These rolls are the ultimate weekend breakfast treat; light, fluffy and packed with sweet cinnamon butter. The addition of sweet potato makes these rolls incredibly soft and moist; perfect for tearing into and eating with a good cup of coffee. If you make the dough the night before, it’s just a matter of rolling and baking them in the morning. Your kitchen will smell incredible and you’ll suddenly be very popular.
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
500g strong white bread flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 x 7g sachets fast action dried yeast
150ml warm whole milk
150g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
150g mashed sweet potato
75g golden caster sugar
3 medium egg yolks, plus 1 medium egg yolk, beaten, for sealing
For the filling
100g butter, softened
50g golden caster sugar
50g light brown soft sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
For the topping
150g icing sugar, sifted
75g cream cheese
Put the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, then add the yeast, keeping it away from the salt. In a large jug, whisk together the milk, butter, mashed sweet potato, sugar and egg yolks. Pour the mixture into the flour, then knead on a medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase the speed slightly and knead for a further 2 minutes.
Tip the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled in size. Transfer the bowl to the fridge for a further hour, which will allow the butter to firm up, making the dough easier to roll later.
Meanwhile, put all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl and beat together until smooth, then leave to sit at room temperature.
Roll the dough out on a work surface into a thin rectangle, 35cm x 70cm. Starting at the edge nearest to you, spread the filling over half the dough in an even layer, leaving a 2cm gap along the edge furthest from you. Fold the uncovered half of the dough back towards you to completely enclose the filling, then roll over a couple of times with the rolling pin to seal. Roll up the dough tightly, pulling the roll back towards you as you go to create a tight seal. Brush the furthest edge with the beaten egg yolk, then pinch along the whole length to seal it in place – ensure that the edge is well sealed, otherwise the rolls may unravel during baking.
The trick to keeping the cinnamon rolls a nice round shape is not to cut them with a knife because, no matter how sharp it may be, as you press down on the dough log, it will flatten slightly and the rolls will end up an oval shape. Instead, loop a length of cotton under the dough log, cross it over the top and pull tightly to slice it into perfect rounds. Repeat down the length of the log to create 12 equal slices.
Divide the slices between 2 deep 8-hole muffin tins, cover with clingfilm and transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
Bake the rolls for 15 minutes, then cover with a sheet of foil and bake for a further 7-8 minutes. While the rolls are baking, beat together the icing sugar, cream cheese and milk for the glaze.
Remove the rolls from the oven then brush the cream cheese mixture over the tops, whereupon the heat of the rolls will melt the icing and it’ll find its way into all the nooks and crannies. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then serve warm with coffee.
Extracted from Root & Leaf: Big, bold vegetarian food by Rich Harris (Kyle Books, approx €23). Photography by Martin Poole.