I love finding new ways to incorporate autumnal vegetables into nearly every aspect of the Thanksgiving meal, and these festive little pull-apart rolls are just the ticket. With a beautiful orange hue and a sweet, earthy flavor, these pair exceptionally well with nearly anything on the holiday table. Plus they're great to use with terrific turkey sandwiches the next day!
Making your own dinner rolls is easier than you think, and you can do most of the work one day ahead. Boil and puree the sweet potato up to 3 days in advance. Be sure to warm it up before adding it to the bread dough. Make the dough, let it rise, then divide and form the rolls up to a day in advance. Before you proof them, cover them and refrigerate them overnight. They will slowly rise over 24 hours. Let them sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before baking.
If you are feeling very adventurous, you can make these into pretty cloverleaf rolls. Divide the dough into 18 pieces as instructed. Divide each of those pieces into 3 pieces, roll each small piece into a ball and place 3 balls into well-greased muffin cups (you will need two 12-cup muffin pans to fill 18 muffin cups). Bake as directed.
Makes 18 rolls
- 1 small orange-fleshed sweet potato (about 8 oz), peeled and cut into chunks
- Kosher salt
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, plus 2 tbsp melted
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 package (2¼ tsp) active dry yeast
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- Place the sweet potato chunks in a saucepan and fill with cold water to cover. Add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until very tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 20 minutes. Drain well. Add to the bowl of a food processor and process to a smooth puree. Measure 2/3 cup puree and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt the 6 tbsp butter with the honey over low heat. Stir in the milk and gently warm the mixture to 110°F (it will happen quickly; if the temp is higher than 115°F let it cool). Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in the yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the sweet potato puree, egg, flour, and salt. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed for about 5 minutes. The dough will be soft and sticky. Form the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Dump the dough onto a floured work surface. Divide the dough into about 18 equal pieces, each about 1½ ounces. Roll each piece into a ball and place half of the balls into each prepared cake pan, spacing them evenly.
- Brush the dough balls with half of the melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand until puffy, about 30 minutes.
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake until the rolls are golden, about 18 minutes. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven. Serve warm.