Makes 12 to 16
- 3/4 c plain, unsweetened nondairy milk, warm to the touch
- 1 T agave (molasses may be substituted, but the flavor will be slightly stronger and not as sweet)
- 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
- 1 c cooked and mashed sweet potato (preferably a white- or purple-fleshed starchy variety, but orange is fine), cooled
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 T mild oil, such as canola or vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 to 3 c flour (I used a blend of predominantly whole wheat and some unbleached bread flour)
- Mild oil, for coating the bowl, dough, and baking sheet
- Nondairy milk (optional), for brushing the tops
- Mix the agave with the warm nondairy milk in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes to proof, until the mixture becomes slightly foamy. Stir in the mashed sweet potato. Stir in the salt and 1 cup of flour. Continue adding flour, 1/2 c at a time, just until you have a soft dough that is too thick to mix with a spoon. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 5 to 10 minutes, adding more flour if necessary, until you get something that is still soft but no longer sticky. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour or until roughly doubled in size.
- Gently deflate the dough. Pull off pieces slighly bigger than the size of a walnut and roll and pinch them into balls. Place the balls of dough on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart; for soft-sided rolls, arrange the dough balls in a 9-inch square pan so that they are just touching. Lightly oil the top of the dough and cover again to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Just before placing them in the oven, lightly brush the top of each dough ball with non dairy milk. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Serve warm and enjoy!