One of the most universally loved dining-out experiences has to be when your waiter unexpectedly brings out a basket of freshly baked rolls, right? Who isn’t overcome with happiness for just a few seconds when you see that bundle of bread? They make my heart happy; warm rolls just get me in a way no one else does. Especially when they’re fluffy and have a slightly sweet and buttery glazed brushed on top.
Can I get an amen?
But despite all of our obvious excitement for fresh bread, we don’t tend to eat rolls with dinner at home unless we’re slaving over an intense holiday dinner. Probably because rolls just take too much damn time to make! After a long day working, who can be bothered to spend the time to make dough, let it rise, shape it into balls, let those rise again, and bake? Not you. Not I. In fact, I don’t even have the time for that on the holidays. We’ve got people to entertain, turkeys to cook, potatoes to mash, and even though we want a delicate roll to sink our teeth into, it’s just not gonna happen.
Unless we make them in advance.
Unless we’ve got Make-Ahead Rosemary Sweet Potato Rolls up our sleeves. (Or more accurately, in our freezers.)
These rolls might be the most accommodating make-ahead recipe ever. Want to eat them today? Tomorrow? Next week? In a month? Well they call me Morgan, Queen of Options for a reason.
Don’t ask who they are. It’s not important.
There are several ways you can prepare these Make-Ahead Rosemary Sweet Potato Rolls. You can make the dough and then:
- Refrigerate it for up to a day before continuing with the shaping, re-rising, and baking.
- Shape the rolls, place them in the prepared baking dish, and refrigerate for up to a day before continuing with the baking.
- Shape the rolls, place them on a lined baking sheet, and freeze until solid. Then transfer them to a freezer bag until you want to thaw and bake them. They can be frozen for up to 2 months.
- Form the rolls, let them re-rise in a prepared baking dish, bake, and serve immediately.
- Prepare the rolls entirely, fully cook them, and then freeze them until the day-of (up to 1 month). Thaw and reheat briefly before serving.
- Fully cook the rolls and refrigerate them until you’re ready to reheat and serve.
Like I said and always say, options, people. I’m all about ’em.
Here I am gushing about the multitude of ways you can prepare Rosemary Sweet Potato Rolls, and I’ve totally missed the most important point: these rolls are the most addictive and delicious rolls I’ve had… probably ever. This is not because I’m a baking genius, but because I literally experimented with dozens of batches until the recipe was PERFECT. Many a roll met its untimely end in my mouth these past two weeks.
I have no regrets– only beautiful, golden, tender rolls to show for it.
The slight sweetness from the sweet potatoes, the piney flavor of the rosemary, the richness of the honey-butter glaze, the flakes of sea salt on top; it all just makes me want to eat these rolls for every meal. In fact, James and I loved these so much that I’m making another batch for his family’s Thanksgiving dinner, and some more to freeze for Christmas. And maybe a few extra for that time in-between.
Luckily they are surprisingly simple to make! Thank you, microwave and food processor, for the shortcuts.
Did you realize that you can make perfect bread dough in your food processor? The first few times I toyed around with this recipe, I mixed by hand, but once I broke out the food processor, there was no going back. The dough wound up totally evenly combined in record time, with all of the sweet potato completely broken down. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
And like I said earlier, we’ve gotta keep this recipe simple so we can up our fresh-rolls-at-home game. I have faith in our future of dinner roll devotion.
Realistically, you only need to make these once to get hooked on ’em, and then there’s no going back– not that you’d ever want to. You and your guests will be so grateful for these leftover-gravy-sopping devices, they’ll fly off of the table.
But before they do, don’t forget to take a picture and tag #hostthetoast on Instagram. I can’t wait to see the pictures of your family enjoying these Make-Ahead Rosemary Sweet Potato Rolls on the You Made It page!
- 1 cup milk, heated to 102-110°F
- ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
- 2¼ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
- 1 cup sweet potato puree, packed (from 2-3 large sweet potatoes, see notes)
- 2 eggs
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 5 cups all purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- Coarse sea salt, as desired
- Heat the milk in microwave until the temperature reaches between 102-110°F. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the sugar to the warmed milk, then gently stir in the yeast. Set the yeast mixture aside to proof for 5 minutes. It should become bubbly and foamy if your yeast is good.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the sweet potato puree, remaining sugar, eggs, 6 tablespoons of melted butter, tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves, and kosher salt. Process until combined. Add in the flour in 3-4 batches, pulsing occasionally to distribute the flour. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the yeast mixture and continue to process until well-incorporated. The dough should be light orange, evenly combined, and sticky, but holding together. If the dough is too sticky to scoop out of the food processor, add flour, a couple of tablespoons at a time, to the dough until you can handle it. Make sure not to add too much or your dough will be dense.
- Lightly flour a flat surface and roll the dough out onto it. Sprinkle a bit of flour on top of the dough.
Knead until the dough forms a smooth, uniform ball, about 2 minutes. Lightly grease a large bowl and transfer the dough ball to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour, or if saving the dough for shaping the next day, refrigerate and let rise in the fridge overnight.
- Again, lightly flour a flat surface. Roll the risen dough out onto the floured surface and cut into halves until you have 16 equally-sized pieces. One piece at a time, pinch all of the edges together to form a seam and roll the dough into a ball. If freezing the rolls before baking, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until solid. Then transfer the frozen rolls to a freezer bag and thaw 5-6 hours before ready to bake in a greased baking dish, with space for them to rise. If baking the same day or next day, place, seam-side down, in the prepared baking dish with space between the rolls for them to rise. If baking the same day, cover and let the dough rise, another hour. If baking the next day, refrigerate and let the rolls re-rise in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls until golden brown and 200°F throughout, about 25-30 minutes. If baking the rolls through entirely and then freezing, freeze before topping with the glaze, reheat, and then glaze.
- As the rolls bake or reheat, prepare the honey butter glaze. In a small dish, stir together 3 tablespoons melted butter, 2 tablespoons honey, and the teaspoon of chopped rosemary. Brush onto the rolls and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Serve warm.
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