This sweet potato hamburger bun recipe makes delicious, soft and slightly chewy buns; perfect for your next vegan burger cookout! Sweet potatoes give these buns a unique texture along with beta-carotene and other nutrients, while freshly ground flax seeds add Omega-3’s. Best of all, the recipe is really simple and easy, requiring no special equipment, so anyone can make them. I hope you give them a try! Click here for the printable recipe.
Video Tutorial for Vegan Sweet Potato Burger Buns
The first step is cooking the sweet potatoes and mashing them. If you don’t have access to sweet potatoes, you can also use other root vegetables such as regular potatoes and carrots. Do keep in mind that using different vegetables will affect the final flavour, though it will be light. I chop up the potatoes into 1″ cubes so that they will cook quickly.
This recipe is quite similar to the hamburger bun recipe that I posted last year; these fluffy flax seed buns. The main difference is the addition of sweet potato mash and extra flour to soak up the extra moisture that come with that.
The nice thing about adding a warm mash to the mixture is that it makes the dough fairly warm and this makes the rising process go more quickly. Because it’s been warm lately, the rising process takes only 30 minutes. Typically, this takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and fifteen.
Whereas last year, I used melted vegan butter to brush on top of the buns, these buns are brushed lightly with a mixture of one part maple syrup and one part water. This “syrup wash” keeps the sesame seeds stick on and gives the tops of the buns a nice golden brown. It’s totally optional though.
After baking, the golden color from the sweet potatoes really comes out more. The resulting buns are slightly chewy but soft. I always toast the inside of my burger buns as it really makes a difference; making a ordinary vegan burger seem more gourmet. Not that these burgers were ordinary. They were gorgeous; hearty, juicy, and perfect.
Printable recipe for Vegan Sweet Potato Buns
- 8oz sweet potato , 1" cubes
- water to cook potatoes
- 2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast (instant or traditional)
- 2 tablespoons finely ground flax seed (preferably freshly ground from whole seeds)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (more or less)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Bring some water to a boil in a pot. You only need enough water to cover the sweet potatoes. Add the cubed sweet potato to rapidly boiling water. Turn the heat down to medium high and cook the potatoes for about 10-15 minutes. The potatoes are done when you can pierce them easily with a fork. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid for the dough. Drain the potatoes and mash them until they are fairly smooth. You can use a food processor/blender for this or just mash with a fork.
- Allow the water to cool until it's fairly warm but not too hot; between 105°F to 115°F (40°C - 46°C). Whisk together warm water (or reserved cooking liquid) with dry yeast and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Let this sit for 5 to 10 minutes. The mixture will become bubbly and this way you'll know the yeast is active.
- Add the warm (but not hot!) sweet potato mash, flax and salt to the yeast mixture and whisk to combine. Be sure that the mash is not too hot (over 115°F or 46°C). If it is too hot, this can kill the yeast and your bread won't rise properly.
- Incorporate the flour, a half cup or so at a time until it becomes doughy.
- Turn dough onto a flat surface and knead for five to ten minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour, but try not to add too much. As you knead, the dough will become more elastic and should not stick very much.
- Let the dough rest in the bowl with a warm damp cloth or vented lid over top. Place it in a warm location free from drafts for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Gently transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Shape it into a circle and cut into six even sized pieces. To make sliders, divide each piece further into three even pieces for a total of 18 pieces.
- Shape each pieces into a ball shape, gathering the edges into the center and squeezing together. Press them gently to slightly flatten into a hamburger bun shape. Place them evenly on parchment-lined baking sheet with the puckered side down, smooth side up. Space out the pieces so they have about 1" between them.
- Cover with a warm, damp lint-free kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free location for about 1 hour or until the buns have double in size.
- Meanwhile, whisk the maple syrup and 3 tablespoons of water together for the optional vegan "egg" wash.
- Preheat oven to 400°F or 205°C.
- When the buns have doubled in size, carefully remove the kitchen towel. If it sticks, spray or spoon a small amount of water over the section that is sticking. When damp enough, the towel will release.
- Brush the water/syrup mixture on the tops of the buns, then sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.
- Bake buns in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden on top. They will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Let cool to room temperature before slicing, toasting and loading with your favourite burger fillings.
- If you're short on time, you can used canned sweet potato mash or even pumpkin puree. Use one cup. For the liquid in the dough, you can simply use warm water.
- If you make the sweet potato mash ahead of time and it is cold, warm it up to about 105° or 40°C before using.
- If you want larger buns, simply divide the dough into larger, fewer portions. You may need to increase the bake time.