Surprise! Thanksgiving Comes Early With Sweet Potato Rolls

Last weekend I journeyed west on I-94 to Chicago to go to the Michigan-Northwestern football game.  I was pretty excited to see two close friends who live there and had planned the trip several months ago. Unbeknownst to me, but known to seemingly everyone else on this planet, almost a dozen other friends had planned for several months to make the weekend an incredible surprise bachelor party for me, complete with tailgating, a insane Michigan football win, deep dish, and whirlyball.  I was overwhelmed in the best possible way when I walked into breakfast and saw them all, although I must admit my brain kind of short circuited.  What I was seeing made no sense to me.


Speaking of surprises…surprise!  I actually got my act together to post about a holiday themed bread before the actual holiday!  Last year I famously posted about the apple rose tarts I made for Valentine’s Day…on February 18th.  This year I was determined to make a bread that would go great on the Thanksgiving table and post about it before everyone was ready to carve turkey.  It also gave me an opportunity to show off some of the great serving dishes/baskets I got as birthday gifts.

I was a bit worried at first that my yeast had gone bad when making these.  There was minimal, but noticeable, change during the 1st and 2nd rises, but not what I was expecting.  This seems to have been an issue for a few people on The Fresh Loaf who tried out the recipe, but all my worries disappeared once I baked them.  These got a great oven spring and I was very happy with the final result.


I do think they were a bit more dense than I was hoping, and if I were to make them again I might cut back a bit on the amount of sweet potato to help combat this.  It’s also likely that the temperature in our apartment (somewhere in the mid 60s) influenced the rising time.


These had a great sweet potato taste to them and it was complemented (but not overpowered) by the cinnamon and nutmeg.  We’re each heading home for Thanksgiving so used this as an opportunity to have our own turkey themed meal by making turkey burgers.  They went quite well together but I think the rolls alone would make a great addition to the Thanksgiving table.

And if you’re running low on bread, why not call up Derrick Green’s delivery service!  Now with locations open in Ann Arbor and Evantson!


Sweet Potato Rolls – Makes 12


  • 1 medium sweet potato, cooked, peeled, and mashed
  • 1 C milk
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 3 1/2 C AP flour
  • 2 t instant yeast
  • 2 t salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/8 t nutmeg


Cook the sweet potato (microwave for 4-5 minutes or bake for 45 minutes at 375F) and let cool.  Peel sweet potato and in the bowl of a stand mixer combine sweet potato, milk, sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Mix on medium speed and add in 3 cups of flour.  Knead for 6-7 minutes until dough is smooth, adding additional flour as necessary.  Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover, letting rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces.  Shape each into a ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, another 45-60 minutes.

Towards the end of the second rise preheat oven to 375 F.  Bake for 22-25 minutes, turning halfway through.

Recipe courtesy of user Floydm on The Fresh Loaf.

5 thoughts on “Surprise! Thanksgiving Comes Early With Sweet Potato Rolls

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