I was initially skeptical of this idea of Mr. Pea’s… I mean, seriously, making your own dinner rolls? making your own vegan dinner rolls? throwing sweet potato in there? I’m not going to lie, making bread scares me; it just seems like some sort of MasterChef thing.. not a Jessica thing. However, after seeing this idea to fruition, I’m totally sold. These sweet potato buns are ah-mazing! I see bread-making is in your future.
This recipe works for dinner rolls, burger buns and even hot dog buns (yep that happened… and was ah-mazing)! The sweet potato brings a really nice sweetness to the bread that I love. The buns are also super light and fluffy. You would think the sweet potato would make them heavy but the texture is perfect. Plus, dinner rolls with veggies in them are better for you than those without. It’s just a fact.
I tried to take some photos of the process so you would know what each step looks like. Before you get into the recipe it might be helpful for me to explain one thing this recipe follows the “sponge and dough” method…which is a two step process where the “sponge” (basically yeast, water and flour) ferments first and is then added to the rest of the ingredients to form the dough. The first two pictures below show the change in the “sponge” while you let the yeast do it’s magic. The next two pictures show how your dough should look once everything is mixed together, and then after rising. Yep, that’s right it expands like CRAZY! Seriously, that dough rising is out of control. If you haven’t made bread before it is literally the coolest thing to see. And now for the recipe!
Vegan Sweet Potato Buns
for the sponge
- 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast (equivalent to 1 package)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
for the dough
- 1 cup cooked sweet potato mashed
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Peel and cube 1 medium sweet potato. Boil in water with a pinch of salt until potato is fork tender. Mash and let cool.
- While sweet potato is boiling make the “sponge” – Combine yeast, warm water and flour in a small bowl (if you are using a standmixer use the mixer bowl for this). Lightly whisk to combine, cover and let sit for approximately 20 minutes until foamed up with little bubbles, letting you know the yeast is ALIVE!
- Add cooled mashed sweet potato, maple syrup, salt, grapeseed oil, baking powder and 2 -2/12 cups of the flour to the sponge (it’s better to start with less flour and then add as needed) If using a standmixer, use the dough hook to mix on low speed until a dough forms (approx. 5 – 7 min). Slowly add the remaining flour as needed to form the dough, scraping down the sides as needed. If you don’t have a standmixer, combine ingredients by hand and knead, slowly adding flour until the dough is formed. The dough should be soft, slightly stick and elastic (but not so sticky that it sticks to your fingers).
- Pour an extra 1/2 tsp of grapeseed oil over the dough and spread over until the dough is lightly coated. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm area for approximately 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until doubled (see photos). We put the dough in the oven with the light on.
- Place the dough on a surface that is lightly floured, press the dough down with your hands to deflate it a bit. Shape the dough into 16 balls approximately 1.5 inches in diameter. You want the buns to be smooth on top and can achieve this by lightly stretching the dough underneath itself, pinching it underneath. Place buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment approximately 1/2 inch apart. Brush a bit of grapeseed oil over the dough balls and place back in the oven to rise for 15 minutes.
- Remove buns from the oven. Heat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.
- ENJOY 🙂 Serve as dinner rolls or use as slider buns. Or you can make larger burger buns and bake for an extra minute or two.
- To make hot dog buns using this dough, shape dough into one large rectangle approximately 1 inch thick and cut into 1 inch wide pieces (the hot dog buns). Once cut, turn the buns on their side and use scissors to cut an indentation into the hot dog buns. Brush with grapeseed oil, making sure to cover the sides and place about 1/2 inch apart on baking sheet. The full recipe should make approx. 12 hot dog buns
- If you are going to use these for burger buns, press the balls of dough down slightly (more of a bun shape than a ball).