Orange Sweet Potato Bread (Old Dough Method)

by - July 18, 2017

Orange Sweet Potato Bread

Orange Sweet Potato Bread

Orange Sweet Potato Bread

After successfully baking the Purple Sweet Potato Buns using the old dough method,  I tried to re-bake my Orange Sweet Potato Bread using the same method.  I am super happy with the result. This Orange Sweet Potato Bread is very soft like cotton.  It was so soft it was hard to slice evenly.  I am thinking it might be better if baked as pull apart buns instead.

I used pâte fermentée (pre-fermented dough in French) or sometimes called "old dough" to make this fine, soft and flavourful bread.  Traditionally, bread makers take a portion of the bread dough made and save it overnight for next day baking.  I made it from scratch since I did not have any ready old dough. With this method, the bread is more flavourful and aromatic due to the higher acidity and fermentation gasses produced during the slow fermentation.

Please click on Bread Making Method to understand more details. 

Please scroll down to see the Straight Dough Method Recipe.   You may also find the natural yeast recipe here "Purple Sweet Potato Soft Sourdough Bread"

It is advisable to read the following notes before starting baking.


For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.  Usually bread flour content around 11.5 - 13.5% protein, while high gluten flour is around 13.5 - 14.5%.  All purpose flour content less protein around 9 - 11%.  To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  Sources from here and here.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof your dough until it just reaches or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe -  Orange Sweet Potato Bread (Old Dough Method)

Yields:  3 small loaves in 450g loaf pan


Old Dough:
175g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
115g full cream milk (whole milk) or water (I used water)
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1/4 tsp sugar

Main Dough:
175g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
200g mashed orange sweet potato (about 250g potato - peeled, sliced, steamed and mashed)
2 tbsp (24g) brown sugar
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
45g egg, whisked 
10 - 20g milk (reserve 10g first and add in later if needed.  I used only 10g)
50g butter, room temperature

1 egg + 1 tbsp water 

450g loaf pan (21.3 X 12.2 X 11.5 cm  /  8.4" X 4.8" X 4.5")

  1. Old Dough
    1. Combine milk/water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Then add in bread flour and knead with your hand until smooth and all incorporated.  Roll into a ball and place in a greased bowl.  Cover with cling film and let it ferment for 12 - 16 hours in cool place or  air-conditioned room (25C - 26C) if you live in a hot climate.
    2. You may also let it proof 1 hour in room temperature (hot climate). After 1 hour, place into the refrigerator for 24 - 36 hours.  Take out the old dough from refrigerator to return to room temperature 30 minutes before using
  2. Main Dough:
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter) including all the old dough into a bowl of stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix for 2 minutes or until all incorporated. Please add 1 tablespoon of milk/water if the dough is slightly hard and dry.  Change to hook attachment and knead for another 3 minutes or until the dough comes together. Add in butter and continue knead for 10 - 12 minutes or until reach window pane stage. During the whole kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and also to prevent the motor from overheating.
    2. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 to 60 minutes or until double in size in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film or kitchen towel.
  3. To shape:
    1. Punch down the dough to release the air.  Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 3 equal portions. 
    2. Form each portion to a ball.  
    3. Flatten with rolling pin.  
    4. Fold right to centre and fold left overlap it.  
    5. Roll out with rolling pin into long rectangle shape. 
    6. Roll up the dough like Swiss Roll until a small log is formed. 
    7. Place all dough in the prepared loaf pan.  Let it rise for another 30 - 45minutes or until dough rises at or slightly above the rim of the pan.
  4. To bake:
    1. Preheat the oven at 190C (top and bottom heat) or 170 (fan-forced mode) for 10 minutes.
    2. Brush with egg wash.
    3. Bake at preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    4. Remove bread from oven and let the bread cool completely on a rack before slicing.

Archived recipes - Straight Dough Method

Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet Potato Bread

 Recipe - Sweet Potato Bread Recipe 

Yields: 6 small loaves (Two 9×5 inch bread pans)


400g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
250g mashed sweet potato (about 300 - 350g potato - peeled, sliced, steamed and mashed)
2 ½ tsp instant active yeast
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 large egg (keep 1 tbsp egg white for egg wash)
1 tsp salt
125ml fresh milk
40g unsalted butter

  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and knead until it had come together and beginning become elastic. It takes around 10 to 15 minute (No. 2.5 speed with Kenwood Chef stand mixer)
  2. Set it aside to rise for 45 to 60 minutess or till double in size.
  3. Line the 2 bread pans (9 X 5 inch) with non-stick baking sheet.
  4. Punch down the bread dough to release the air.  Divide dough into 6 equal portions (around 153 g each). Roll out each dough with a rolling pin into rectangle shape. Roll up the dough until a log is formed.
  5. Place 3 loaves in each bread pan. Let it rise for another 45-60 minutes or until dough is double in size.
  6. Brush the dough with egg wash (mixture of 1 tbsp egg white with 2 tsp water).
  7. Bake at pre-heated oven at 180 C (with fan setting) for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove bread to cool on rack completely.

You May Also Like


  1. Hi the sweet potato weight is after or before steaming?

    1. Hi Evelyn,

      Thank you for asking. It's after peeling and steaming.


  2. Hi.. thank you for this recipe.
    Can i use the yudane methode for this potato bread recipe ?

    1. Hi, thanks for asking. Yes, I think you can. But, I am not sure if necessary to use Yudane method because potato starch also absorbs more water than wheat starch and this makes the bread more moist and have better shelf live.

      I just concerned the texture will be too wet and heavy.

      But, you can try and I am curios to know too.

      Cheers :)

  3. hi. can i use the usual potato instead of sweet potato?

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe. Yes, you can. But, take note of the hydration. Please don't all milk in one time. Reserve 10 - 20g and added in later if needed. Or you may end up using more than in the recipe. It is much depend on the liquid in mashed potatoes.

      Cheers :)

  4. Hi can I use sweet potato powder? I bought from Chang tung today. Too excited, I bought pumpkin& beetroot powder haha😄

    Anis ramli

    1. Hi, thanks for reading. Yes you can. But, I do not know how much to use as never used sweet potato powder before.
      Cheers :)

  5. Hi, can I add all ingredients in my breadmaker and let it baked as loaf ?

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe. I guess you can although I have not tried with bread maker machine. But, you need to prepare the old dough separately.

      Cheers :)