Holiday Recipes with a Twist: Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls
Pin It

So this is the second installment of our holiday recipe series, and I couldn’t be happier to share this dinner roll recipe with you!

In my family, the dinner rolls at our holiday meals are never homemade. For years, my grandmother would pick them up at a local bakery, but at some point we switched to the big bag of dinner rolls from Costco.  And I don’t think there’s anything wrong it.  My sister and I still love those rolls from Costco.  And really, even supermarket bakery rolls taste pretty good if you pop them in the oven for a few minutes.

But there is definitely something to be said for homemade bread.  And the first time I tasted my mother-in-laws homemade dinner rolls at Christmas I realized what a difference it makes.  While the dinner rolls are always an afterthought at the gatherings on my side of the family, the bread takes center stage at the meals we eat in Oregon. Everyone looks forward to Sharon’s warm and buttery dinner rolls and those rolls are one of the (many) reasons I’m happy to be spending Christmas in Oregon this year!

While I’m not going to share my mother-in-law’s dinner roll recipe today, I do have a great recipe for Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls that I can’t wait for you to try. Since Amanda and I wanted to put a new twist on some holiday recipes for you this year, I decided it would be fun to experiment with turning some plain old potato rolls into sweet potato rolls. While using sweet potato puree in these rolls adds beautiful color, the combination of sweet potato and buttermilk also results in a wonderful flavor!

When I made these the first time at our big pre-holiday dinner, I tried adapting a Potato-Buttermilk Roll recipe from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking. While it’s a great book, and I’m sure the Potato-Buttermilk Rolls would have been great if I had followed the recipe exactly, I was less than impressed with the Sweet Potato Rolls I created that night.  I mean they were good, and everyone except me seemed to enjoy them, but they weren’t what I was looking for.  So, I decided to give it another try and ended up creating my own recipe for Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls.

I finished the final batch last night and took the still-warm rolls to my sister’s house for dinner. I am happy to report that we were all more than satisfied with the outcome!  We ended up eating them with that leftover Curried Turkey Salad and the combination was terrific.  So now I know that these rolls will not only be great with a big turkey dinner, they’ll also be perfect for your leftover turkey sandwiches.

I used my stand mixer to knead the dough for this recipe, but if you aren’t afraid of getting your hands messy, these can be made completely by hand.  And please, don’t be afraid of the yeast!  You will need a few hours to make these, but the majority of that time is spent just waiting for dough to rise.  The best thing about making homemade bread is that it’s possible to take care of other holiday preparations while the dough is rising.  But unless you’re planning on being really organized on Turkey day, I suggest making them the day before then reheating for a few minutes in the oven right before serving.

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Dinner Rolls

1 cup mashed sweet potato or yam, slightly warm or at room temperature*
2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup sugar
2 packets active dry yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 – 7 cups bread flour

1. In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together mashed sweet potato, buttermilk, egg, butter, sugar and yeast. (I learned the hard way that it is best to whisk these ingredients by hand rather than using the mixer. I ended up with buttermilk splattered all over the kitchen when I tried using the paddle attachment!) Now let the mixture sit for a few minutes while you measure out about 7 cups of flour.

2. Using the paddle attachment for your stand mixer, stir in one cup of flour along with the salt. Gradually add more flour, about a cup at a time, until a soft dough begins to form.  If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook (use a wet hand to pull the dough off the paddle attachment and it won’t stick to you) and knead on medium speed (speed 4 on the kitchen aid) for 6-7 minutes, adding a little more flour as needed to make a moderately soft dough that mostly clears the sides of the bowl (the dough should eventually clear the sides of the bowl, but continue to stick to the bottom as it’s being kneaded).  My dough took about 6 1/2 cups of flour, but yours made need less or more. If mixing and kneading by hand, dump the dough out onto a floured surface when it gets too hard to mix with a spoon.  Using well-floured hands, knead the dough for 8 – 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to work surface and hands.

3. When you finish kneading, the dough should be moderately soft and tacky, but not sticky.  To remove it from the bowl of your stand mixer, a bowl scraper is handy.  If you don’t have one, a plastic spatula will also work.  Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to form a smooth ball of dough.  If you kneaded by hand, form the dough into a smooth ball.  Cover dough with a towel, and clean out your mixing bowl.  Spray the inside of bowl with nonstick cooking spray or grease it with butter or oil. Place ball of dough, smooth side down, into the greased bowl.  Turn the dough over to grease the other side, then cover with the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap.  Put bowl in a warmish place and let dough rise for a little over an hour or until it has doubled in bulk.

4. When dough has doubled (you can check by pushing your finger into the dough. If an indentation remains without filling in, the dough is ready to go), push it down with your fists to deflate it and dump it out onto a lightly floured surface.  Cut the dough in half with a knife or bench scraper then cut each half into 8 equal pieces (or more if you want smaller rolls).  Cover pieces with a towel and let rest for a few minutes before shaping. While dough is resting, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and move two oven racks towards the center of the oven.  Also, line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Shape rolls by rolling against the work surface or between your hands to form balls.  I like to pull the skin taut over the top of the roll and pinch at the bottom to form a smooth roll, but use whatever method works for you.  Divide the rolls between the two baking sheets, and cover with a towel.  Let rolls rise for about 20 minutes then remove towel and sprinkle the tops very lightly with flour.  Place baking sheets in preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until they are puffed and lightly brown.  Rotate sheets halfway through baking time (move bottom to top and vice versa).

5. Let rolls cool slightly and serve immediately.  Or, if making ahead, let rolls cool completely on wire racks then place in Ziploc bags.  To reheat, wrap rolls in foil and place in 375 degree oven for a few minutes until heated through.

Recipe Notes: *For sweet potato puree, I microwaved 2 medium sweet potatoes for about 7 minutes (poke holes all over with a fork first). Let cool then peel off skins. Pass the potatoes through a ricer if you have one, or mash well to remove any lumps. Measure out one cup (it’s ok if you have a little less) and proceed with recipe.  Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature, if the dough is cold it will take longer to rise.  The amount of flour is an approximation, you dough will use more or less depending on many different factors.  Don’t worry too much about how much you use, just mix a dough that you are comfortable kneading.  I made 16 rolls and they were on the large side, perfect for making little sandwiches.  If you prefer small rolls, you can cut the dough into 24 pieces or even more.  Keep in mind that smaller rolls will probably bake a little faster.  If you have any questions or my directions are unclear, feel free to e-mail me or leave a question in a comment at the end of this post!

This my dough after kneading for 7 minutes.

This my dough after kneading for 7 minutes.

dough scraper is inexpensive (usually about a dollar) and makes removing dough from a mixing bowl much easier!

A dough scraper is inexpensive (usually about a dollar) and makes removing dough from a mixing bowl much easier!

Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop.

Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop.

Knead the dough lightly and form into a smooth ball.

Knead the dough lightly and form into a smooth ball.

Place dough smooth side down in a greased bowl then turn over so both sides are coated.

Place dough smooth side down in a greased bowl then turn over so both sides are coated.

Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.

Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.

To check if dough has doubled, push your finger into the dough. If the indentation remains, it's ready to go!

To check if dough has doubled, push your finger into the dough. If the indentation remains, it

This dough doubled and ready to go in just over an hour.

This dough doubled and ready to go in just over an hour.

Push dough down with your fists to deflate it then turn it out onto your lightly floured work surface.

Push dough down with your fists to deflate it then turn it out onto your lightly floured work surface.

Cut the deflated dough in half with a knife or bench scraper.

Cut the deflated dough in half with a knife or bench scraper.

Divide each half into eight equal pieces for a total of 16 (or more if you prefer smaller rolls).

Divide each half into eight equal pieces for a total of 16 (or more if you prefer smaller rolls).

Shape the rolls into balls by rolling against the countertop or between your hands. For smooth rolls, pull the skin taut and pinch together at the bottom.

Shape the rolls into balls by rolling against the countertop or between your hands. For smooth rolls, pull the skin taut and pinch together at the bottom.

Forming a smooth roll.

Forming a smooth roll.

Pinch the bottom together to form a taut skin.

Pinch the bottom together to form a taut skin.

Place rolls on parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.

Place rolls on parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.

After they have risen, dust lightly with flour then place in preheated 375 degree oven.

After they have risen, dust lightly with flour then place in preheated 375 degree oven.

Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Enjoy warm with lots of butter!

Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Enjoy warm with lots of butter!

I hope some of you give these a try, they were really tasty!  In the meantime, make sure you head over to What We’re Eating to see the Herb Roasted Turkey Breast Amanda prepared during our pre-holiday feast! It was delicious and would perfect for a small holiday gathering!

In case you missed any of the other recipes in our holiday series this month, you can see them all below. Click on a photo to be taken to the recipe. Happy holiday planning!

Sourdough Stuffing with Apple and Bacon

Sourdough Stuffing with Apples and Bacon

Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese

Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese

Cranberry Applesauce with Fresh Ginger

Cranberry Applesauce with Fresh Ginger

And the Holiday Recipe Series continues over at What We’re Eating with:

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Wrapped in Prosciutto

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Wrapped in Prosciutto

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Cranberry Sauce with Rosemary and Persimmons

Cranberry Sauce with Rosemary and Persimmon

For those of you just tuning in this month, I’m happy to say that I’m participating in the National Blog Posting Month challenge. For this year’s edition of NaBloPoMo, I’ve pledged to post a new recipe every single day for the month of November. If you don’t want to miss a recipe, sign up to receive my recipes by e-mail. You’ll only receive an e-mail when I write a new blog post, and your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose. Interested? Sign up now!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print This Post Print This Post  • Subscribe • E-mail this E-mail this
46 Comments
  1. sharon

    These look so light & fluffy! I’m eager to try them as I absolutely love sweet potatoes and always buy too many.

    7:04 pm  Nov 18th, 2008
  2. Miri

    Wow, gorgeous photos and gorgeous rolls! I will have to try them soon, since I’m sure their beauty will haunt me in the near future :)

    4:05 am  Nov 19th, 2008
  3. Holiday Recipes: Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Rosemary and Persimmon - What We’re Eating - A Food & Recipe Blog

    [...] Sweet Potatoes Wrapped in Prosciutto Extra Creamy Mashed Potato Casserole Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls Herb Roasted Turkey Breast Sourdough, Bacon & Apple Stuffing Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing [...]

    10:47 pm  Nov 20th, 2008
  4. YeastSpotting November 21, 2008 | Wild Yeast

    [...] Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls ~ Pinch My Salt [...]

    1:02 am  Nov 21st, 2008
  5. Around the Internet Kitchen - Anticipation | Macheesmo

    [...] Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls Nicole over at Pinch My Salt had a tough week. Her hosting company somehow managed to delete like 11 days of lovely Thanksgiving posts. That is pretty much the worst thing that can happen to a blogger I reckon. Anyway, she worked tirelessly to get all the posts re-posted. So please check out these rolls. They look so good and are a great twist on the standard. (@ Pinch My Salt) [...]

    4:07 am  Nov 21st, 2008
  6. Terri

    Nicole, these are amazing! I made them yesterday and put them in the freezer to serve with my Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, I had to have just one warm from the oven with butter. Mmmmmm.

    8:01 am  Nov 25th, 2008
  7. Kelli

    Help! I made the dough, but for some reason it didn’t really rise. Was I supposed to activate the yeast with warm water or something? Would too much flour make it not rise? Please email me if you get a chance because I want to try to make them again so we can have them tomorrow! Thanks!

    12:01 pm  Nov 26th, 2008
  8. Casey

    Thank you, these were absolutely delish! My whole family said they were the best rolls they’d ever had, and they are now a new Thanksgiving tradition! I’m making another batch tomorrow so there will be enough for mashed potato, turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce sandwiches that everyone will take in the car as they travel back home.

    4:52 pm  Nov 28th, 2008
  9. Luz

    I made these for Thanksgiving and they were amazing. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I adjust the recipe slightly, with a little more chunky sweet potatoes instead of puree, so there would be orange flecks in the rolls. The last one was eaten this morning and I’m already contemplating a grocery run to make some more!

    10:37 am  Nov 29th, 2008
  10. Gina F

    These were my first attempt at making rolls. I thought they were very good. I think I added a little too much flour and maybe didn’t let them sit long enough after shaping because they were a little heavy/doughy. I’m looking forward to trying them again. The photos were very helpful. Thank you.

    6:51 pm  Nov 29th, 2008
  11. Genie

    Mine totally didn’t rise, so each roll weighs about six pounds, but they were tasty nonetheless! I would try this recipe again. Still not sure what I did to mess them up, but it is what it is…

    I wanted to tell you, too, that I tried the tabbouleh with persimmons, and added leftover turkey to it to take with us when I took my parents up to Napa on Friday. That is a keeper of a recipe, too — it turned out beautifully and is so tasty! May make another round of it this week, just because it was so delicious and so seasonally easy.

    11:03 am  Dec 1st, 2008
  12. Amandawithana

    I made these and hauled them across the country for Thanksgiving dinner. They were a hit, but my family can’t seem to completely abandon the Pillsbury crescents. These were great for leftover sandwiches though!

    3:11 pm  Dec 1st, 2008
  13. Julie

    I made these for Thanksgiving and they were delicious! I felt like crying tears of joy when I took them out of the oven and they looked just like the rolls on your food porn picture.

    I’m making another batch this weekend and, because it is impossible for me to leave well enough alone, I am going to try making them with hard white whole wheat.

    9:14 pm  Dec 3rd, 2008
  14. Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin Recipe — Pinch My Salt

    [...] Sweet Potato Buttermilk Dinner Rolls [...]

    12:19 pm  Dec 7th, 2008
  15. What’s for dinner?: Sweet Potato recipe links | Problem Solved | Work It, Mom!

    [...] Pinch My Salt : Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls [...]

    4:14 am  Dec 15th, 2008
  16. Devon

    I made these for today, yesterday, and everyone loved them! Not sure if the dough rose quite enough, but they were tasty none-the-less. Thanks so much for the recipe. This was my first try at yeasty breads and I can’t wait to try some more!

    7:40 pm  Dec 25th, 2008
  17. Julie

    I have made these several times now using hard white whole wheat. In fact, I’m making more today. It works! My last attempt was my most successful. I used gluten and it really helped with the denseness I experienced using 100% HWWW in my initial attempts. It isn’t white flour and that is just reality. But for a healthy bread to eat every day, this is an easy adjustment that makes delicious bread.

    Anyway, since it is such a freezing day here in San Diego, I better get the oven on!

    2:39 pm  Jan 25th, 2009
  18. Sara

    I just made these and wrote about it on my blog. They came out great! Thanks for a great recipe.

    http://www.imafoodblog.com/index.php/2009/02/19/bread-baking-day-sweet-potato-buttermilk

    6:00 pm  Feb 19th, 2009
  19. Lessons learned (introduction) « serendipity brought anchovies

    [...] – he almost wouldn’t let me take the first one to the party – today I made paella, and sweet potato buttermilk rolls! And candied ginger. Another birthday. So here we [...]

    4:16 pm  Mar 22nd, 2009
  20. Vanilla Cupcakes and Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls « The Fluffy Butterfly

    [...] make these sweet potato rolls from Pinch My Salt often. My only tweak is that I use Lyle’s Golden Syrup in place of the sugar. Sometimes I [...]

    6:21 pm  Mar 22nd, 2009
  21. Beth

    Can you make this without a stand mixer? I’d love to try the recipe but only have a hand mixer to use. If anyone has a tip on how to make this work, please let me know! I would appreciate it!

    11:44 am  Apr 4th, 2009
  22. Peter Reinhart’s Bagels — Pinch My Salt

    [...] I ended up with twelve fairly equal pieces, I quickly rounded them (I shaped them just like I shape dinner rolls), and lined them up on a baking sheet lined with silpat (can also use parchment that has been [...]

    6:34 pm  Jun 1st, 2009
  23. Sarah

    Love this recipe! Did you know you have two #5s?

    5:52 am  Jul 22nd, 2009
  24. Olivia

    This is torture…it looks sooooo good!!!!! I’m drooling lol!

    Olivia

    11:03 am  Sep 14th, 2009
  25. Glenda

    Before I try this great sounding receipe, is I’m concerned about the rising of the dough (as with any homemade bread), how do you let it rise in a (warmish) place if the house is around 72 degrees, that is my main concern, the rising part.

    Thanks so much for the time you put in “Pinch My Salt” and the pictures are a blessing.

    8:11 am  Oct 26th, 2009
  26. Nicole

    Glenda: One tip for creating a warm place for dough to rise is to put the bowl of dough in the oven (not turned on) and place a cup of boiling water in a separate container in the oven also. The hot water will raise the temperature in the oven a little bit, creating a warm environment for the dough to rise. Your dough will also rise at room temperature, it just might take longer!

    8:50 am  Oct 26th, 2009
  27. Marianna

    Made these last night and I gotta say, “Wow.” They came out perfectly. I’m not a huge dinner roll fan in general but even I couldn’t stop at just one. The real test was with my husband who is a bread freak. He said they reminded him of his favorite rolls when he was a kid. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

    5:21 am  Nov 26th, 2009
  28. Sweet Potato Rolls « Fencers+Knives+Heat=Cooking?

    [...] to make some sweet potato dinner rolls out of it. For the first batch I tried, I used the recipe here, as written. They were good, but at 4 oz a roll, were a little too big for what we were looking [...]

    7:07 pm  Jan 4th, 2010
  29. Story time: The best carbs I’ve ever had. « Sweet Hours

    [...] sweet potatoes lying around and not enough babies to eat them. I came upon a daunting recipe from Pinch My Salt and decided to become the baker because it really and truly is in my [...]

    1:35 pm  Jan 26th, 2010
  30. Magda

    they look so yummy! I have to learn how to bake basic things like these, so this is a good way for my to start. thank you for the recipe, will definitely try it out!

    2:25 am  Apr 14th, 2010
  31. Brenda

    Thank you for sharing this recipe and for the great instructions with photos. My rolls are doing their 1 hour rise next to the woodstove where they are warm and snuggly. I can’t wait to serve them to my family for Thanksgiving.

    9:34 pm  Nov 23rd, 2010
  32. Sue

    Mine weren’t as pretty as yours, but they came out prettty tasty. I couldn’t switch the pans around because they raised so much they were hitting the top rack! So, half were wonderful, half – a little brown on the bottom. bummer But fun to make and since I haven’t made much home made bread, I was pretty proud of myself!! Everyone liked them at Thanksgiving. Thanks for the recipe and wonderful site. I plan on making more things from your list.

    7:27 pm  Nov 26th, 2010
  33. Donna

    I just took the sweet potato rolls out of the over and they smell like nothing I’ve ever baked – sweet and savory and buttery, all at once. Used half the dough in a rolled up cinnamon loaf – looking forward to my toast in the morning! Thx for sharing this recipe.

    12:56 am  Dec 4th, 2010
  34. Trine, Norway

    Mmm the Sweet Potato Rolls tasted great in Bergen, Norway!!
    Thank you for the recipe!

    12:24 pm  Jan 2nd, 2011
  35. nancy ward

    a friend posted she was making these rolls just before Thanksgiving, and wondered how many each person could eat. Her hubby/taste tester said 6 to 8. Which caused many requests for the recipe. They were a big hit at our Thanksgiving. My son’s wedding reception menu is homemade soups served in home made bread bowls. I mentioned that I would be making some sweet potato/buttermilk rolls, for those having soup in regular bowls. My new son-in-law said,”I’ve never had those.” I said,”Yes, you have and you liked them. You eat 6of the 8 practice ones that Emily took to your house.” Eyes widen, ” The ones with the orange flicks? Make extra!” They are going in the family favorite book. YUM and thank you.

    6:21 am  Jan 11th, 2011
  36. Planning Your First Thanksgiving Dinner [25 Delicious Recipes!]

    [...] Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls from Pinch My Salt [...]

    11:18 pm  Feb 1st, 2011
  37. baju anak

    Hey that you simply very much to the report, it absolutely was quite and educational examine! I’ll be back later on for confident.

    9:43 am  Jul 31st, 2011
  38. Easy Homemade Dinner Rolls | Amanda's Cookin'

    [...] from If Music be the Food of Love, Play OnButtered rosemary rolls - from The Pioneer WomanSweet potato buttermilk rolls - from Pinch My SaltPoppy seed yeast rolls – from Salad in a JarParker house rolls [...]

    10:14 am  Sep 9th, 2011
  39. Cafe Zupas » Blog Archive » celebrate: Thanksgiving (with rolls!)

    [...] Flaky Dinner Rolls from Cooking With the Big Dogs Milk Bread Yeast Rolls from The Daily Waffle Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls from Pinch My Salt Elegant Dinner Rolls from Dishing the [...]

    5:02 am  Nov 9th, 2011
  40. Jennifer Spiller

    I’m definitely going to test drive these this weekend. Has anyone tried freezing the dough before the final twenty minute rise and using them later? I’m able to do that with my french bread recipe and it works awesome, but I don’t understand the chemistry of this process well enough to know if it would work with another type of dough.

    12:22 pm  Nov 17th, 2011
  41. Noreen Gordon

    I tried this recipe for thanksgiving. It was a huge hit! In fact, it made the list as a standard Thanksgiving menu item. The instructions were fantastic! I did 1 1/2 times the recipe. I varied the sizes. It made approximately 45 dinner size rolls. Because I had concern of the dough rising, I heated my buttermilk slightly. I also did not wait for the melted butter to get to room temperature. After I placed my rolls into the pans, I covered them and set them aside. I did not bake them until hours later. They were fluffy and moist. Everyone loved them and believe me that was a tough crowd. Next time I will have honey butter with them.

    11:26 am  Nov 25th, 2011
  42. Thanksgiving and Pinot « Stomping Girl Blog

    [...] Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls from Pinch my Salt Share this:FacebookTwitterDiggRedditStumbleUponEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this.   [...]

    1:25 pm  Nov 5th, 2012
  43. Jean Marie Kennedy

    The dough was beautiful to work with. It rolled out and shaped perfectly. This recipe is a keeper!

    6:35 am  Nov 23rd, 2012
  44. Brenda

    Please don’t ever take this recipe off your website! I love that someone comments on it each Thanksgiving and Christmas and since I posted in the past and selected “notify me of follow-up comments” I’m always reminded about it and want to make it again! Most definitely a keeper for me.

    10:49 am  Nov 23rd, 2012
  45. Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Bread with Pecans and Tart Cherries - Pinch My Salt

    […] Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls […]

    6:19 pm  Nov 16th, 2013
  46. Most Watch Funny Dog Video Collection You've Ever Seen Before

    If you desire to improve your know-how just keep
    visiting this website and be updated with the latest news
    posted here.

    12:58 pm  Apr 20th, 2014
Leave a Comment