Purple Pain de Mie #BreadBakers - a sweet potato dough


I had aspirations to expand on my carrot and beet challah for this month's BreadBaker's challenge (Vegetable breads, hosted by Cook With Renu), by adding some spinach dough and stacking ropes in a loaf pan.  Hot weather and time made me revise my plans to something a bit easier.  Plus, sometimes it's nice to try something new.  I have never had, cooked with, or baked with purple sweet potatoes before!  So I adapted a recipe for a purple sweet potato milk bread into a pain de mie.  However, I only have a 9" pullman pan and found that the recipe makes too much dough for that size.  (Around 1200+g where a 9" pullman wants 800-900g of dough, 800g being the better option, as potato hastens and increases the rise of the dough.)  I pressure steamed my potatoes and found that they have a very gelatinizing starch content.  It made a brilliantly soft and elastic dough.


So as I had leftover dough, I stuck it in the fridge and made cinnamon rolls for breakfast the next morning.  They were fantastic!  I would make this dough again in a heartbeat just to make the cinnamon rolls.  The regular sandwich loaf was a nice soft dough that easily sliced into thin slices and made great toast.  I am tempted to make cinnamon toast out of it, good as those rolls were...

And because the overnight method worked so well, I will do it again that way, leaving more time to sleep in the morning!  I took out my dough to warm up for ten minutes, then rolled it out, spread on a thin layer of soft butter, then a layer of brown sugar a bit inside the edges and topped with a generous dusting of cinnamon.  This was all rolled up, sliced and placed in a muffin tin as I only made four.  (With a whole batch I would probably use a 9x13" pan.)  The rolls proofed for about half an hour until puffy and very soft while the oven preheated to 390ºF, and baked for 20-23 minutes.  Simple powdered sugar glaze with a little milk to thin was the topping.  They were fabulous.  And now I want to make french toast out of the bread because I think it will be amazing.

Purple Sweet Potato Bread Dough
Yields enough dough for a 13" pullman pan, or a batch of cinnamon rolls
300g purple sweet potato (steamed and mashed - I used a food mill to puree the potato) 
500g all purpose or bread flour
1½ tsp instant yeast
55g sugar
1½ tsp salt
56g butter, softened
300 ml Milk (I ran out of milk and used about 250ml 2% milk and 50ml cream)

In a stand mixer, knead all ingredients of the main dough together, except butter. Mix until the potato is fully incorporated and the dough has become a cohesive mixture.  Add the butter and knead until the dough is very soft and elastic.  Cover the dough and proof for an hour or until the dough doubles.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gently pat it down to de-gas it. Fold the dough in half twice, form a ball and place seam side down.  Cover lightly and let the ball rest for 10 minutes.

Turn the dough over so the seam is facing up, dust off any excess flour, and form the dough into a tight 9” loaf.  Fold a few times to form a tight log, releasing some excess gas in the process.

Place in a buttered 13" pullman pan, making sure to butter the lid as well.  (Alternately, measure 800g of dough for a 9" pan and reserve the rest for rolls or a mini loaf.)  Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and leave to proof for 45-60 minutes until the dough has risen to just under the lip of the pan. 

Slide on the lid and bake in pre-heated oven at 400ºF for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, gently remove from the pan and transfer to rack to let cool completely.



#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. 


  1. Love the colour the purple sweet potato has imparted to the bread and such a good way to even use the sweet potato. Loved it

  2. That color is incredible! I'm definitely going to have to hunt down some purple sweet potatoes. The cinnamon rolls sound fabulous too!

  3. Oh, my goodness, it really IS purple! Such fun!

  4. How fun is that!!! I think this would be a perfect Easter bread being purple as it is.

  5. Oh my goodness what a beautiful loaf! Such amazing color!

  6. I was JUST at our Asian grocery store and saw these, thinking I would make gnocchi and I didn't buy them... next trip I will for sure to make this bread!

    1. I thought about making this with ube, but it's really hard to find fresh or even frozen and I didn't want to order the powder. So this was Japanese purple sweet potato which was fortunately right at our local co-op!

  7. Hello Kelly, what a gorgeous loaf. The colour looks stunning. The cinnamon rolls sound great.

  8. This is beautiful, i need to try this, When purple sweet potato hit the market,I am going to try this one for sure.

  9. Such an amazing color you got. I love how since (really we are) experience allows us to pull off such tricks as "too much dough...I'll just make cinnamon rolls in the morning"! Way to go.


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