When it comes to last minute dinner parties, typically I’m the one rushing to the grocery store, flying around the kitchen, and yelling at the boys to clean up their respective messes before everyone arrives. Thankfully this weekend I got to experience the other side of dinner parties: being the guest! My friends invited us over to their place for dinner and game night this past weekend and I jumped at the chance to eat someone else’s cooking for a change. I asked what I could bring and the response I received was “your buns at 7:30”. I can’t just show up to a friend’s house empty handed, so I decided to take this joke of a text literally. Sweet potato buns to the rescue!
As much as I really wish it was, this recipe is not a last minute endeavor. Even with my (somewhat limited, admittedly) experience with waiting on dough to rise and the like, this still took me a solid 3 hours from start to finish. If you’re like me and love a good cooking challenge, be prepared to set aside an entire afternoon for these babies. Since most of this time is simply waiting for the yeast to work its magic, here’s some things you can do in the meantime: write a novel, run a marathon, go skiing, or hand sew a new wardrobe! You get the idea.
Makes 20 rolls.
This recipe is based on the Country Cleaver.
for the dough
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 4 ½ cups flour + more for dusting
- 2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 packet yeast (1 ¼ tsp)
- 2 tsp minced rosemary
for the glaze
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp minced rosemary
- flakey salt
Kitchen Tools: 10″ cast iron skillet or 9″x13″ baking dish, stand mixer with dough hook, nonstick spray, rolling pin, pastry brush
Place sweet potato on plate and microwave for 10-15 minutes until a knife inserted goes through with no resistance. Let cool enough to peel the skin off with your fingers and discard. Mash sweet potato in a small bowl with a fork. Set aside.
Finely mince rosemary. Heat milk to around 100*F in the microwave (only a few minutes), and stir in sugar and yeast. Cover with cling wrap and set aside for 10 minutes – this is called proofing the yeast. Whisk dry ingredients (flour, salt, rosemary) in your stand mixer’s bowl.
Melt butter in microwave. Let cool for a bit then whisk in eggs (you let it cool so that it doesn’t cook your eggs). Whisk butter and egg mixture with mashed sweet potato, maple syrup, and proofed yeast mixture. Set up stand mixer with dough hook. On a medium mixer setting, pour the wet ingredients slowly into the dry. Let the dough hook do its thing for about 3 minutes until everything is fully combined.
Prepping the Dough:
Dump dough onto a heavily floured surface. Knead dough for about 2 minutes to form the gluten, adding extra flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the counter or your hands. Form dough into a ball. Cover the inside of a large mixing bowl with nonstick spray. Plop dough into the bowl and cover with a dish towel. Let rise for one hour.
Remove dough from bowl and roll to about 1 inch thickness. Use bench scraper or knife to cut dough into 20 even portions. Form each into a ball and place in greased baking dish or cast iron skillet. Cover dish or skillet with dish towel and let dough rise a second time for one hour.
Preheat oven to 350*F. Once oven has preheated, bakerolls for 20-25 minutes until just starting to brown on the top.
Prepare glaze by melting butter and whisking in maple syrup and minced rosemary. Brush onto top of buns. Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes until tops of buns are a golden brown. Sprinkle with flake salt and serve!