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Guest Blogging: LZ’s Sweet Potato Rolls

November 30, 2010

I always get bummed when dear friends leave DC and move on to other opportunities. However, what is much better is when they bring a good friend for me to get to know in their absence. My co-worker, and close friend, DB left for Yale School of Forestry to become a champion of the environment, but he helped weaken the blow by having a friend apply for his position as the environmental science teacher, and LZ is fantastic. She sealed the deal with all of us when she brought in her sweet potato rolls the other day– they were a huge hit in the faculty room. Another dear friend announced, “These rolls are like a food hug.” I couldn’t agree more.

Here is her description of how she came up with them, and how she made them:

I attended a few Thanksgiving potlucks this year, and brought the same dish to each one, leaving me with five pounds of leftover orange-pecan sweet potatoes. As a small single person, I could not eat all five pounds. With a kitchen to myself and a full stock of flour and yeast, I had no choice but to make bread. Molasses sunflower seed bread is a favorite of mine, and it seemed apt that sweetened sweet potatoes and pecans could replace each of the key ingredients, respectively. Here’s the recipe. I doubled it, on account of my sweet potato influx.

LZ’s Sweet Potato Rolls


  • 2 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 T. yeast
  • 1 cup milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teas. salt
  • cinnamon
  • 5 T butter
  • 1 teas. orange (or lemon) juice
  • 1 egg
  • 6-8 cups flour

Mash cooked sweet potatoes with pecans in large bowl. In separate cup, stir yeast into warm water. Let sit. Boil milk in saucepan. Add sugar (less if leftovers are already sweetened), salt, cinnamon, and butter. Stir until butter melts. Add milk mixture to mashed potatoes, and then add orange juice. Stir until well blended. Once cool (not super hot), beat in egg and yeast mixture. Blend well. Stir in 2 cups flour, and blend well. At this point, it’s easiest to take the dough ball out of the bowl, and start kneading on a floured surface. Prepare to get sticky. Continue to add flour. This dough is super sticky to start, due to the sweet potato goo factor. Just keep adding flour and kneading thoroughly until dough is stiff and not sticky. Should take about 10 minutes of kneading.

Once finished with kneading, rub some butter all over the surface of the dough ball. Place it in a bowl or pan, cover the dough with a cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours. After 2 hours, it should double in size. Punch down the dough, and briefly knead again. From there, I chose to make dinner rolls, although one could easily bake it as a loaf. I rolled hand-sized balls of dough, kneaded them lightly, then lined them up in a buttered pan, and baked for 20 minutes at 400F. If baking a loaf, I would recommend 40 minutes at 400F. Best fresh out of oven with butter. Serious winter recipe!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 1, 2010 7:56 am

    found you from Panush! I need some new ideas. we are in a total food rut here! added you to my blog roll and look forward to reading more.

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