Every time I make a dinner roll, part of me is chasing the recipe that’s lost forever.
If my aunt Carol is the queen of banana bread, my grandma Jan was the duchess of the dinner roll. Everyone knew it, and just like AC’s specialty was always the only one of its kind circulating in our family, grandma Jan’s rolls were uncontested. No point in trying to rival her.
While it was great to let those highly anticpated, golden-brown puffy, roundish squares of bready perfection shine brightly in their own light at every meal we shared as a family, the proceeding generations neglected to learn that recipe and instead pursued other baking prowess. Not intentional, but sometimes things slip through the cracks.
Now my mother, aunt and myself regret not preserving and turning that recipe into a passed-down family tradition at gatherings, holidays and on our own week-night dinner tables (my grandmother, the source of my bread obsession, passed away two years ago – two months before her 100th birthday).
These rolls I’m sharing with you today might actually be my answer to the above problem. They’re that good. Plus, I could sit and stare at them for hours.
Get out your army of baking sheets, create happiness and maybe start a tradition in your family – these rolls not only glow like the setting sun (thanks to the sweet potatoes), they have, as my self-proclaimed dinner roll expert daughter puts it: “all the qualities of a perfect dinner roll, with a hint of sweetness.”
Don’t let the yams deter you, either, if you’ve got picky eaters or veggie haters at your table. I was a bit hesitant because sweet potatoes don’t get lots of love in my house (except from me), but between taste-testings, drive-by nibbling and our actual dinner, there were only a few left the next day out of the large batch the below recipe yields.
Big plus: this dough can be made the day before and left in the fridge overnight, as these rolls are made using a cold rise. They’re not fast to make over all, but two-step process helps and the rolls speak for themselves (read: hero of the holiday dinner).
To note: When rolling out dough, don’t let it warm up, or you’ll have a hard time keeping it circular when trasferring onto the baking sheets. Also, cut your circles from the outside edge of the dough, working in, and drag cutter out slightly after it cuts through the dough to separate from rest of dough.
Sweet Potato Fridge Rolls
Approx dough prep: 40 minutes Rise time: overnight or 8 hours Roll and cut: 10 minutes Bake: 12-15 minutes Yield: 3 dozen
3/4 cup plus 3 TBSP butter, melted
1 cup milk
3/4 cup plus 1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt, divided
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (115° F)
2 large eggs
2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (2 large)
1/2 cup cold water
6-7 cups all-purpose flour
1. Heat 3/4 cup butter and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until just under the boiling point. Stir in 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp salt until dissolved. Cool completely.
2. Clean, pierce and microwave potatoes until done, scoop out of skins into a small bowl. Mash with a fork.
3. Dissolve yeast and 1 tsp sugar in 1/2 cup warm water. Let stand (proof) about 10 minutes or until foamy.
4. Combine potatoes, eggs and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl (or stand mixer), beat at medium speed until smooth. Beat in 1/2 cup cold water
5. Add yeast mixture and cooled milk mixture to potato mixture, beat on low speed until combined (or stir by hand).
6. Add 3 cups flour gradually, beat at medium speed until smooth.
7. Hand-stir in remaining flour until a soft-but-sticky dough forms.
8. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray, place dough in it and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
9. Remove dough from refrigerator and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough out to 1/2″ thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2″ round cookie or biscuit cutter and place on lightly greased baking sheets 1/4″ apart. Brush with melted butter, fold in half and press in the center of resulting semi-circle to seal.
10. Let rolls rise in a warm place (85-90° F) until rolls double in size (1-2 hours)
11. Preheat oven to 400° F. Bake rolls 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Serve warm or cool on wire rack and store.
Recipe Source: My Recipes