Bologna to Bolognese: Adventures With Food

Food is necessary. Food is fun. Food is an adventure!

My name is Shannon and this is my adventure, my love affair with food.

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

With Thanksgiving just around the corner I have been looking for new and different ways to prepare traditional holiday foods. One of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes is the sweet potato casserole. So you can imagine my delight when, while browsing "The Fresh Loaf" one of my favorite forums, I came across a recipe for Sweet Potato Rolls. A number of the other members commented on how nice they would be as sweet cinnamon rolls so I decided to give it a try. Judging by the rate at which they disappeared, I would say these were a complete success!


Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
makes 24 rolls (roll recipe by Floyd M of "The Fresh Loaf")

1 sweet potato, baked
1 cup milk
1/2 cup white or brown sugar
3-4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Bake the sweet potato for approximately 45 minutes at 375. Remove from the allow to cool and peel. Combine the sweet potato, sugar, and milk and stir to make a paste. Mix in 2 cups of the flour, the salt, the yeast, and the spices until thoroughly combined. Add more flour a quarter cup at a time. Mix in after each addition until you have a dough that is tacky but which you can handle with wet hands. When you hit the proper consistency, remove from the bowl and knead by hand for 5 to 10 minutes. Set the dough aside to rise in a covered bowl for 45 minutes to an hour.

Since Floyd's recipe was for dinner rolls and not the sweet Cinnamon version I had to put together my own filling and I decided to stick to the same flavors you expect to find in a sweet potato pie or casserole. My mother makes a sweet potato casserole with a coconut pecan crust which is to die for. I didn't have any coconut to hand but I found ground pecans were a perfect fit for this filling.

Cinnamon Roll Filling

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon  
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 c brown sugar  
1/3 cup pecans

Divide dough in half and gently roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Spread  1/2 of the filling evenly across the dough and tightly roll it to form a long log. Adding some butter before laying down the filling will add richness. Cut the log into a dozen pieces and place in a buttered baking dish. Repeat with the other half of the dough and filling and allow to rise for approximately another hour or until they have roughly doubled in size. Bake at 375 for approximately 20 to 25 minutes until they are beginning to turn brown.

While the buns are cooling make the caramel sauce for the topping.

Easy Caramel Sauce

1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 tbsp vanilla
4 tbsp butter

Combine ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat stirring constantly. Once the sugar has completely dissolved remove the sauce from the heat and spoon over the rolls. Top with pecans  and a sprinkle of ground ginger.

These were so delightful I think they will find a permanent place in my holiday repertoire. In fact they may make a repeat performance as Thanksgiving day breakfast, just perfect with a cup of hot coffee while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

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