Saturday, 31 December 2011

Breaking Bread

On New Year's Eve I am a fan of staying at home and steering clear of expensive parties, hard to get taxis, and high heels. 

It's going to the same old bar tomorrow night, but without the $100 entrance fee. 

Who wants to stand in cold rain in the middle of the night hoping that a taxi stops to pick you up? 

And well, maybe I will wear my heels at home because they make my legs look more toned and I can always take them off if they get uncomfortable. 

Plus, there are no lines for drinks at my house and there's always plenty of food. I am going to have bubbly wine, smoked salmon, cheese, veggies and dip, chicken wings, and lots of other easy as pie snacks throughout the night. 

And then for later, I have made some amazing buns for a midnight meal of leftover holiday ham sandwiches. I know I'll be hungry for late night snacks and I am planning ahead because they aren't aren't going to be any local deliveries happening at midnight!

Keep reading to find out how to make your own Sweet Potato Buns. If you start now, there should be enough time for the buns to rise nicely.

Sweet Potato Buns (makes 12)

1 cup of mashed sweet potato and regular potato (recipe follows)
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup warm water
3 3/4 cups whole wheat flour + extra for dusting
1 tablespoon sesame oil 

1. Combine warm water with sugar, yeast, and salt. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about ten minutes. 

2. Combine yeast mixture with potato mash in a large bowl. Gradually add all but a half cup of flour and milk, stirring so that a sticky dough forms. 

3. Empty dough onto a clean counter and knead with remaining flour until the dough feels elastic and smooth. 

4. Grease a bowl with a little butter and let the dough rise until it doubles in size, about 3 hours or overnight in a fridge. 

5. Roll dough into a log and cut into bun sized chunks. 

6. Round out the buns and place them on a greased cookie sheet so they can double in size again, about an hour. 

7. Brush a little sesame oil on the top of each bun and bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the tops of the buns begin to brown and firm. 

8. Let cool for about ten minutes before eating alone or stuffed with ham.

Sweet Potato and Potato Mash

1 medium sweet potato 
2 medium potatoes (russet potatoes work well)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk 
1 pinch of salt 

1. Boil potatoes and sweet potato (peeled and cut into even sized large pieces) in well salted water until they are soft, about 20 minutes. 
2. Mash until you reach your desired consistency, adding butter, milk, and salt as you mash. Just be sure to know that your buns will have little chunks of potato in them if you don't make your mash very smooth. 

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