Even seasoned home cooks sometimes fear yeast. There is nothing to fear. Yeast is awesome. Yeast is the mother of carbohydrate deliciousness. Happy Mother’s Day, by the way. (Smooth, right?) Truthfully, I have yet to experience a time where my bread does not rise, which could be sheer luck.
Or it could be that I follow directions well. Baking works best when you just follow the recipe. Cooking has a lot of flexibility. You can go in without a recipe and make some delicious stuff. But I’ve found that with breads and cookies, following the recipe yields the most successful results. Go figure. The instructions to make these things actually works!
Anyway, these buns reward you for following instructions. They are fluffy and sweet and shiny and delicious. My friend compared them to Hawaiian rolls, and it’s the best comparison I could not think of, haha. Like most breads, these rolls are time consuming but simple.
Sweet Potato Buns
1/2 Cup of Whole Milk
1 1/8 Teaspoon Instant Dry Yeast
2 1/4 Cups of Bread Flour
1/2 Cup of Baked Sweet Potato*
3 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
3/4 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Large Egg, Separated
3 Tablespoons of Butter, Softened
Sea Salt, Thyme to top
Bake your sweet potato at 400 degrees F for 40-50 until soft, so a knife can easily pierce the flesh.
Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and use 1/2 cup of the sweet potato for the recipe.
Heat the milk in the microwave until it is warm, but not hot, about 30-45 seconds. You should be able to comfortably touch it with your finger (so not scalding hot) but it should be noticeably warm.
Add 1 1/8 teaspoon of yeast to the warm milk. Let sit for ten minutes.
Meanwhile, put the sweet potato, 2 1/4 cups of bread flour, and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Separate the yolk and the egg white of a large egg, and add the yolk to the stand mixer. Refrigerate the egg white for later use (in this recipe).
If the yeast is foamy in the warm milk, add the milk and yeast to the stand mixer. If not, the yeast is no longer good, try again with new yeast.
Mix the dough on medium speed with a bread hook for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. If the dough does not come together after the first few minutes, add a teaspoon of the reserved egg white.
Add the softened butter one tablespoon at a time while the mixer is running. Do not add the next tablespoon of butter until the first has been fully incorporated.
Mix the dough on medium high for 6-8 minutes until the dough is shiny and elastic and pulls away from the sides while the mixer is running.
Let rise for 2 hours in a warm place or 18-24 hours in the refrigerator until doubled in size.
Punch down the doughty and divide it into six to eight pieces, depending on how big you want the buns to be.
Let the bun rise for 45-50 minutes, or 2 hours if the dough was refrigerated overnight.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Add a teaspoon of water to the reserved egg white and apply to the risen buns. For an extra shiny finish, let one coat of egg wash dry and apply another.
Sprinkle the tops of each bun with thyme and sea salt.
Bake for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown.
These buns do put a lot of strain on a stand mixer, so if your mixer is not a workhorse like mine, you should probably skip this recipe. Recipe found on Lady and Pups.