David Loftus

Sweet Steamed Potato Buns. I’ve stuffed these buns with sugar and topped them with almonds and smoked bacon, but you could replace the bacon with dried fruits for a vegetarian version, or leave out the sugar and make them only savoury using pork crackling, pancetta, ham or cheese. The brilliant Andina chef Pamela Rojas taught me this dish after I spotted it in Huancayo’s main market.


Quantity Ingredient
300g plain flour, plus extra for kneading
1 teaspoon fast-action dried yeast
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
50g cooled mashed potato
150ml full-fat milk
50g yacon syrup or muscovado sugar
2 corns-on-the-cob, stripped of their green husks, husks reserved
50g flaked almonds, crushed, to serve
2 slices smoked bacon, fried until crisp and crumbled, to serve


  1. Put the flour, yeast, baking powder and granulated sugar in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the salt, then crumble in the potato. Put the milk in a small pan over a low heat and warm through slightly, then gradually work it into the dry ingredients until you have a sticky dough. Turn out the dough and knead it on a floured surface until it becomes smooth and elastic, then return it to the bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow it to rise for 2 hours until doubled in size.
  2. When the dough has doubled, remove it from the bowl to a floured surface, pull, fold and knead it to knock it back until completely smooth. Cut the dough into 8 portions and shape each portion into a round. Push your thumb into the centre of each round, almost to the bottom, to make a well. Spoon a little yacon syrup or muscovado sugar into each well and bring the dough together over the top to seal. Cover the buns with a damp cloth and allow to prove for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Put the buns in a large steamer – you will probably have to do this in two batches: place the stripped corn cobs in the steaming water (this is to create height in the steamer), line the steaming basket with the husks and place the buns on top. Steam the buns for about 15–20 minutes until well risen and springy to touch. To serve, sprinkle with the crushed almonds and crumbled bacon, then tear apart while still warm and eat just as they are.


  • You can strip the steamed corn cobs of their kernels, allow to cool and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a frying pan with a little melted butter until caramelized and serve as a side veg for lunch or supper.
Martin Morales
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