Lockdown in Rome day 21

Three weeks and now even the cats are starting to act weird and extra wound up.

Several boxes of veggies and fruit were delivered to our gate this morning and Roberto made a trip to a local dairy shop where he had to put on a mask before getting out of his car and had to have his temperature taken and to use hand sanitizer before going in. The staff wore full protective gear and plastic shielded masks. He was the only customer. What very strange times these are, but at least we have fresh vegetables and milk.

As a friend (Hi Katrina!) asked me for my sweet potato bun recipe which had been posted on an even older and now hidden blog, here it is made public again. My mother has thoroughly tested this recipe as written and has made them far more often than me. They are delicious and great for hamburgers. I wish I had a sweet potato.

MAPLE SWEET POTATO BUNS – makes 8 hamburger sized buns.

  • 440 g all-purpose flour (about 3.5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 8 g active dry yeast or 1 packet
  • 1 sweet potato, at least 325 g
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp dark robust maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • Sesame seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise and coat the tops with olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet in a 400F degree oven until they are easily penetrated with a fork, approximately 30-40 mins. Let cool.
  2. Mix 63 g (1/2 cup) flour with yeast and 1/2 c warm water and let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Use a spoon to scrape the cooled sweet potato from the skins. I like to eat the leftover skins with hot sauce and sometimes crème fraîche.
  4. Mix together the yeast mixture, 1 cup of the sweet potato puree, 1 egg, 3 tbsp melted butter, 1 tbsp maple syrup and 1 1/4 tsp salt. Eat whatever sweet potato is leftover. Again, I recommend hot sauce.
  5. Add the remaining 375 g (3 cups) flour, approximately 63 g (1/2 cup) at a time and then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 5 minutes. Shape into a ball.
  6. Coat a large bowl in olive oil. Place the ball of dough in it and coat it with olive oil as well. Cover the bowl with a dishtowel or plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm and draft-free place until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  7. Gently flatten the dough with your fingertips into a large square roughly 9 x 9 inches in size, although the exact size doesn’t matter. You’re basically creating a flat shape that is easy to cut into equally sized pieces. Cut into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball and flatten and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a dish towel and let rise for another 45 minutes.
  8. Whisk 1 egg with 1 tbsp of water and use it to coat the tops of the buns. You can use a brush, but I usually just use my hands. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  9. Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes in a 400° F oven until golden and cooked through. Watch the bottoms to make sure they don’t burn.

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