Flaky and flavorful with just a hint of sweetness. These sweet potato rolls have it all! They make a great side dish anytime and pair especially well with the flavors of autumn and thanksgiving. Just picture biting into a warm, buttery, flaky roll accompanied by your green bean casserole and cranberry sauce! I don’t know about you but I can’t wait for Thanksgiving!
The Proof is in the yeast!
The first thing you need to do is to proof the yeast. This means making sure the yeast is alive and ready to use. If you use yeast that has gone bad, your rolls will not rise. And nobody wants that! Proofing yeast is really easy though. It consists of adding the yeast to a bowl with a liquid (milk or water) and a food (sugar or starch). For this recipe I used milk to give added flavor to the sweet potato rolls. Just stir the sugar into the warm milk, stir in the yeast and wait 5-10 minutes.
One of the most important things is to make sure the milk is at the right temperature. It needs to be approximately 100 degrees F. I suggest using a frothing thermometer to ensure it’s at the proper temperature. Making the liquid too hot or too cold will kill the yeast. After 5-10 minutes you should see a layer of foam appear on the top. If this does not happen, your yeast is no good and you will need to start over with fresh.
Adding the Sweet Potatoes
If your yeast is good, it’s ready to be added to the rest of the ingredients. In this case, that is flour, salt, sweet potato purèe and butter. You can add the sweet potato purèe in one of two ways. If you want to use fresh sweet potatoes, first wash peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 2 inch cubes. Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water and boil until tender, about 15-20 minutes. From there you can puree them in a food processor.
If you want to use canned sweet potatoes, just skip to pureeing them and you’re ready to go.
How to Keep the Yeast Warm
Another helpful hint as you are making these rolls is to keep the room where they are rising warm. If you are making these during the cold autumn and winter months (which I assume a lot of people will be doing for the holidays!) there are a few tricks you can use.
If your bread isn’t rising and you suspect your home is too cool, try letting them rise in the oven. Let your oven preheat to 200 degrees for about 2 minutes. Then, turn it off and let your rolls rise in the oven. This will trap the heat and give your dough a warm environment to rise.
I’ve also heard of bakers using a heating pad set to low underneath the bowl or a lamp set over the dough. If you have any more suggestions on how you keep your dough warm while rising, leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your ideas!
Did you end up making sweet potato rolls? Let me know how they turned out in the comments section!