The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Sweet Potato Milk Rolls

Benito's picture

Sweet Potato Milk Rolls

We are seeing some friends in our building tonight for dinner and I offered to bring some rolls. We are still here in Florida and without my starter so these were made with IDY. I wanted to bring something that wasn’t just a milk bread so decided to add mashed steamed sweet potato to the dough. I couldn’t find purple sweet potatoes anywhere near me so went with the regular orange ones. I didn’t measure the amount of sweet potato that I added. I added it after the dough was well developed after adding the butter/flour paste. I just added the sweet potato gradually until I liked the colour of the dough.

Also, note that I made these without the assistance of a stand mixer, these were fully hand mixed, a lot of slap and folds to start the day.


Pan 7.5 x 11.5” = 4 rolls by 6 rolls



25g  - King Arthur AP flour

125g -  milk 

The classic ratio in tangzhong 1:5

Final dough

371 g KA AP flour and 29 g to mix blend with butter when mixing by hand

50 g granulated sugar

150 g 1% milk

1 egg

29g room temperature butter,  mix with 29 g of flour

6.06 g  instant yeast

7.74 g salt

All of the tangzhong mixture


egg wash: 1 yolk and 1 tbsp milk, beaten…


Cook Tangzhong mixing flour and milk constantly until it becomes a thick roux.  Let cool before adding to final dough.  Or add to cold milk and egg to cool it down.


Blend room temperature butter and flour together and set aside to incorporate after the dough is well developed.


Whisk together dry ingredients flour salt and yeast. 


To mix by hand, add the salt and yeast to the wet ingredients (milk, tangzhong and egg) to dissolve.  Next add the flour and mix with a silicone spatula until no dry flour remains.  Rest 10 mins.  Next perform French folds until the dough is well developed.  Smear the blended butter/flour onto the dough and then fold to incorporate and then perform further French folds until well developed.  Gradually add the mashed sweet potato and knead to incorporate it well into the dough.  Form into a tight ball and place in a bowl covered with plastic or a damp cloth and place in a warm place until doubled (about 1hr 30 mins).  Alternatively, you could mix the sweet potato and butter and then add the mixture to the developed dough until well incorporated.


Butter a large baking pan.  Punch the dough down and then divide into 24 equal portions.  Form each into tight boules.  Place in the buttered baking pan seem side down.  Cover them and allow them to fully proof about 1 hour - 1 hr and 20-30 mins, they should pass the poke test.


After about 30 mins of proofing time, whisk your remaining egg and milk and then brush the small boules.


About 30 mins prior to end of final proof preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Immediately prior to baking brush the dough again with the egg and milk mixture.


Bake the rolls uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 190F. Cover if your rolls get brown early in the baking process.


Remove the bread from the oven but not the pans, brush the tops with butter while hot, and then let cool for 10 minutes before pulling the bread from the pans. You may need to slide a butter knife down the sides of the pan to loosen the bread, but I have found parchment paper to be unnecessary.  Sprinkle with fleur de sel if you wish after brushing with butter. 

My index of bakes.


happycat's picture

All these people who cross your path and enjoy your bakes are indeed fortunate. Very generous! Particularly as you are so meticulous. 

Hope to see a crumb and hear about the taste and texture with the sweet potato.

I bought 15 lbs of potatoes recently... used half for mashed but there are plenty left to bake with. I have red cabbage and red onions, too. Those are packed with colour. Hm!

Benito's picture

Thank you David, I hope they enjoy these.  I baked a full batch and just found out that there are only going to be four of us!  I’ll bring 12 and keep 12 for lunches or with dinner tomorrow night.  I’ll be able to post crumb photos tomorrow I think.

One of the joys of baking is sharing isn’t it?

I’m looking forward to hearing what you do with your potatoes, cabbage and onions.


trailrunner's picture

Those are incredible !!!  They glisten with goodness for sure. I have some sweet potato and will have to copy this out. Glad you are having such a great time !!  c

Benito's picture

Thank you Caroline, I hope our friends enjoy them.  It is amazing what an egg milk wash prior to baking and then brushing on melted butter after baking will do to make bread look so shiny.


Isand66's picture

Those look almost too good to eat 😁. Curious why you add the butter as a lamination versus just mixing in with the flour and milk.  I’ve always added it in after an autolyse with the rest of my water and salt.



Benito's picture

I like to at least moderately develop the gluten before adding the butter.  With hand mixing I’ll spread it on the dough and then stretch and fold and repeat until it is all mixed in.  I think that the butter can interfere with gluten development somewhat so add it later in mixing.

Isand66's picture

I do add the butter in my mixer after the initial mix and autolyse so really not much different than you.


Benito's picture

You’re right, not a big difference.  I only wait to add the butter after moderate gluten development.


Benito's picture

These were a hit at dinner, everyone had two!  They had a mildly sweetness to them with the lovely light orange hue of the sweet potatoes coming through.  So soft, shreddable and fluffy.  I miss having some whole wheat in them but I know most people prefer their rolls without.

gavinc's picture

They look excellent. Well done baking on holiday!



Benito's picture

Thanks so much Gavin.  I’ll be baking variations of this again in the future.