Breads (Sourdough) - Soft Buns/Rolls

Baked Twisted Potato Donuts (Sourdough)

July 23, 2021 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Baked Twisted Potato Donuts (Sourdough)

Baked Twisted Potato Donuts (Sourdough)

My nephew hinted that he missed my Baked Potato Donuts.  So, I thought it  would be a good idea to make it using sourdough this time.  I converted my yeasted Baked Potato Donuts Recipe to this sourdough version and I used my favourite Sweet Stiff Starter recipe.  My recipe is a little different whereby I used a high percentage of sweet stiff starter and the bread takes a shorter time to proof.  Ever since I baked a Sourdough Shokupan using Sweet Stiff Starter several months ago, I have loved it and have continued using the same Sweet Stiff Stater recipe to bake a lot of different breads and buns.

This turned out pretty well.  The texture is very soft and tastes the same as the yeasted Baked Potato Donuts.  

This shape is inspired by Korean Twisted Donuts.

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.


Yields:  12 twisted donuts


Sweet Stiff Starter:
60g sourdough starter (100% Hydration), use at its peak 
180g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
75g water
30g sugar (I used light brown sugar)

Main Dough:
140g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
140g mashed potato (I used 1 big russet potato)
All the sweet stiff starter
10g - 15g light brown sugar
30g milk powder (full cream milk powder)
1 tsp salt
20g water (Add 5g/1 tsp first and slowly add in the balance if you feel needed.  I used only 5g)  The amount of liquid depend on the hydration of mashed potatoes and also the flour type)
50g whisked egg (from 1 large egg and keep the balance for egg wash)
50g butter, room temperature 

35g butter, melted
35g brown sugar + 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

2 baking trays, lined with parchment papers.

  1. Sweet Stiff Starter (For Stiff Starter Recipe)
    1. In a bowl of stand mixer, dilute starter with water, stir in sugar and add in bread flour.  Mix with paddle attachment until well mixed and all come together.   It can be done by hand mixing too.
    2. Cover and let it ferment until tripled. I prepared a night before and leave it in aircond room (approximately 24 - 25C room temperature) overnight until tripled.  It took about 8 - 9 hours depending on your starter.  It should take around 4 - 6 hours to get triple at room temperature at 28C - 30C. The starter should look smooth and round dome.  It shouldn't collapse.
  2. Mashed Potato:
    1. Wash, peel and cut the potato.  
    2. Steam for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
    3. Mash the potato with a potato ricer.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Main Dough:
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter) into a bowl of stand mixer.  I usually slightly torn the stiff starter dough first.
    2. Slightly combine the mixture by hand with the paddle attachment before turning on the machine so that the flour will not splash out.  Using the paddle attachment, mix for 2 minutes or until all incorporated.  This step is critical to prevent  an uneven mixed dough as the stiff starter is rather hard and a dough hook may not be able to mix it well enough.
    3. 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.
  4. First Proofing/Resting The Dough:  
    1. In the same bowl, let the dough rest for 30 - 60 minutes. Keep it covered with clingfilm or use a lid.  This dough I rested for 30 minutes at 29C room temperature and the dough rose a bit. (I did not find any big differences of 30 mins to 60 minutes rest.  So, please follow your schedule).
  5. To shape:
    1. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 12 equal portions. 
    2. Form each portion into a ball.  
    3. Flatten with rolling pin. 
    4. Roll the dough like a swiss roll. Then roll it to a long strand (about 12 inches).
    5. Please watch the video"How To Shape Twisted Donut"
    6. Place the twisted dough into the prepared baking tray about 1.5 - 2 inches apart.
    7. I made marks with a pencil about 0.7 cm away from the original size of the dough. 
  6. Final Proofing:
    1.  Let them proof at a warm place until the dough rise about 70% in size or when it reaches the pencil marks.   This one took approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes at room temperature of 29C - 30C.  The duration of proofing depends on your ambient temperature and starter.
  7. To bake:
    1. Preheat the oven at 200C (top and bottom heat) or 175 (fan-forced mode) 10 - 15 minutes before baking.
    2. Bake at preheated oven for 10 - 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
    3. Remove donuts from oven. 
    4. Immediately brush the donut with melted butter. Then sprinkle with sugar mixture.

Sweet Stiff Starter

Main Dough



A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.   It is advisable to feed your starter regularly if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  A starter that is fed regularly will be more active in general.  If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.  


Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.


Why do I use milk powder?  
  1. Milk or milk powder will enhance the flavour of the bread and makes the bread texture softer due to the fat content of the milk. 
  2. Milk powder is shelf stable and you can have it anytime when you want to use.  Unlike liquid milk you need to finish within a certain time before it spoils.

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.


The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.


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, environment, flour and your starter. 

If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:

  1. 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.
  2. If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
  3. If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
  4. 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 until the tip of the dough just reaches the rim of the pan, around 80% - 90% in size.


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.


  1. I've tried this recipe and I like it thank you

    1. Thanks for trying and your feedback. Good to hear that you like it.

      Cheers :)

  2. These were amazing! Soft and pillowy, I'm never going back to fried donuts anymore. Kids really enjoyed it too (with various different toppings). Thank you so much and please keep up the recipes! :D

    1. Hi, Thanks for trying this recipe and your kind feedback. It is very nice to hear that you and your kids love it.

      My pleasure to share...

      Cheers and stay safe :)

  3. Hi, do you think this would be possible with those purple sweet potatoes? Thank you.

    1. Hi, Thanks for reading this recipe. Yes, you can. But, the texture maybe will be slightly different.

      Cheers :)


Post a Comment