Soft, tender, homemade vegan sweet potato dinner rolls are a favorite come holiday time. But they can be made year-round and even frozen for homemade heat-and-serve dinner rolls!
Is there anything better than home-baked bread on the family dinner table? I mean, think about it. Of course there’s going to be cranberry sauce. But seriously, is that any competition for dinner rolls?
I think not.
And to prove my point, here’s some Vegan Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls. Take that, you gelatinous glob of cooked cranberries!
I’ve always been a big fan of bread. Big fan!
Of course, now I eat a lot less of it, because who can still eat like they used to. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy every last bite.
And here’s one thing I’ve learned in life: If I’m going to spend my calories on something, it’s gonna be great!
Otherwise, what’s the point?
What I Love About Vegan Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls
It’s homemade bread. Do I really need to say anything else?
Well, OK. This bread is something special because the sweet potatoes give it a gorgeous, golden hue. It looks downright buttery!
You may not realize this, but hues are important. We eat with our eyes! So, why serve plain, old, white bread when you could spruce it up a little with some sweet potatoes?
And then your dinner rolls will look better than everyone else’s. And some days, that can feel so gratifying. You may not be able to control what’s happening at work, or on the commute home, or even in the news. I love this advice from Michelle Obama on how to deal with today’s stressful milieu.
Focus on what you can control. Be a good person every day. Vote. Read. Treat one another kindly. Follow the law. Don’t tweet the nasty stuff. — Michelle Obama
I would add something else, or maybe it falls within the first statement about focusing on what you can control, but I think connecting with yourself as a maker is important. I read about it in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic. We are makers. Humans have been making things for millions of years, including food.
When we choose that path, to make food, we are answering an ancestral call to work with our hands, to create, to bond with family.
So make a delicious batch of of vegan sweet potato dinner rolls. Then when you’re sitting with family at the dinner or table, or even later when you’re clearing away dishes (hopefully with help), you can think to yourself, “That’ll do, self. That’ll do.”
I added a brushing of melted vegan butter once I removed them from the oven. It adds even more buttery flavor. These vegan sweet potato dinner rolls are soft and pillowy on the inside with a nice, buttery crispy crust.
Exactly what you expect from a dinner roll!
Make-Ahead Dinner Rolls
This is another thing I love about making homemade dinner rolls. There are at least three points in the process where you can make them ahead.
Because timing is a big part of a family dinner. You want to serve everything at the same time, piping hot and ready to be devoured!
- Make-ahead Tip #1: There is a point in the process of making these rolls where the dough must set in a bowl and raise for about an hour, so it can double in size. You can cover the bowl in plastic wrap or some other cover and place it in the fridge at this point. You can even wrap the dough ball and freeze it too. Just be sure to allow plenty of time for the dough to return to room temperature and to resume the rising process.
- Make-ahead Tip #2: There’s another point in the process of making these rolls, where you can freeze the uncooked dough. Right after you’ve rolled the dough into balls, instead of placing them in a pan to rise, you can place the formed dough balls on a tray and put them in the freezer. Then, once they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. Then when you’re ready to bake them, resume the next step by placing the frozen dough balls in a greased 9X13 pan. Be sure to allow ample time for the frozen dough balls to return to room temperature and then resume rising.
- Make-Ahead Tip #3: You can make these sweet potato dinner rolls, all the way through to completion! Then when they’re done and cooled enough to handle, remove them as a block from the pan, wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze. Then when you’re ready to serve, simply reheat in the oven.
There you have it! Three ways to make vegan sweet potato dinner rolls ahead of your big holiday dinner!
You know what? I really hope you love these vegan sweet potato dinner rolls as much as we do. And do you know what else? If you would snap a photo of your recipe and share it with me #NamelyMarly on Twitter and Instagram, it’d make my day!
Soft, tender, homemade sweet potato dinner rolls are a favorite come holiday time. But they can be made year-round and even frozen for homemade heat-and-serve dinner rolls!
- 1 medium Sweet potato
- ½ cup Water
- ¾ cup Plant-based milk , plain (not vanilla flavored)
- 1 tablespoon Brown sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Active-dry yeast (1 packet)
- 3 - 3 1/2 cups All purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoons Ground flax seeds
- 3 tablespoons Vegan butter melted
- 1 - 2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons Vegan butter , melted, for brushing
Scrub and clean the sweet potato and poke it with a fork or knife several times. Place it in the microwave for two minutes. Remove with oven mitts and cut into large chunks.
In a food processor combine the roughly chopped sweet potato, water, milk, and brown sugar. Pulse until creamy. You might have small bits of sweet potatoes, but overall it should be creamy.
Transfer to a bowl and let the mixture cool slightly (it should be the same temperature as your finger when you dip it into the mix).
When the temperature is right, add the yeast. Gently stir. Set aside.
In a separate bowl combine 3 cups all-purpose flour, salt, and ground flax seeds. Whisk to combine.
Create a well in the middle of the flour and scoop the sweet potato mixture and 3 tablespoons melted vegan butter into the well. Stir to incorporate. Knead the dough in the bowl (3 - 5 minutes). Add up to 1/2 cup additional all-purpose flour as needed until the dough pulls slightly away from the sides of the bowl. It will still be sticky.
Spray the dough ball in the bowl with vegetable spray. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and place in a warm, dry place to allow the dough to rise until it's doubled in size, roughly an hour or more.
When the dough has risen, prepare a 9X13" baking dish by adding a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Spread the oil around the pan.
The dough will be sticky so sprinkle whole wheat pastry flour, over the top and gently work the flour into the dough. The dough should reach the point where it's still sticky, but will form into a ball.
Next, pinch off sections of the dough a little larger than a golf ball. Dip each ball in the oil from the pan and gently pull the sides down, working the dough until it's the shape of a ball. It can help you work the dough if you occasionally touch your fingers into the oil in the pan. Place the dough balls about 1" apart on your prepared pan.
Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with vegetable spray and place that over the rolls (so the plastic won't stick to the rising rolls). Cover and let rise 30-40 minutes until doubled in size.
When you're ready to bake, heat your oven to 350F. When the oven is at the correct temperature, remove the plastic wrap from the rolls, and place the pan in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown on top.
After you remove them from the oven, immediately coat with a thin layer of melted vegan butter. These rolls are best when served warm, but can be made ahead and heated up prior to serving.
You can cover the dough ball in plastic wrap and either freeze or refrigerate. In addition, you can freeze dough balls (before they have risen) by putting them on a tray and placing them in the freezer, once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag.
If you're working with refrigerated or frozen dough, be sure to allow additional rising time in the subsequent step.