These vegan sweet potato rolls are the soft and pillowy bread of your dreams. A beautiful golden color thanks to the sweet potatoes, these savory dinner rolls are the perfect accompaniment to any fall feast, or to take a simple dinner to the next level. The soft and enriched dough is made vegan with the simple substitution of vegan butter (oil works too, though) for the typical dairy version and aquafaba for the traditional egg. Aquafaba (the water that comes from a can of cooked beans) works with the mashed sweet potato to create the softest bread that practically melts in your mouth.
The sweet potato rolls are made using a simple yeasted recipe, only requiring 5 ingredients, 3 minutes of kneading, and a couple of (mostly hands off) hours. They are so fast (by bread standards) and so easy to make, making them the perfect recipe for your busy life! With minimal effort you can have beautiful, warm, mouth-watering rolls to serve with dinner, and, quite possibly, steal the entire show.
I wrote a bit about enriched doughs in my post for coconut ginger custard filled doughnuts, and while these dinner rolls aren’t deep fried and have no added sugar, the concept is basically the same. The fats in the dough effectively shorten the gluten strands (the protein network) for a more delicate bread. Increasing the ratio of starch in the dough, done by adding sweet potato and aquafaba, also influences the final texture of the dough, allowing for a tender product with a longer shelf life (i.e. these rolls don’t go stale as quickly as unenriched bread would).
All the flavor from the sweet potato, milk, and vegan butter means that I don’t opt for my typical slow, refrigerated rise overnight (which builds flavor through that slow yeast proliferation) and certainly, the final product is lacking for nothing. The rolls are soft and savory, buttery with yeasty undertones and a mild sweet potato flavor. They are delicious plain, dipped in soup, or slathered with vegan butter. There’s nothing quite like eating hot, freshly baked bread that you’ve made yourself. That these rolls are quick and easy to make means that you’ll be able to enjoy that experience as often as you’d like!
These vegan sweet potato rolls would be perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. We enjoyed them recently with this black bean soup recipe. You can make them with leftover cooked squash or sweet potato, the canned stuff, or do what I did and quickly microwave a sweet potato just for this purpose (see notes after recipe for microwave instructions). I can’t get enough of these rolls and imagine that they’ll be making an appearance on our table several times this fall.
- Aquafaba is the liquid from cooking beans. Chickpeas create some of the best aquafaba, and it’s easiest to collect it from a can. When separating the liquid from a can of beans, first shake the can before opening to loosen and distribute the starches and proteins that settle on bottom. Then strain and freeze the liquid until you’re ready to use it.
- This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled as needed to serve a crowd.
*To quickly cook a sweet potato: wash it and pierce it several times with a fork all over. Wrap in a paper towel and microwave in 2 minute intervals until a fork easily pierces through with no resistance. Exact time will vary, depending on how large your sweet potato is. You can substitute canned sweet potato purée, or pumpkin or squash purée. Canned pumpkin or squash can vary in moisture so you may have to adjust the flour. *loosely adapted from King Arthur Flour
*To quickly cook a sweet potato: wash it and pierce it several times with a fork all over. Wrap in a paper towel and microwave in 2 minute intervals until a fork easily pierces through with no resistance. Exact time will vary, depending on how large your sweet potato is. You can substitute canned sweet potato purée, or pumpkin or squash purée. Canned pumpkin or squash can vary in moisture so you may have to adjust the flour.
*loosely adapted from King Arthur Flour