Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Sweet Potato Buns

I don't know if you know this about me. I LOVE sweet potatoes. Especially Japanese sweet potatoes. The ones sold at Isetan are from Japan and expensive.  Well, once in a while when the cooked ones are available, I buy one as a present to myself. But I hate to pay so much money for sweet potatoes so if I'm at Orchard and I remember, I buy the uncooked Japanese sweet potatoes from Don Don Donki.

I also love to eat bread. Sweet potato + bread = 2 things I love to eat. Mind blown. Except it's hard to find good sweet potato bread at local bakeries. Believe me I've hunted and tried a few not so good ones. 

So I decided to make my own. Not that I'm such a skilled baker. When it comes to enriched bread, it's very obvious when bread isn't good. With plain sandwich bread, the mind is very forgiving. I mean, it's called plain bread.

I googled and looked at many sweet potato bread recipes. Finally I thought this blogger's recipe was something I could reproduce in my kitchen. The recipe I followed was Japanese Purple Sweet Potato pull-apart buns from her book Low Sugar Cakes and Bakes.

I used sweet potatoes from Vietnam because they were cheap but the flesh was yellow and not purple at all. After I had added mashed sweet potatoes to the dough, the dough became very tough. I think I added a bit of water but the toughness stayed. Still I went through with the whole proofing process. The dough did expand but not as much as what I expected based on my experience.

When I took the buns out of the oven, they were super heavy. I had a bad feeling the buns would not taste good. And I was right. They tasted ok, if you're not picky. But for me, when it comes to enriched bread and remember you're eating all that extra calories, I'm super picky. I tried to eat one but I could only eat half. The taste, the texture, it was just so-so. I was very disappointed. In the end, I threw away the buns.

I was still determined to get my sweet potatoes buns. Remember my old pal Alex Goh? Once upon a time I was crushing so hard on Alex Goh's Magic Bread. I still bake his sweet bun now and then! I was pretty sure he has a sweet potato bread recipe somewhere and I found it in his book Baking Code. His recipe requires an overnight sponge. I used the same Japanese sweet potato from Vietnam and this time, apart from the mashed sweet potato, I made extra (but not mashed) so I could put some pieces inside the buns.

While the buns were baking in the oven, I already knew I had a winner. They smelt fantastic!

 I didn't have enough extra pieces of sweet potatoes, so some of the buns were plain buns.

Demmit! The ones with the sweet potatoes inside were super good. The crumb was soft and fluffy. When you eat it, you don't feel full right away. And you want another one. I'm definitely making these buns again once I get hold of some Japanese sweet potatoes from Don Don Donki. If you don't have Baking Code, a blogger kindly copied the entire recipe and put on her blog.


Jane McLellan said...

They certainly look good!

Projects By Jane said...

Hi Jane, thanks! I think I love sweet potatoes far too much. Yesterday I was at the supermarket and groping some sweet potatoes again. Nope, didn't buy because I think the next time I bake these, I'm buying the expensive Japanese ones with the purple flesh. I would love it if the buns turn out purple.

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