“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.” ― Erma Bombeck
Ha ha, Erma! Ha ha!
Anyone who glances at the recipe below may think these sweet potato rolls also take 18 hours to prepare, but I assure you, they do not. The homemade rolls only take 3 1/2 hours. A football game takes 3 1/2 hours. Coincidence?
Not to worry, the majority of the time involved is inactive time while the yeast works its magic on the dough. The way I see it, all of that downtime gives you plenty of opportunity to whip up a few other recipes perfect for Thanksgiving. And I know just where you can find them.
I have written many times that I keep up with this goofy hobby only because I enjoy being a part of the food blogging community. I have made friends I image I never would have met if it were not for our shared interests (any hobbyist can probably attest to that).
Today, I am thankful to celebrate the second annual Blogsgiving Dinner with two food bloggers I have had the good fortune to meet and call friends: Meghan from Cake ‘n Knife and Susannah from Feast + West. Our hostesses have organized a virtual dinner with more than 60 blogs sharing recipes this week. That is a lot of good food!
Blogsgiving Dinner is based on an old-fashioned potluck dinner party. Last year, we covered cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and soup on Day 1. On Day 2, we shared entrees, salads and sides. Desserts, after-dinner drinks, and ideas for leftovers received their proper billing on Day 3.
This year, each blogger is bringing one or more dishes to the party, so be sure to stop by and get some ideas for your Thanksgiving meal. The entire menu is available in Part 1 and Part 2 of the recipe round-up, and you can search the hashtag #blogsgivingdinner to view the recipes via social media.
Three days in to Blogsgiving Dinner 2015, I have bookmarked enough recipes for approximately three Thanksgiving feasts. Whether you are looking for a twist on a traditional recipe or something new to bring to the table, I think you will find something you like.
Thanksgiving is all about family, friends, and delicious food. I wish you the best one yet. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Rolls with Dried Cranberries
Yield 18 rolls
- 3/4 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 1 (1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 large egg, at room temperature and lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups whole wheat flour, divided
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Place the sweet potato cubes in a large saucepan and cover with water (this is tricky because they like to float, so use your best judgement).
- Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes over a bowl and RESERVE 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
- When the cooking water has cooled to 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit, add it to the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Stir in the yeast, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of the all purpose flour and allow this mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
- While the yeast proofs, melt 1/3 cup of the butter and combine it with the drained sweet potatoes, honey, egg, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth.
- After the 10 minutes the yeast needs to do its thing, it should look frothy. Add the sweet potato puree from the food processor along with 1 1/2 cups of the whole wheat flour and the dried cranberries to the yeast mixture in the mixing bowl.
- Beat at low speed until the flour is incorporated and a soft dough forms, adding additional whole wheat flour if the dough is too moist to come together.
- Stop the mixer to swap out the beater or paddle attachment with the dough hook and knead on medium speed for two minutes, then up the speed to high and knead for an additional three to four minutes. You are looking for the dough to form a soft, springy ball, so if you need more time or flour, add it. You can also knead the dough by hand if you do not have a mixer with a dough hook.
- Spray a large bowl with cooking spray or lightly grease with butter and place the nice dough ball you have into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes to one hour. The dough should double in bulk after this time.
- Punch down the puffed-up dough, divide it into 18 pieces, and roll each piece into a ball.
- Melt the remaining butter in a cast iron skillet over low heat.
- Remove the skillet from the heat, roll each dough ball in the butter to coat, then arrange the dough balls in the skillet. It will be a tight fit, so don't be afraid to really squeeze them in.
- Cover the skillet with the plastic wrap or clean towel and allow the dough to rise again, this time for 30 minutes. Again, the dough should double in bulk.
- Finally, it is time to bake. Pop the cast iron skillet into an oven heated to 375 degrees F and allow the rolls to bake for 30-35 minutes until browned.
- Allow to cool for five minutes and serve warm.
I used two large sweet potatoes to equal the 3/4 pounds called for in this recipe. If you are unfamiliar with baking with yeast, please note is important to cool the cooking water until it is warm but not hot. If it is uncomfortable for you to dip your finger into the water, then it will be uncomfortable for the yeast too. Water that is too hot will kill the little beauties, and then no rolls will grace your table. For indulgent rolls, add 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon to the dough. The rolls can be baked up to eight hours in advance and kept uncovered at room temperature. Reheat in a 300 degree F oven for five minutes before serving. No cast iron skillet? No problem. Simply bake the rolls in a baking dish.