Sweet Potato Rolls

My sister in law, Sarah Rummens, made these delicious rolls for our family thanksgiving one year and I think they were hands down, our favorite part of the whole meal.  I made them this thanksgiving and once again, so delicious.  As a word of caution!  If you want there to be any leftovers for sandwiches, plan to make a lot because we had a hard time saving ours for the meal.  We were all sneaking them hot right out of the oven!!  Who can resist warm homemade bread? A whole batch will make about 2 1/2 dozen, depending on size.

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato (once peeled, and mashed about 12 ounces)
  • 2 packages of active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
  • 4 tablespoons honey (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 6 cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for workspace
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions

Take a large sweet potato and wrap in foil.  Place in a 350° oven until nice and tender.  Remove from oven. Once cool enough to handle, mash until smooth.

Method 1:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine warm water, yeast, 2 tablespoons honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon and let sit until foamy, about 15 minutes.

2. Once foamy, add potatoes, remaining 2 tbsp honey, 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1 cup buttermilk and 4 tsp salt.

Gradually add flour with the mixer on low until a sticky dough forms, then knead with the dough hook for about 2-3 minutes. Brush a large bowl with melted butter or olive oil, then place the dough in the bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.

3. Using a bit of flour, knead dough until silky and nice and elastic, then divide in half. Roll into a long rope, then cut off pieces of dough (about 2 ounces each) and roll into a ball. Place them into a greased baking dish.

(If desired, you can freeze dough at this point for up to 2 months. I love this part. It is so handy to have rolls in the freezer ready for baking)

If baking immediately, cover the baking dish with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place to rise for about 30-45 more minutes.  They will double in size again.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush rolls with beaten egg, then bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown.  Let cool for a few minutes, then serve warm with butter and honey.

Method 2:  Bread machine
**
I like to use my bread machine to make the dough part and then take it out and roll in just like in the directions above.  It keeps my kitchen clean and the bread machine does all of the mixing and warming to just the right temperature.

1.  Start with the warm water and yeast in the bottom of the bread machine.  Next add the flour and then the rest of the ingredients. Using the dough setting rise the dough in the bread machine.

2.  Using a bit of flour, knead dough until silky and nice and elastic, then divide in half. Roll into a long rope, then cut off pieces of dough (about 2 ounces each) and roll into a ball. Place them into a greased baking dish.

(If desired, you can freeze dough at this point for up to 2 months. I love this part. It is so handy to have rolls in the freezer ready for baking)

3. If baking immediately, cover the baking dish with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place to rise for about 30-45 more minutes.  They will double in size again.

4.  Preheat oven to 375°. Brush rolls with beaten egg, then bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown.  Let cool for a few minutes, then serve warm with butter and honey.

How to freeze dough:
1. Roll the dough into desired size (about 2 ounces each) and place on a tray.  Place the tray in the freezer and let the rolls freeze until just firm (about 1-2 hours).  Remove tray and put all the rolls in a large zip lock bag or any other air tight container.  Return to the freezer.

2. When ready to use place desired amount of rolls on a tray or in a baking dish and allow to thaw in a warm place covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush rolls with beaten egg, then bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown.  Let cool for a few minutes, then serve warm with butter and honey.

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