These are pretty special rolls, these super soft gluten free sweet potato brown butter rolls. And judging from your reaction to them on my Must Make Gluten Free Pinterest Board(the place where I think out loud about some of the things I’m thinking about making for the blog, and you “vote” with your clicks), you kind of agree. Let’s review them, okay? First, they’re made with browned butter, which takes butter from one of my favorite things (what can I say?) straight to my favorite. Second, they’re made with sweet potatoes. I truly love sweet potatoes, but I always know that if I talk about them at all, I run the risk of getting one of those eye-rolling lectures from someone about the difference between sweet potatoes and yams and how grocery stores the world over name them all wrong. I don’t know the difference, and if you try to tell it to me, I’m gonna class it up and stick my fingers in my ears (or in my eyes, if you write it out here on the Internet).
Oh, and guess what? The bread dough is so dreamy and easy to work with that there is absolutely no need for any sort of long, slow refrigerator rise. You will want to chill the dough a bit, though, after it rises since it’s just much easier to work with cold dough and that’s a fact.
If you’re afraid of browning butter, I pulled this side by side photo from my recipe for gluten free browned butter snickerdoodles(and yes, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I can’t decide if I should call it “brown butter” or “browned butter” but it’s all gonna be okay I promise!). It’s super easy—just take it slow.
I most like these super flavorful rolls made full-size, because they make amazing hamburger buns and I just don’t see the point of making “sliders” at home since, well, double the work for exactly the same enjoyment. But if you’d prefer sliders, go ahead and divide the rolls into as many pieces as you like before baking (say, 12?).
Prep time:Cook time:Yield:8 rolls
6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, chopped
3 1/2 cups (490 g) Gluten Free Bread Flour*, plus more for sprinkling
1 2/3 teaspoons (5 g) instant yeast
2 teaspoons (12 g) kosher salt
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) roasted mashed sweet potatoes**
1 tablespoon (21 g) honey
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (9 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature
1 cup (140 g) Gluten Free Bread Flour, as discussed more fully on pages 8 to 10 of GFOAS Bakes Bread, contains 100 grams Mock Better Batter all purpose gluten free flour (or Better Batter itself) + 25 grams whey protein isolate (I use NOW Foods brand) + 15 grams Expandex modified tapioca starch.
**Roasting the sweet potatoes brings out their natural sweetness, and makes it easier to control the amount of moisture in the bread dough. Roast sweet potatoes by washing, drying and piercing them, then placing them on a baking sheet in a 400°F oven until softened (about 40 minutes). Then, peel and mash them.
First, brown the butter. Place the butter in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. First, the butter will melt, and then it will boil and foam. Continue to stir, and watch carefully. The protein solids will separate and drop to the bottom of the pan. As soon as you begin to smell a nutty smell and begin to see a golden brown color start forming around the edges of the saucepan, remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir. Once the bubbles clear, you will be able to see whether the protein has begun to brown. If not, return to the heat briefly, stirring constantly, and remove once the butter has begun to brown. Continue to stir, as it will continue to brown off the heat. Pour the brown butter into a small, heat-safe bowl and set it aside to cool until no longer hot to the touch.
To make the dough, place the bread flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer, and use a handheld whisk to combine well. Add the salt, and whisk to combine. Add the cooled browned butter, sweet potatoes, honey and milk, then attach the dough hook to the stand mixer, and mix on low speed until combined. Raise the mixer speed to medium and mix for about 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and stretchy. Spray a silicone spatula lightly with cooking oil spray, and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl or proofing bucket large enough for the dough to rise to double its size, and cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap (or the oiled top of your proofing bucket). Set the dough in a warm, draft-free environment to allow it to rise to double its size (about 1 1/2 hours). Once it has doubled, place it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or until it is chilled. This will make it much easier to handle.
On baking day, line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and, using the scrape and fold kneading method and a very light touch, sprinkle the dough with more flour and knead it lightly, sprinkling with flour when necessary to prevent it from sticking, scraping the dough off the floured surface with a floured bench scraper, then folding it over on itself. Repeat scraping and folding until the dough has become smoother. Do not overwork the dough or you will incorporate too much flour and it will not rise properly.
Shaping the buns + the final rise. With a floured bench scraper, divide the dough into eight pieces of equal size. Shape one piece into a round by following the Directions for Shaping Small, Round Rolls, and place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet, about 3-inches apart from one another, and sprinkle the tops of the rounds lightly with flour. Cover the baking sheet with lightly oiled plastic wrap, and place in a warm, draft-free location until nearly doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
Baking the buns. About 25 minutes before the buns have finished rising, preheat your oven to 375°F, then remove the plastic wrap and brush the rolls generously with the egg wash. Allow to finish rising, and then place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F, remove the buns from the oven, and brush the tops with the melted butter. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the internal temperature of the buns reaches about 185° and they are golden brown all over (about another 8 minutes). Remove from the oven and cover with a tea towel as they cool before slicing and serving.