Recipe: No-Knead Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls

Recipes from The Kitchn

In our opinion, a holiday table isn't complete without a big basket of fluffy dinner rolls. How else are you going to sop up the last bits of gravy? These soft and airy sweet potato rolls are perfect for the job. They're also very nearly foolproof, making them one less thing to worry about when planning the meal.

These rolls get a very mild sweetness from the mashed sweet potatoes. We think they go perfectly with all the sweet and savory foods on a holiday buffet table, plus they're pretty great slathered with jam for breakfast the next morning! You can also substitute regular potatoes, yams, or pumpkin for the sweet potatoes.

When it comes to large dinner parties and holiday buffets, we appreciate no-knead recipes more than ever. The dough can be made the day ahead, refrigerated, and made into rolls the next morning. You can also make them ahead of time and freeze the baked rolls. Warmed in the oven, no one will be able to tell they weren't baked fresh!

Tester's Notes

When I first started baking bread just a couple years ago, the first thing I started out with was a no-knead bread. While I eventually moved on to more technical recipes, I always love coming back to ones like these no-knead rolls. They're easy, forgiving, and as Emma mentions, nearly foolproof — a huge bonus when making these for a big dinner party, like Thanksgiving.

The sweet potatoes do add a subtle sweetness and a hint of extra flavor, which pairs so well with everything on your Thanksgiving plate, from the turkey and gravy to the cranberry sauce and green bean casserole. But really, my favorite time to eat these rolls has been at breakfast. I love splitting them in half and then coating the inside with a generous layer of butter and a dollop of honey or sometimes berry jam.

- Kelli, November 2015

No-Knead Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls

Makes 2 dozen rolls

3/4 cup (6 ounces) warm water
1 scant tablespoon (1 package) active dry yeast
1 cup (9 ounces) mashed sweet potatoes (see Recipe Notes below)
1 cup (8.5 ounces) milk, whole or 2% preferably
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 cups (20 ounces) all-purpose flour

Combine the water and yeast in a large mixing bowl and let stand until the yeast is dissolved. Add the mashed sweet potatoes, the milk, the melted butter, the brown sugar, and the salt. Stir until all ingredients are evenly combined. Add the flour, stirring until a shaggy dough is formed and no more dry flour is visible. This dough will be very sticky.

Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let stand until doubled in bulk, at least 2 hours or as long as 5 hours. The dough can be used immediately, but it's easier to work with if you can refrigerate it for at least 2 hours. The dough can also be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

When ready to shape the rolls, sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and turn the dough out on top. Sprinkle a little more flour on top and press the dough into a thick disk. Use a bench scraper or knife to divide the dough into 24 pieces. Shape into balls and place about 5 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise until the rolls are roughly doubled in size, about 45 minutes in a warm kitchen.

About 20 minutes before the rolls are finished rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Remove the cover and bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are puffed and toasted-brown. Serve warm or room temperature. Rolls are best the first day, but will stay fresh for several days after if stored in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes:

  • To make the mashed sweet potatoes, roast a medium-sized (roughly 9-ounce) sweet potato in a 400°F oven until completely soft. Strip off the skin and mash.
  • For extra richness, brush the tops with melted butter or egg yolk before baking. So good! These rolls can also be frozen if you're making them ahead of time. Allow the baked rolls to cool completely, wrap them in aluminum foil, and freeze them. To reheat, let them thaw on the counter and then warm them in a 300°F oven for 15 minutes.

This recipe has been updated — originally published November 2010.

(Image credits: Kelli Foster)

Per serving, based on 24 servings. (% daily value)
2.5 g (3.9%)
1.4 g (7.2%)
0.1 g
22 g (7.3%)
1.1 g (4.4%)
2.1 g
3.1 g (6.3%)
6.1 mg (2%)
205.6 mg (8.6%)