Japanese purple bread (Recipe)

Purple Bread Light and fluffy Japanese purple bread is pure magic!
This bread is soft and sweet and it’s a perfect breakfast or afternoon tea bread, just spread some jam or nut butter and enjoy the beautiful taste. Bread or buns are made similar to ordinary bread, only with the addition of Japanese purple sweet potatoes, which is slowly becoming one of the superfoods in the world.

Sweet potatoes — especially the purple one— are rich in antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals. Purple sweet potatoes contain a lot of vitamins (C, A, B6) and anthocyanins. They are a good source of potassium and fiber and have a low glycemic index, which is why sweet potatoes (of any variety) are often preferred in diabetic diets and are promote gut health.

You can use any type of purple sweet potato to make this bread (okinawa – with a white skin, or sticks – with a purple skin; charleston – with a brown skin). Instead of plain bread you can make buns.


300 g bread flour
25 g sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
200 g raw purple sweet potato, cooked and mashed
1 large egg
150 ml milk

15 g unsalted butter at room temperature
White sesame seeds
Black sesame seeds

Purple Bread Instructions

purple buns

2. In a larger bowl, add flour, sugar and mix with a whisk. Add salt and stir. Add the instant yeast (or half a cube of fresh yeast) and stir again. Add egg, milk and mashed potatoes and mix with a spatula to combine all the ingredients.

4. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, add the butter and knead for about 20 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. You can add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky, but a little sticky is ok (better a little sticky dough than adding too much flour). The dough is ready when it stretches nicely and becomes almost transparent when stretched. Put the dough in a greased pan and cover with plastic wrap. Leave to rise in a warm place, until doubled, about 60 minutes.

5. Remove from the pan and gently knead the dough with your hands. If you want to make buns, divide into 9 equal pieces. If you want to make bread simply knead the loaf. Let the dough stand for 10 minutes covered with plastic wrap or kitchen cloth.

6. Form the dough loaf/into balls and place it in a baking tray (it is best if you have a square cake tray the size of 18 cm), lined with baking paper. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 60 minutes or until doubled.

7. Sprinkle water over the dough, mix the white and black sesame seeds in a bowl and sprinkle over loaf/each bun. (Eventually you can coat with egg yolk and then sprinkle with sesame seeds, as in a regular bread recipe).

8. Bake in a preheated oven at 160°C for 20-25 minutes. When done, transfer the purple bread/buns onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Generally, the recipe for Japanese purple bread is very simple and similar to the recipe for plain bread. Just add purple sweet potato puree to the dough, to make the bread softer and more airy in structure and a fantastic all-natural color! Instead of Japanese purple sweet potatoes, you can add other interesting ingredients – purple carrots (make carrot puree, just like from purple sweet potatoes), orange sweet potatoes (the procedure is the same as with purple sweet potatoes). 

Enjoy the fantastic taste of this unusually plain purple bread!

Photos @foodscovery

purple bread

Mor Ekmek


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