet potatoes are a prized part of Southern food, history, and culture, and so I’m claiming them as our own. So there.
These sweet potato buns are everything you’d expect them to be. Mashed boiled or baked potatoes make each roll a super soft doughy roll with loads of heft and flavor. These aren’t buns made primarily of flour and air- these things have FLAVOR. With all the texture of a typical potato roll, these sweet potato buns combine earthy sweetness with soft, toothy bread, and it is wonderful. Let me tell you how to make them.
To make these sweet potato buns, we simply toss all of the ingredients into a bowl, mix them together, and then knead. It’s crazy simple. I used leftover baked sweet potatoes (about one large one) to make the mash mixture for the dough, although you could cube and boil your own if you prefer. For one follow-up batch I used one that had been smoked on the grill, and *WOW*, welcome to Flavortown. Go about this in whatever manner feels right for you, just make sure your potatoes are soft and thoroughly mashed.
One this super wet dough has risen until doubled in size, we have to shape each bun. This is absolutely the trickiest part. Really, I should have taken photos of the rolling process for you (and maybe I’ll do that soon?), but I’ll try to break it down in the instructions as best as I can. There are also some great tips on forming buns on Youtube. The shaping ensures that each roll winds up being round in shape and fluffy in height, but don’t stress too much about it. The rolls will taste good even if they are oblong or a little flatter.
Making yeast breads is always an adventure, and these sweet potato buns are a super fun project to take on in the coming months. Give the recipe a try and let me know what you think! I’d LOVE someone to attempt these as a hotdog roll, so if you get super ambitious let me know! Have a terrific week, happy baking, and see you next week!
If you like these sweet potato buns you should check out:
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
Pumpkin Yeast Bread
Sweet Potato Meringue Pie
Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread
Cheesy Dinner Rolls
Sweet Potato Buns
These sweet potato buns are soft and chewy and barely sweet from the sweet potatoes!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 240
- Yield: 12
- Category: Bread
- ¾ cup (180 gm) lukewarm water
- 6 tablespoons (85 gm) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 large eggs, divided
- 1 cup (250 gm) mashed sweet potato, cooled (no added ingredients!)
- 2 cups (275 gm) bread flour
- 2–1/2 cups (340 gm) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2–1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, optional
- Combine the water, butter, TWO eggs, the sweet potato, bread, flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Mix to combine the ingredients. Switch to a dough hook and knead on medium speed for 4 minutes, adding a tablespoon or two of flour as needed (you can also knead by hand). This is a really soft and sticky dough, but it shouldn’t be so thin that you’re able to pour it. Once kneaded, put the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel, and allow to rise in a warm spot of the kitchen for about an hour and 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Once doubled, dump the dough onto a generously floured surface and portion into 12 equal-sized rounds.To form the rolls, see the video link in the text of the above post. Smooth the sides of each rolls, making the tops of each bun tight and smooth. Spread out on a lightly greased cookie sheet and cover again with plastic wrap or tea towel. Allow to rise and puff, about 45 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 350.
- Once risen, lightly beat the remaining egg and combine it with a teaspoon of water. Use a basting brush to lightly brush each top with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Bake in the preheated oven about 23-25 minutes or until the tops are golden and the internal temp registers at 180. Allow to cool and enjoy!