Trouble. It seems that I’m forever getting into the T-word in one form or another; for example, I’m often, almost always in a hurry, (aka as in major multitasking). Consequently, when opening a package of cereal, popcorn, crackers, etc. I don’t usually do it “the proper” way; I just tear open the box any-which-way. My husband and son say it looks like “a wild animal” got into the box after I’m done with it. Trouble.
And it’s the craziest things that get me in trouble. You probably wouldn’t think vitamins would be a problem, right? …………… Wrong. My dear husband sets out a little cup of vitamins for me every day. I always have the best intentions, but then the day gets going and I get carried away. Many days they sit all day long (or all week long – editor addition) and when Scott walks in the door after work, that cute little cup of vitamins is still sitting right there. Trouble.
Then there’s the toilet. At our house, if you don’t hold the handle down for what seems like ten seconds (my husband says it’s only three), the flushing mechanism doesn’t do “it’s thing”. The “stuff” doesn’t go anywhere or even worse, gets “stuck”. For someone who’s always in a hurry, that’s trouble ………. big trouble.
I could go on and on as there are a myriad of other “trouble-tales” to tell, but I’ll share just one more. It’s a bit of culinary trouble that I often get into. This one has to do with my curiosity and propensity to try new things. In this case, it’s recipes. Though I have a ton of great recipes, I’m aways thinking that, perhaps, there might just be a better one that I’m missing. You never know, right?That’s not what my family thinks. “Stick with a good thing”. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”. “Remember that wonderful (blank, blank) you used to make?” My daughter, Cait, summed up the problem quite concisely in her post The Best Ever Marinara Sauce. Families really do, at times, enjoy the-same-old-same-old, especially if it’s delightfully delicious … Point well taken, Cait!
However, this brioche recipe never gets me in trouble. It’s an old stand-by I’ve stuck with for a long time. When I want really good dinner rolls, sandwich buns or even sweet rolls, this is my go-to, tried-and-true recipe. The dough is easy to throw together with the dough hook on my mixer doing most of the work. The finished bread is tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I’ve had a lot of fun with this recipe over the years, adapting it here and there, like with these Decoupaged Brioche Rolls, these Brioche Buns with Fresh Rosemary and these Twirly-Swirly Pecan Cinnamon Brioche Rolls.
This time, feeling in a fall-ish mood, I added mashed, cooked sweet potato and, just for fun, cut little slits around the sides of the rolls, just before baking, so they’d resemble little pumpkins.
We loved the moistness and subtle flavor that the sweet potatoes added, definitely a nice touch for this autumn season.
If you’re a regular friend of The Café, these rolls may sound familiar to you. Yup, it’s the same recipe I used for the sandwich rolls on my Rosemary-Root Beer Pulled Pork post.
Trust me, no matter what shape you make these Sweet Potato Brioche Rolls in, they’ll be a winner….. and who knows maybe they’ll even keep you out of trouble….me?….probably not!
- 1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato, from about 1 medium sweet potato
- ½ cup warm water 105-115˚ F. - if you're not used to working with yeast, use a thermometer
- 1 tablespoon dry yeast
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 ½-5 cups all-purpose flour you may need a bit more
- ½ cup softened butter
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- whole cashews for stems
Place water in a small bowl. Add yeast and stir well. Let mixture sit until it begins to bubble and foam. Add 1/2 cup of the flour. Stir to form a loose paste. Set bowl in a warm place for about an hour, until batter has risen and begins to fall.
Add eggs, mashed sweet potato. sugar, salt and remaining flour to the fallen yeast mixture. Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, mix until flour is completely incorporated. Continue to knead with the dough hook until it's smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Dough should start to leave the sides of the bowl. Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky. Add the soft butter and knead until it's fully incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic.
Cover dough in bowl with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Line 3 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface. Turn the dough several times to coat well with flour. Cut into 18-20 equal pieces (about 14, if making hamburger-type buns). Coat each piece well with flour. This will make them much easier to work with. If you're not used to shaping dough into balls, here's a great tutorial from Fine Cooking. Place dough balls on the prepared sheet pans, spacing about 3 inches apart. Cover rolls with kitchen towel, place in a warm area and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375˚F. To make pumpkin-shaped rolls, cut 8 equally spaced slits around the edges of the risen dough balls. Make cuts about 3/4 of an inch long, keeping the center of the roll intact. (see picture, above)
Combine egg and the tablespoon of water and whisk vigorously to combine. Brush tops of the buns with egg wash. With your index finger make an indention in the center of the dough ball. Insert a cashew with pointed end up, for the "stem".
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until deep golden on the top and golden on the bottom of the buns. Check stems about half way through baking time. If cashews have become misplaced (from the rising dough) return them to their position to look like stems.
Cool on a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
To freeze, place on a sheet pan. Place pan in freezer till rolls are frozen, about one hour. When frozen, transfer to zip lock plastic bags. To serve, unthaw and warm in oven for 10 minutes at 325˚ F.