26 February 2014

Sweet Potato Rolls

Dear Lissy,

These rolls are the rolls.  Six continents.  Every Thanksgiving dinner this century.  Sweet Potato rolls are a bit tricky to get just right, but oh, when I do, I'm in butter roll heaven.  Try them out a couple of times at home --  they make great slider rolls for pulled pork and unbelievable pecan cinnamon rolls.  Once you're used to the dough, quietly bring them any time you attend a dinner.  These unassuming little pillows of golden deliciousness will soon become your signature dish, too.

Sweet Potato Rolls

1 pkg.(2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast   
1-1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water.  Stir in:

1/3 cup sugar (optional, used to make rolls very soft and keep crust from forming)
1-1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening, melted
2 eggs
1 cup lukewarm mashed sweet potatoes or yams
3-1/2 cups flour

Add an additional
3-1/2 to 4 cups flour
until the dough is just firm enough to handle.

Turn the dough onto a wet counter or board and knead with wet hands or dough scraper until smooth, about 5 minutes.  Re-wet board or hands as necessary.  Don't try to flour the board or your hands, or the rolls get very tough.  Place in greased bowl, and turn until greased side is up.  **Refrigerate several hours or overnight.**
About 2-1/2 hours before baking, divide the roll dough in half.  On a floured board, roll each half into a 16" circle about 1/4 inch thick. Spread each circle with:
2 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine (1/4 cup total)

Cut each circle into 16 equal wedges with a pizza wheel..  Beginning at the rounded edge, roll each triangle up.  Place on an insulated baking sheet with the point underneath.  Set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.  Bake at 400 for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown.



P.S.  Butterhorns are nice for formal occasions, but these rolls really shine when baked cushion-style.  I usually pan them up at 2.5 oz each, and place them a finger's width apart in the pans.  Let them rise until the dough has a spongy texture, and pop them into a hot oven.  The bottoms overbrown easily, so use a baking stone or keep them toward the top of the oven.

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