I am definitely not a master at breadmaking, but have done a lot of research and practice in the past couple of years. Not everything is a winner, but soft, fluffy, almost doughnut style Sweet Potato Rolls are my favorite. I tried a lot of recipes, and did a horrible job keeping track of the ones I loved (this was before my Plan to Eat days….now recipes are much better organized). I found this recipe to be my favorite…..but like many bread recipes out there on the interwebs, it is for a bread machine. Plenty of people swear by their bread machine, but I want to have LESS appliances, not more. I have developed the ability to read bread machine recipes and adapt them as I go since I understand the order of making bread (or at least think I do). So here’s my adapted version, for those of you out there wishing for more counterspace:

Ingredients:

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast or one packet (I buy my yeast in bulk at the local membership warehouse, and store in the freezer)

2/3 cup warm milk (you should heat until it feels like it would make a great bath, or roughly 100 degrees. Too hot and it will kill the yeast, too cold and…something else happens but I don’t remember what)

1/4 cup sugar, or honey. I think you can get by with about half that if you want to cut back on sugar, but they are super mega delicious with all of it

Start by adding just those three things to the bowl of a stand mixer (or just a regular bowl if you plan to do this all by hand). Mix it up, let it sit for about 5 minutes. It will start to get a little foamy. If not, your yeast might be bad and you might need to start over with new yeast.

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Next, add the following

1 egg (room temp is best, but not crucial–and whip it a little before adding)

1/2 cup mashed sweet potato (I bake my sweet potatoes the day before I want to make rolls. I also never measure the sweet potato and just throw in about 1/2 cup…but it’s likely more)

1/4 cup melted butter (mmmmmmmmm….unsalted, since baking always means unsalted butter, right?)

Mix all of that up, either by hand, or using your dough hook or paddle. You just want it all nice and incorporated. I think it’s good to use a silicon spatula for this step, since the dough hook doesn’t really ‘mix’.

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Now we are ready to add in flour. I’ve learned that it’s best to add flour little by little when making bread so you add just the right amount. Adding too much flour can be very bad…and by very bad, I mean I have no clue how to fix it. I did mention I’m not a professional, right? Anyway, I add 1 cup flour (bread flour, all purpose, or white wheat will work here) along with 1 tsp of salt, and start mixing with your dough hook.

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Once the flour is no longer all over the sides of the bowl and looks like it’s almost all added in, add in another 1/2 cup.

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Keep going until you’ve added about 3 cups (you might need to use your spatula to wipe down the sides of the bowl). But…it might be a little less or a little more (this one probably took a little over 4 cups).

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How do you know when to stop? Once all the flour is incorporated, it will be not super sticky if you jam your hand in there. I know, not super scientific. But, you should be able to stick a finger in and pull it away and it will feel more like dough, less like a sticky glue pit.  It will also pull away from the sides of the bowl while mixing.  This dough is a little on the wet side, so best to err on that. If you use extra sweet potato like me, you might find the need for extra flour….or if you use the white wheat instead of all purpose, you might use less…

After you think you’ve got the flour thing figured out, turn your mixer up a little and let it knead the dough for about ten minutes. You might need to stop and scoop the dough ball off of the hook a couple of times since I find it just gets stuck and doesn’t seem to move around at all. That’s normal, right? Anyway, after it kneads for awhile (which you can knead the dough by hand on a floured counter too if you don’t have a mixer), the dough should be not sticking to you at all, and when you pull it apart lightly, it doesn’t break.  You might find that you need to add a little flour again along the way, but a couple tablespoons at a time, tops.

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Okay, once the kneading step is all done, form it into a ball. Just grab the dough and keep pulling around to the bottom so the top is nice and smooth. Hold it in one hand, oil your bowl with another (I just use the mixer bowl), plop your ball in pretty side down to oil the top, then turn it over (so all sides should be oiled now).

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Then cover and let rise for about an hour. If you live in a particularly cold place, you might let it rise in the oven (you can turn it on to like 200 and then shut it off). I live in Florida, it’s never cold. The countertop works great for me. You can cover with plastic wrap, but I use a tea towel that I get damp first.

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After an hour, your dough should have doubled in size roughly. It will be nice and pillowy soft. Resist the urge to just eat it.

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Divide it in half, then divide each half in half again, then divide each quarter into three….so you should end up with 12 pieces. You can use a 9×13 pan, or two pie pans, or two 8-9″ cake pans (lightly oil first). Take each piece, form into a ball like you did with the big ball, and put them in your baking dish of choice.

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Cover again and let rise for about another 30 minutes to an hour.

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After that, they should plump up and fill up all the space between them.

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They are ready to bake!

Preheat the oven to 375 and bake for about 12-15 minutes, until golden brown on top and you can’t stand the smell them baking anymore because you fear you might ingest your own stomach. Don’t burn your tongue, it’s tough, I know. You can make the glaze in the original link, but they come out tasting identical to doughnuts if you do. I prefer without, since it seems less wrong to eat with dinner, or sneak them after the kids go to bed. Plus, any leftovers will be a little gross and gooey if they have the glaze.

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And for the record, my hubby hates these because they have sweet potato in them and he hates sweet potatoes. That’s okay, more for me.

Enjoy!! These keep well to eat the next morning. Beyond that, I have no idea since they’ve never lasted. I’d love to hear about how yours turn out!!

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