herb sweet potato dinner rolls

When I worked in D.C., my office was around the corner from two great steak houses, Smith and Wollensky and The Palm. My vegetarian boss would occasionally treat us to a nice company lunch at one of these fine establishments. She believed The Palm had the best caesar salad in the city. I don’t know about that, not a big fan of caesar salads, but The Palm on 19th street did offer one of the best spots in D.C. to view politicos, lobbyists, and media stars engaging in high stakes deals and/or ethically questionable behavior. 

While The Palm may win for its see-and-be-seen atmosphere (and Caesar salad), Smith and Wollensky wears the crown for selecting and preparing the finest cuts of meat . S&W also knows a thing or two about baking. Their house made doughnuts with liqueur infused jams are stunningly good. And their dinner rolls almost steal the show. Served hot, the pull apart rolls are glazed with butter, sprinkled with and rosemary and dotted with sea salt. 

 herb sweet potato dinner rolls

These herb sweet potato rolls are my take on Smith and Wollensky’s signature. You’ll need to set aside about 3.5 – 4 hours of your day to make them, but I promise they really aren’t that much work! You’ll be mostly just waiting around while the dough rises. You can use this time to run errands, read a book, or go to yoga (Bikram!). I use SAF® Gourmet Perfect Rise Yeast which always results in fluffy, well-risen bread. 


herb sweet potato rolls


herb sweet potato dinner rolls 


sweet potato roll

Herb Sweet Potato Rolls
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Savor these warm and fluffy dinner rolls made with fresh rosemary, sage, and mashed sweet potato.
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  1. 1 package (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast or instant yeast
  2. 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
  3. 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees)
  4. 2 or 3 fresh sage leaves
  5. 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sweet potato puree
  6. 3 tablespoons melted butter
  7. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 4 cups of all purpose flour
  10. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  11. 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  12. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  13. 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse ground sea salt
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the warm water. Let stand 5 minutes. If the mixture, doubles in size, your yeast is active and you're good to go.
  2. Put the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and the fresh sage leaves into a spice or coffee grinder and pulse until the sage has been thoroughly integrated into the sugar. (If you plan on doubling or tripling the recipe, it is easier to complete this step using a food processor.)
  3. Add the sage-sugar mixture, sweet potato puree, 3 tablespoons melted butter, eggs, and salt to the bowl. Stir until combined.
  4. Then stir in the 4 cups of flour. Using well-floured hands, knead the dough a few times, adding in a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.
  5. Once smooth, form the dough into a ball.
  6. Oil a very large mixing bowl, then add the dough to the bowl. Turn to coat once, making sure the all surfaces of the dough get coated with oil.
  7. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  8. After the first rise, punch down the dough. Let it rest 2 minutes.
  9. Grease two pie plates, two spring form pans, or two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.
  10. Using well-floured hands, form the dough into about 16-20 balls and place in the prepared pans, leaving about 1 inch between the rolls.
  11. Allow the dough to rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.
  12. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  13. In a small mixing bowl combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of melted butter.
  14. Brush the rolls with the olive oil-butter mixture.
  15. Sprinkle each with the fresh rosemary and sea salt.
  16. Bake the rolls for about 15-20 minutes.
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