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Mashed sweet potatoes create tender skillet-browned rolls
Milk Street Bowtie Portuguese-Style Sweet Potato Rolls

Portuguese-Style Sweet Potato Rolls

3 hours 45 minutes active

Portuguese-Style Sweet Potato Rolls

Free

The Portuguese sweet potato bread known as bolo de caco is a griddled bread that resembles an English muffin or thick pita bread round. For our version, we use widely available orange-fleshed sweet potatoes rather than the white variety that's more traditional; the potatoes give the bread a saffron hue and a rich, moist crumb. The traditional way to cook bolos de caco is on a stone slab; we use a skillet set on the stovetop to brown the rounds, then finish baking them in the oven. The flatbreads typically are split while still warm, spread with garlic-chive butter (recipe below) and served as part of a meal, but you also could toast the halves and have them for breakfast or use them to make a sandwich.

12 ounces orange-flesh sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 3 pieces
1 tablespoon honey
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
411 grams (3 cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons instant yeast
Ingredients
  • 12

    ounces orange-flesh sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 3

    tablespoons salted butter, cut into 3 pieces

  • 1

    tablespoon honey

  • teaspoons kosher salt

  • 411

    grams (3 cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting

  • 2

    teaspoons instant yeast

Directions
  1. 01
    In a medium saucepan over medium-high, combine the potatoes, butter, honey, salt and ⅔ cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring to melt the butter, then reduce to low, cover and cook until a skewer inserted into the potatoes meets no resistance, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the potatoes and any liquid to the bowl of a stand mixer. Cool until just warm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mist a medium bowl with cooking spray.
    See Demo
    portuguese-style-sweet-potato-rolls-step-1
  2. 02
    Using the paddle attachment, beat the mixture on low until smooth, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook and add the flour and yeast. Mix on low until a smooth dough forms, about 5 minutes. Increase to medium-high and knead for 1 minute to strengthen the dough. Transfer to the prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until the dough is doubled in size, about 1 hour.
    See Demo
    portuguese-style-sweet-potato-rolls-step-2
  3. 03
    Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with kitchen parchment. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, then divide into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a taut ball by rolling it against an unfloured area of the counter in a circular motion under a cupped hand; place seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Using your hand, press and flatten each ball until it measures about 4 inches wide and ¼ inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
    See Demo
    portuguese-style-sweet-potato-rolls-step-3
  4. 04
    Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium until a drop of water sizzles immediately, about 2 minutes. Place 4 dough rounds seam-side up in the pan and cook until deep golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a wide metal spatula, flip and cook the second sides until golden brown, about 1 minute. Return to the baking sheet, then repeat with the remaining rounds, returning them to the baking sheet.
    See Demo
    portuguese-style-sweet-potato-rolls-step-4
  5. 05
    Bake the flatbreads in the oven until the centers reach 200°F, 12 to 14 minutes. Immediately transfer directly to a wire rack and cool for at least 15 minutes.
    See Demo
    portuguese-style-sweet-potato-rolls-step-5
Tip: Don't begin mixing the cooked sweet potato mixture until it has cooled for 30 minutes. Otherwise, the heat from the potatoes may kill the yeast. Don't worry if you don't own an instant thermometer for testing the breads. Simply bake them for the full 14 minutes. The sweet potato in the dough makes this a forgiving dough, so even if slightly overbaked, the crumb still will be moist and tender.
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Portuguese-Style Sweet Potato Rolls

Get Ready to Cook

8

5-inch rolls

3 hours

45 minutes active

Tip

Don't begin mixing the cooked sweet potato mixture until it has cooled for 30 minutes. Otherwise, the heat from the potatoes may kill the yeast. Don't worry if you don't own an instant thermometer for testing the breads. Simply bake them for the full 14 minutes. The sweet potato in the dough makes this a forgiving dough, so even if slightly overbaked, the crumb still will be moist and tender.

Ingredients
  • 12

    ounces orange-flesh sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 3

    tablespoons salted butter, cut into 3 pieces

  • 1

    tablespoon honey

  • teaspoons kosher salt

  • 411

    grams (3 cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting

  • 2

    teaspoons instant yeast

Step 1 of 5

Cook Potato Mixture

12
ounces orange-flesh sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3
tablespoons salted butter, cut into 3 pieces
1
tablespoon honey
teaspoons kosher salt

In a medium saucepan over medium-high, combine the potatoes, butter, honey, salt and ⅔ cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring to melt the butter, then reduce to low, cover and cook until a skewer inserted into the potatoes meets no resistance, 15 to 20 minutes.


Transfer the potatoes and any liquid to the bowl of a stand mixer. Cool until just warm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mist a medium bowl with cooking spray.

Step 2 of 5

Mix Bread Dough

411
grams (3 cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting
2
teaspoons instant yeast

Using the paddle attachment, beat the mixture on low until smooth, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook and add the flour and yeast. Mix on low until a smooth dough forms, about 5 minutes. Increase to medium-high and knead for 1 minute to strengthen the dough.


Transfer to the prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until the dough is doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Step 3 of 5

Divide Dough

Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with kitchen parchment. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, then divide into 8 pieces.


Form each piece into a taut ball by rolling it against an unfloured area of the counter in a circular motion under a cupped hand; place seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Using your hand, press and flatten each ball until it measures about 4 inches wide and ¼ inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Step 4 of 5

Cook Flatbread In Skillet

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium until a drop of water sizzles immediately, about 2 minutes. Place 4 dough rounds seam-side up in the pan and cook until deep golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.


Using a wide metal spatula, flip and cook the second sides until golden brown, about 1 minute. Return to the baking sheet, then repeat with the remaining rounds, returning them to the baking sheet.

Step 5 of 5

Finish In Oven

Bake the flatbreads in the oven until the centers reach 200°F, 12 to 14 minutes. Immediately transfer directly to a wire rack and cool for at least 15 minutes.

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