Sweet Potato Rolls

November  4, 2015
3 Ratings
Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Prep time 2 hours
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Makes 12 medium rolls
Author Notes

Tender and impossibly light, these sweet potato rolls are just barely sweet. Their interior reminds me of classic potato buns: airy, but smooshes easily into a doughy bite. I've adapted them from a recipe from Fleischmann's yeast, tweaking them to my liking. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup milk, heated to 110° F
  • 1 packet (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1/2 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 egg
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the warm milk and the yeast. You don't have to be precise about the temperature of the milk: Just make sure it's warmer than lukewarm but not scalding hot. Set the bowl aside for 5 minutes to proof the yeast.
  2. In a large bowl (or in a stand mixer), whisk together 3 cups of the flour, the sugar, and the salt. Add the melted butter, egg, mashed sweet potatoes, and yeast mixture and stir to combine. Mix the dough until it's well-incorporated.
  3. Add enough flour to make a soft dough (it will be quite sticky, but that's okay. Add the flour a little bit at a time so you don't add too much accidentally.
  4. Knead the dough by hand or with the dough hook on your stand mixer for about 5 minutes, until smooth.
  5. Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour).
  6. When risen, lightly punch the dough to deflate it. Grease a 9- by 13-inch pan. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (a scale is handy here), and roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls in the greased pan, cover, and let rise for about 40 minutes, or until the dough balls are almost doubled in size. (The balls might not look big enough to take up the entire pan; that's okay, they'll get a lot bigger. Just space them out evenly.)
  7. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake the rolls for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on the top. Remove from the oven and let cool.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • stephanieRD
  • Jessica Doyle
    Jessica Doyle
  • Chef Devaux
    Chef Devaux
  • Erika Mayo
    Erika Mayo
  • Posie (Harwood) Brien
    Posie (Harwood) Brien

17 Reviews

stephanieRD December 21, 2016
Making these for Christmas! Can't wait to see how they turn out.
BitchyMcSnappy October 5, 2016
Made these last night. Not gonna blame it on the bourbon, but I made a couple of mistakes - and the recipe still turned out AMAZING! I put the yeast in with the flour and other dry ingredients. I figured, it was screwed up, so I added the butter into the warm milk and dumped it in with the egg and riced sweet potato. Seriously, it was incredible! It rose beautifully and baked even better. No proofing. No waiting. It might turn out better, if I followed the recipe to the letter, but dang, this was simple, delicious and gobbled up by my co-workers! Sweet, etherial and great warm from the oven (or eaten for breakfast). This recipe is a winner!
michelle February 4, 2016
Hi- Do you think this recipe would work if I replaced the sweet potato with yucca?
David February 4, 2016
Interesting idea. It does have a similar starch content but it is more like a white potato not having the sugar content of a sweet potato. Also a problem you will encounter with Yucca is that it is very fibrous and makes dishes like mashed yucca a little cumbersome. You could probably get away from that by blending it up. After mashing put the yucca and the liquid the recipe call for in a blender and chop the fiber that way. For taste you might want to add an extra one or two teaspoons of sugar.
Jessica D. December 23, 2015
Made these today for Christmas in 2 days. Store them in a ziplock after they completely cool? At room temp?
David November 26, 2015
I made these with half wheat, half white and substituted the egg with chick pea Aquafaba. Excellent light texture and tasted great.
Chef D. November 12, 2015
Potato rolls, interesting.
Lisaly November 9, 2015
Thanks for the recipe; the rolls sound tasty. Has anyone tried substituting whole wheat flour for some of the all-purpose? If so, how much would be acceptable?
Posie (. November 10, 2015
Definitely would work! I usually suggest, when playing around with whole wheat, to start by substituting 1/4 of the AP flour for whole-wheat and seeing how you like it.
Ashley R. November 9, 2015
Do these freeze well? Would you bake and then freeze? These would be a great addition to Thanksgiving dinner, but because of my schedule, making them the day before (or even 2 or 3 days before) is not an option.
Maureen M. November 9, 2015
I always make mine at least a week before and they turn out fine.
JOEY November 10, 2015
Maureen, could you be more specific? Do you mean that you bake and then freeze yours a week before? If so, what is your technique for thaw and reheat? Thanks!
Maureen M. November 10, 2015
Yes, they are fully baked before freezing. I just let them thaw while the turkey cooks and then warm them in the oven just for a few minutes before serving
Ashley R. November 10, 2015
Thank you so much, Maureen! I am definitely going to make this happen for Thanksgiving!
Erika M. November 8, 2015
Would these be ok to make ahead by a day? (I don't know anything about bread.)
Posie (. November 9, 2015
Yes, absolutely, more than a day even!
Maureen M. November 8, 2015
I've been making James Beard's version of these for over 40 years - and they are still the only way to get my kids - and now grandkids to eat sweet potatoes - but also because they are sooo good!