Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time
30 Mins
Total Time
3 Hours 10 Mins
Yield
15 rolls

Warm, light, and fluffy, these extra-special buns will be the talk of the buffet line. This fall, we’re sneaking sweet potatoes into everything, from our biscuits to gnocchi to waffles. Accordingly, mashed sweet potatoes are the secret ingredient in these bright, festive rolls. Not only do they add a luxurious orange color, but they also bring a bit of earthy sweetness to the bread. Just as you would with any other homemade, yeast-based bread, you’ll want to prepare these rolls well in advance to allow them sufficient time to rise. The hour of resting time allows the rolls to develop their airy texture—while it proofs, you can expect the dough to double in size. In terms of rolling out the dough, here’s a tip from our Test Kitchen: Use a light hand when flouring the work surface. You should be able to see the surface through the flour. Too much flour will create a chalky coating on the rolls. Drizzled with honey (or generously smeared with Hot Honey Butter), these rolls will add a touch of sweetness to your Thanksgiving feast. These buns are anything but boring.

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring sweet potato and milk to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are very soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a potato masher or fork, mash potatoes with milk until very smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Step 2

Stir together warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a small bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Step 3

Beat together sweet potato mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, 4 tablespoons of the melted butter, and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook on low to combine. With mixer running, gradually add bread flour and kosher salt, beating on low until dough is soft and smooth, about 4 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding up to 1/3 cup flour, as needed, if dough is very sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly greased large bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Step 4

Preheat oven to 375°F. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 15 balls. Place balls in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature until almost doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, stir together cane syrup and remaining 2 tablespoons melted  butter; set aside.

Step 5

Uncover rolls, and bake in preheated oven until light golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes. Brush hot rolls with cane syrup butter; sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve immediately, or transfer rolls to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.