The last time I made sweet potato buns, I used a sweet potato flour. Nothing wrong with that, except that it's a little hard to find. And it's sort of expensive. Sweet potatoes are very cheap in comparison.
You can cook sweet potatoes specifically for this recipe, or you can use left over sweet potatoes. If you do use leftovers, keep in mind that whatever flavors you've added to the potatoes will also be in the bread. And, if you've added a lot of butter to the potatoes, you might want to cut back a bit on the amount of butter you add to the bread dough.
So there I was with sweet potatoes and thinking that I wanted to add one more flavor. I considered walnuts. I considered bacon. But then I thought that I didn't want anything that was quite that assertive. I wanted buns that were a little different, but that wouldn't clash with other foods.
Finally, I settled on maple. Not a lot - just enough to be an accent rather than the major flavor. And to boost the maple flavor a bit - because, let's face it, a couple tablespoons of maple syrup isn't going to add that much flavor - I added some maple extract as well. If you want more maple flavor, feel free to add even more.
These buns are sweet from the potatoes, but not too sweet. It's not like they're breakfast buns - they'd be great as dinner rolls, and would pair nicely with a ham dinner. Or for ham sandwiches from the leftovers.
Maple and Sweet Potato Buns
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 cups (13 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon maple extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Combine the yeast, water, and maple syrup and 2 cups of flour in the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir to combine and set aside for 10 minutes to get bubbly.
Add the remaining bread flour, sweet potatoes, and maple extract. Knead with the dough hook until you have a smooth, elastic dough. Add the salt and the butter and continue kneading until both are incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until the dough has doubled in size - about an hour and 15 minutes.
Flour your work surface, line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Turn out the dough and divide it into 15 pieces. Form each into a ball and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until the rolls are doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees until the buns are nicely browned, about 30 minutes.
Place the buns on a rack to cool.
This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.
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