Thursday, July 4, 2013

Vegan Taro Buns

There are days when you just can’t take any of the drama around you. 

It was one of those days for me. Though the weather seems to be on my favor since yesterday, cloudy with light drizzles throughout the day, typical London weather, it was not enough to cover the hole in my chest.

After a good dose of Pink Floyd, scrolling down the 9Gag pages, and about 50 Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird played back to back, oh great.. Now you know how old I am, I felt a bit better and up to tackle any hard core bread recipe.  Why bread? Because the process of baking bread is therapeutic and I do need to stock up some for tomorrow’s breakfast. 

I chose this recipe because it took me several failed attempts in the past to perfect it. Not because I lack the capability in producing a good result, but simply because there is a major flaw in the recipe. The writer forgot to write how much water to use. It was a big challenge and despite the sometimes rock-hard, sometimes rubbery bread as the results, I enjoyed the process. In baking, the amount of liquid to use, though it may slightly vary according to the temperature of your environment, is crucial to be included in the recipe.

The use of taro or purple sweet potato is what attracted me the most to this bread plus the fact that it’s vegan. You can find the original recipe here (J3ssKitch3n). It’s originally a sandwich loaf recipe. But I prefer to have it made as mini buns so I can fill it with jam, chocolate, or any other delicious fillings, vegan or not. I feel like I have the obligation to tell you in advance that these buns are out-of-this-world soft. You will want to keep making it again and again.

So here is my true and tested recipe. Consider yourself warned.

Starter Dough Ingredients
200 gr bread flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast
130 gr steamed purple sweet potato, mashed, in room temperature
3/4 cup water

Final Dough Ingredients
All of Starter Dough
35 gr bread flour
35 gr all purpose flour
20 gr wheat bran
50 gr cooked purple sweet potato (mashed)
25 gr sugar
40 gr vegetable oil
Your choice of fillings if you're making buns
Note: Skip the wheat bran if you don't have it

Combine Starter Dough Ingredients in a bowl. You will have a shaggy mess of dough. Cover with cling wrap and proof for one hour or until it doubles in size.

After you proof the Starter Dough Ingredients and its size has doubled, combine it with the Final Dough Ingredients.

Knead until the dough is amalgamated and reach a moderate gluten development stage. I have to say that it takes a longer time to knead this dough than a dough without sweet potato. Oil the bowl and let it proof for an hour or until it doubles in size.

Take out the dough from the bowl. Divide your dough into 9 pieces if you're making buns. Don't divide if you're making a loaf.

Fill your dough with whatever yummy fillings you're in the mood for, mine is cheese this time, and shape it into a tight ball. Arrange these cuties on a pan that has already been lightly buttered so they won't stick or -God forbid- tear when you try to get them out of the pan after they're fully baked.

Cover with cling film and let them proof for an hour or double in size. Bake at 170C for 30 minutes. Add another 8 minutes if you're making a loaf.


A lot of people and bakeries out there use some kind of bread softener to make soft cottony bread. When I hear the word softener, I can't help to think of fabric softener and hair conditioner. There is no way I want to incorporate that into my food.

By using this recipe and really knead it well, you'd be very surprised with the result.

Looking at the bright color and knowing that it's 100% natural is like a triumph over everything artificial. The added wheat bran makes these buns full of fiber and just one bun will keep you full. That is if you can keep yourself from having a second one.

And now is time for me to have some tea and enjoy the chilly air with my bread and some slow Barry Manilow songs.


Stumble Upon Toolbar Pin It


  1. So there's not even any taro in this recipe?

  2. Taro is also called purple sweet potato here