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Let's talk about mashed potatoes. Specifically, let's talk about mashed sweet potatoes. What if, instead of eating your vegetables with a fork, you ate them in the form of a light, airy, squishy roll?
I've heard there is an ongoing struggle with parents about how to disguise vegetables so that children will eat them. Not having children myself (and having been a child who truly loved broccoli from the get-go), I can only imagine how difficult this makes dinnertime.
Here's the thing to keep in mind: These sweet potato rolls aren't good even though they're a vehicle for vegetables—they're good because of it. Potato breads are notoriously delicious little devils, impossible to stop eating and solely responsible for the success of many a burger.
Why is that? Mashed potatoes lend a moist, soft texture to bread—which is what I call the "squish factor." Consider a store-bought hot dog bun: Though light and fluffy, it collapses into a squashed doughy bite when you squish it between your fingertips. (N.B.: This is a good thing.)
These sweet potato rolls are all of that, in a dinner roll: airy, delicate, and tender. They have a slight sweetness that absolutely begs for a schmear of butter and a sprinkling of sea salt. I suspect they'd be very good dunked in gravy.
If you're already making mashed sweet potatoes for your Thanksgiving casseroles, make some extra and whip them into buns. In a mere twenty minutes, I pulled together the dough and started the first rise. To shape them, you just roll the dough into balls and toss them into a greased pan. Let them rise again, then bake.
Alternatively, use your leftover mashed potatoes and bake these the day after Thanksgiving. I can't imagine a more perfect vehicle for slider-style day-after-Thanksgiving sandwiches layered with cranberry sauce, roast turkey, lettuce, and mayonnaise.
Adapted from Fleischmann's Yeast
Makes 12 rolls
1 cup milk
1 package active dry yeast
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cooked sweet potatoes, mashed well
Second photo by Mark Weinberg; all other photos by Posie Harwood