These rolls! Who needs the rest of the dinner when you've got these Pillowy Soft Sweet Potato Rolls? Warm and steamy, straight from the oven...so soft and so tender. Gently pull them apart and slather butter all over them. I just want to eat all of these rolls all by myself. Right. Now.
I have a reputation in my family. One I'm not too proud of. I'm the Roll Burner. Not just any rolls, the Thanksgiving Day dinner rolls! I have burnt the rolls every year since I can remember. Oh sure, I make rolls at other times during the year, and they come out perfectly. Just look at these babies! But after years of burning the Thanksgiving Day dinner rolls and knowing my reputation as the Roll Burner, you'd think I'd get it right. But try as I might, every year I still burn the rolls! Between you and me, I think it's the pan 😉
Every year we had the Pillsbury Crescent Rolls from a can, the one you pop open at the seams and BOOM! We've had them for so many years that it's just become a tradition. After a long day of cooking, right before dinner, I roll up the crescent rolls at the last minute. Rushing around trying to get dinner on the table, I always end up forgetting the rolls. And there they are...little black bottomed beauties.
This year, it's going to be different. I'm making these Pillowy Soft Sweet Potato Rolls, and I promise I won't forget. I hope. In fact, everyone else can get the dinner on the table. I'm going to set a chair right there in front of that oven and stare at it until my rolls are perfectly golden balls of beautiful deliciousness.
Ok... now on to the recipe.
These Pillowy Soft Sweet Potato Rolls are so soft and tender. The sweet potato flavor is barely perceptible, but the sweet potatoes give a lovely pale yellow color and delicious moistness to the already rich dough which contains butter, eggs, milk and cream. The natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes is accentuated by a touch of honey and a little sugar.
I have made these rolls with all purpose flour, but bread flour with its higher protein content makes for a much fluffier roll.
- ¼ cup warm water, about 115 degrees F (2oz, 59g)
- ¼ cup sugar (1.8oz, 50g) plus 1additional teaspoon
- 1 packet active dry yeast (.25oz, 6g)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3oz, 84g) plus additional for brushing rolls
- ½ cup milk (4.6oz, 130g)
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream (4.4oz, 126g)
- 2 tablespoons honey (1.6oz, 45g)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 generous cup cooked, mashed sweet potato (10oz, 283g) *see note
- 5 cups bread flour (29oz, 825g)
- Dissolve yeast in warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let rest for a few minutes until foamy.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter. Turn off heat and add milk and cream.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine half of the flour and all of the rest of the ingredients including the dissolved yeast and the butter, milk, and cream. Using the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed for 5 minutes.
- Remove the paddle attachment and using the dough hook, knead the dough for 10 minutes, slowly adding the flour in increments until the dough does not stick to the sides of the bowl. You may need a little more or less than 5 cups of flour.
- Put the kneaded dough into a large, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours depending on the temperature of the dough and the kitchen.
- After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out onto a work surface.
- Divide the dough into equal sized pieces and roll into balls. *see note
- Place the balls of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic and let rise until doubled in size again, about 45 minutes.
- When the rolls are almost finished rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- When rolls have doubled in size, place in the middle of the oven and bake until golden brown.
- Remove rolls from oven and brush with melted butter.
To cook sweet potatoes:
Wash potatoes and prick with a fork. Place on a plate and microwave until soft, about 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the sweet potato. The sides should be soft when you squeeze them.
Slice the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon.
Mash the potatoes very well until they are smooth. You can use a potato ricer, food processor, or any method you like to get them smooth.
When dividing the dough, I like to weigh the dough and divide that by the number of rolls I want to make. This recipe usually yields about 1600 grams of dough. I divide the dough into 24 balls of 67 grams each. This ensures that all of rolls are the same size.
There are several ways that these rolls can be made ahead:
The dough can rise slowly overnight in the refrigerator after mixing. Let sit on counter for an hour or so to come to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe.
After forming into balls, the rolls can be frozen for up to a month. Set the frozen rolls on the parchment lined baking sheet and cover with plastic in a warm, draft free spot. They will come to room temperature and continue rising. This will take a few hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen. When the rolls have doubled in size, proceed with the recipe.
After forming into balls and placing on the baking sheet, the rolls can be covered with plastic and put in the refrigerator to rise overnight. Set on counter and let come to room temperature before baking.
Try these Pillowy Soft Sweet Potato Rolls with my Pumpkin Butter, a perfect combination!