Sweet Potato Buttermilk Dinner Rolls (Gluten Free)

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Just a little crunchy on the outside, light and chewy on the inside.

Since we have leftovers tonight (went a little nuts and made a big batch of gluten free clam chowder and a dutch oven sized batch of chili this weekend), I decided to give this bread a go.

Historically, active yeast and I haven’t gotten along. In fact, I gave making bread with yeast the boot about 15 years ago, when I couldn’t even get bread right in a bread machine. (I gave away the bread machine, too.) But now that I live with someone who can’t eat gluten, I am on a mission to make foods that he can eat that are made exclusively with whole ingredients, no preservatives, and have little or no refined sugars. But that’s only part of the mission. The other part is that these things have to taste *great*. So great that I would feel comfortable putting them on a dinner table in front of 20 family members at Thanksgiving without the fear of having them say things like, “Well, it *looks* really good.”, or some other tacit implication that it tastes like deep fried cardboard.

This is one of those recipes. How do I know? If my kids will eat it, anyone will.

Adapted from this recipe:

  • 2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 
1 cup buttermilk, lukewarm — about 110 degrees
  • 
2 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cup sweet potato puree (peeled, boiled and pureed sweet potatoes)
  • 
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 6-7 cups (approximately) Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour, divided
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 t tapioca (optional, but really makes a difference!)
Gently combine yeast and buttermilk in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes (until just beginning to show some action) and stir well. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs, sweet potato puree, melted butter, sugar and salt, stirring well. Mix in buttermilk-yeast until combined.
With the paddle attachment fitted to your mixer, add 3 or so cups of gluten free flour, one cup at a time, until you have a thick dough. At this point, switch to the dough hook attachment and slowly add the remaining flour until you have a stiff enough dough to knead. The key here is to go with dough — because flour (especially gluten free blends!) all measure differently by weight and/or volume, keep in mind that the right texture of the dough is the goal, not necessarily using up all of your flour!
Turn your dough out onto a floured work surface. Begin kneading, adding flour to prevent your hands from sticking as needed. The goal here is a smooth, elastic ball of dough — not tough or dry; pliable but not sticky!
Lightly spray a medium bowl with cooking spray and plop your dough inside, turning to coat with vegetable oil. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap (but not airtight!) and allow the dough to rise for 1-2 hours, or until about doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400° F and line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Divide your dough first into thirds, then each third into 6-8 ball-like chunks, depending on the desired size of your dinner rolls. Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball and divide amongst the baking sheets. Cover your baking sheets with another tea towel or plastic wrap and allow your rolls to rise for an additional 25-30 minutes.
Bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes (depending on size), rotating your baking sheets halfway through, until the rolls are cooked through and golden brown on top.
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