brown buttered sweet potato buttermilk rolls
NOTE: See this post for an UPDATED version of this recipe!
I know what you’re thinking.
This is a Thanksgiving food. I know. I know. And it’s not even Halloween yet.
Here’s the thing — I get really excited about holidays. And I get even more excited about holiday food. It’s a strange compulsion, one I’m trying to work out with my imaginary therapist, but the fact remains that the minute the leaves fall from the trees, many of my thoughts surround what is going on the menu for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can literally taste the cranberry sauce that comes out of the can — still looking like the can — on my tongue (I love that stuff. Seriously. Don’t judge.), and I can smell turkey baking as I walk through the crunchy leaves on the sidewalk. Maybe that’s just me continuing to lose my mind, I don’t know, but if I’m going to lose it by smelling and tasting holiday foods, that’s fine by me.
Anyway, enough of that. Another (more sane, legitimate) reason I made these seasonal rolls, here and now, is because I am a big plan-ahead-er. You may not know this, but I generally am not one for spontaneity. Sure, I like to mix things up a bit, as long as I know exactly how they’re going to happen. Confession: I made a day-of-wedding itinerary for my wedding party with down-to-the-minute times of when everything was going to go down. It was a dark time for me.
But I am planning to serve up these rolls for Thanksgiving, which is at our place again this year, and making and freezing as many foods as possible before the big day is a huge weight off my holiday-loving shoulders.
So really, these rolls say a lot about who I am, which also is to say that I absolutely love sweet potato bread, of any kind. It’s not only insanely easy to make and nearly foolproof (I divulge my secret love of all potato-based breads here), but it tastes delicious. Like a holiday on a roll. If that’s not enough to get you in the kitchen right away, well, you might be almost crazier than I am. Almost.
Brown Butter Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls
Adapted from Pinch My Salt
Yields: About 16 rolls
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato, slightly warm or at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 2 tbsp for browned butter
1/4 cup sugar
4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 1/2 tsp salt
6 to 7 cups bread flour
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with the whisk attachment, whisk together sweet potato, buttermilk, egg, butter, sugar and yeast until thoroughly combined.
Replace whisk attachment with paddle attachment and stir in one cup flour with the salt. Gradually add more flour, about a cup at a time, until mixture turns into a soft dough. If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed for 5-6 minutes, adding more flour as necessary until dough pulls away from the sides and is slightly sticky but not tacky; and if kneading by hand, place dough on floured countertop and begin to knead, 8-10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary until dough is smooth, elastic and slightly sticky. Note: You might not use all the flour, and that’s OK.
Shape dough into a round ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down risen dough and cut in half with a knife or pizza cutter. Cut into quarters, then into 8 pieces, then into 16. Roll each piece into a ball, pulling the skin taut on the top so its smooth and round. Place rolls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or baking stone about 1 inch apart. Let rolls rise, uncovered, 15-20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Meanwhile, brown your butter: Place 2 tbsp unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Let butter melt, stirring occasionally, until it turns a golden brown. Remove from heat and pour into a small bowl.
Gently press down on the tops of the rolls to flatten them slightly. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the rolls with the browned butter. Bake rolls for 20 to 25 minutes until puffed and lightly brown. Cool completely on a cooling rack before serving.
To freeze, cover rolls, connected and in tact or split into two parts, with plastic wrap, then with heavy-duty aluminum foil. They should keep well for up to 8 weeks.
Oh my god. That looks absolutely amazing. It’s the first time I’ve seen sweet potato incorporated into bread. I must try this out.
Kartik — It really is the best thing ever. Hope you like it as much as I do!
you caught me at browned butter! looks delicious and they look factory made 🙂
Dinner rolls always taste best with turkey…This is definitely what we’ll have for Thanksgiving. It is never too early to prepare for the holidays. There always isn’t enough time, so better start early. Thanks for sharing this. Thanks (in advance) for making our Thanksgiving dinner extra special with your buttermilk roll recipe!
Can you freeze them uncooked and them bake them later, or do you recommend freezing them after cooked and possibly warming them?
Amber — You can do either, though I generally bake and then freeze to warm later. If you freeze them unbaked, be sure to let them sit out of the freezer until they reach room temp before baking.
These look delicious! Perfect melting butter shot too – love it! I’ve never made bread with sweet potatoes. Will have to give it a try 🙂
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I just stumbled across your blog and these look AMAZING!!!!!! So glad I found you!!
Love your website and tried my hand at these rolls last night! A couple of questions… what did you bake them at? I read the recipe several times and couldn’t find a temperature… I did 350 for 20 minutes and they came out well! Also, I was surprised that you do not “proof” the yeast at all… my ingredients were a little cold and the dough did not rise that much… could this be because the ingredients weren’t warm enough? I know you usually proof yeast at 110?
Thanks! They were delicious anyways!
Traci — Thanks for the comment (and for alerting me to the fact that there was no baking temp… it’s now fixed!). As for the proofing, that does happen. You let the dough rise for an hour, then shape into rolls and let rise again for a time. And yes, if your dough is cold it doesn’t rise as well, so I like to keep my dough rising in a warm place like inside a microwave or on top of the fridge because heat rises. Glad to hear you had yummy results anyhow!
How do you reheat them after you freeze them? Do you warm them back up in the oven? At what temp and for how long?
Rikki — You can leave them out on a counter top until they come to room temperature; if you want them warm, let them thaw on the counter until they’re at room temp, cover with foil and heat in a 325 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Hope that helps!
Thanks so much!
Hmm. These may be the ones for Thanksgiving after all… 🙂
Corey — Hello, long lost friend! 🙂 These rolls or the Parker House rolls would both be great (though I am a bit partial to these, I’ll be honest ;)). Hope you all are doing well!
Hi Stephanie! I was wondering if these would work with whole wheat bread flour? I think I have some on hand. Thanks! They look delicious. No one in my family has made homemade rolls for thanksgiving since my great aunt passed away, so I am hoping to try my hand at these 🙂
Abby — What a great idea to restart the tradition! 🙂 I have never made these with whole wheat flour, but for other recipes I usually only swap up to 50% of the flour with whole wheat flour (bread or all-purpose) so the end result isn’t too tough and dense. So maybe for this recipe use 2-3 cups whole wheat bread flour and the rest regular bread flour or all-purpose flour. Enjoy!
Hi. I added… I think a 1/4 cup? — really a GIANT SQUEEZE of maple syrup to the sweet potatoes before mixing and then one of the cats knocked it over, but I don’t think the two actions were related. After starting over, I did the maple thing again, along with the rest of the recipe, and people knocked me down to eat them, so awesome job on the recipe. In fact, my boys didn’t eat anything else BUT the rolls, so… clearly, the rest of my meal needed work. Anyway, that’s hardly your fault. Seriously, I loved this recipe. (AND one of the offending cats loved it too, as he stole one later and devoured it under a couch somewhere. He’s a carb-cat. He does that.) I’ll stop commenting now.
A Man Called Da-Da — Your comment made my day.
These sound delicious. Would it work to use regular AP flour or does it need to be bread flour?
Kati, You can use AP flour but I can’t guarantee the bread will hold its structure as well as it would with bread flour, which contains more gluten.