Mother’s Day Sweet Potato Sourdough Einkorn Rolls

Mother’s Day Sweet Potato Sourdough Einkorn Rolls

This recipe is just what I was looking for, for Mother’s Day. My wife really enjoys a sweet potato, me not so much. But these rolls bring us both to common ground found fast.

Warm from the oven I split a bun to test the taste. The tender, softness was as good any enriched dinner roll I ever make. The tangy flavor was a delightful surprise but made a perfect companion with my homemade blueberry jam. Still, that was just one-half of these hamburger sized buns; on the other half, I tried ham and sharp cheese, which was delicious.

Mother's Day Sweet Potato Einkorn Rolls

Carla Bartolucci author of Einkorn: Recipes for Nature’s Original Wheat: A Cookbook shared her favorite Thanksgiving Rolls recipe in 2016 from the Jovial Test Kitchen in North Stonington, Connecticut.

My wife found this recipe while surfing YouTube and asked me to try making them. We had a yam and a sweet potato on hand and all the other ingredients too, so why not try it? However there are just two of us and Carla Bartolucci’s recipe made 16 hamburger sized buns, so I split the recipe

Bartolucci, author of Einkorn: Recipes for Nature’s Original Wheat: A Cookbook said that these rolls had always been a really special holiday treat for her family at Thanksgiving, “just a really soft bun and something a little bit on the sweet side.” I must admit these are very soft but they are good for any Sunday dinner by me and not just Thanksgiving. They are right on for Mother’s Day this Sunday.

Bartolucci reminded us that if we are using her sourdough version to make sure it is active about six to eight hours before making the dough. “If you’re going to make it with sourdough starter, you’re going to use just two tablespoons of sourdough starter,” she said.

She used Jovial’s all-purpose Einkorn flour, saying that “it is a little bit lighter than the whole grain.” I gound my grain fresh and it worked just as well.  This recipe is very wet, almost like a thick pancake batter. But don’t despair, Einkorn will take the moisture up as it rehydrates during the long, bulk ferment. 

Bartolucci explained that you can make an overnight yeast levain by using a pinch of dry active yeast combined with “½ cup, plus 1 tablespoon (130 g) warm water, at 100°F [and] 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose einkorn flour.” However, you will have to add an ¼ teaspoon yeast. She explained, “Just before mixing your dough, add the remaining ¼ teaspoon of yeast to ensure that your bread rises properly. This additional yeast will not be listed in the recipe so don’t forget this last step.”

“This is going to be a really simple dough with a little bit of milk, sugar, and butter to make it really soft. And there’s going to be the addition of sweet potatoes. You want to pick the Garnett sweet potatoes that are really that deep orange color inside.”

You’ll need [three-quarters] of a pound raw to bake in the oven at 375°F (191°C) for about 75 minutes until they’re nice and soft. Puree these with either a potato ricer or pass them through the food mill with a medium-sized hole. Then while they’re still warm, you’re going to add four tablespoons of unsalted butter.” Then she added the sweet potato puree to the levain. The ingredients and instructions here is her recipe cut in half for just 8 rolls.

Sweet Potato Sourdough Einkorn Dinner Roll Recipe



  1. Mix the starter and water.
  2. Mix in the flour until it is absorbed.
  3. She suggests, “Cover and let stand at room temperature for 6 to 10 hours.
    The levain is ready to use when the surface of the mixture is covered with large bubbles.”
  • All of the Sourdough Levain from above
  • ¾ pound Garnet sweet potatoes (1 medium), riced (about 1 cup)
  • ⅛ cup (30 g) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the baking sheets
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Real salt
  • scant 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose einkorn flour, plus more for dusting
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (191°C).
  2. Scrub the sweet potatoes and slice a small piece off one end of each potato. Place in a large baking dish and bake for 60 to 75 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft. Allow cooling until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes, then peel and mash or rice well in a large bowl.
  3. Add the milk and butter to the bowl.
  4. Stir in the levain, egg, sugar, vinegar, and salt.  
  5. Add the flour and mix until combined. Knead the dough in the bowl until the dough becomes smooth and sticky.
  6. Cover the bowl and let it proof for 3-5 hours.
  7. Butter a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
  8. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Dust your hands and a work surface lightly with flour. Roll each 2 inches apart. Cover with buttered plastic wrap and let proof for 90 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
  9. Bake the rolls,  for 20 to 23 minutes until they start to brown slightly on top.
    (Watch closely, as they burn easily on the bottom.)
  10. Transfer the rolls to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  12. Store or freeze any leftovers in a plastic bag.

Bartolucci believes that bakers should always use a baking scale to make sure that you are adding the same amount of flour. “This is really crucial to Einkorn baking,” she explained, “because you probably don’t know what the right texture of the dough is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be a little bit wetter than you used to. It’s really the only way to ensure that we’re baking with the same amount of flour.”

She also explained that “you can use nondairy milk if you can’t eat dairy and you can use an alternative to the butter, like extra Virgin olive oil, but to get it softer, a spectrum spread like a shortening would be better.”

“If you don’t have Apple cider vinegar you can use white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar. It’s not necessary,” she clarified, “but it just  kind of balances a little bit of the sweetness of the potatoes.”

Remember she cautioned, “you don’t want to overwork Einkorn dough because the gluten is really weak” and “when you add eggs and sugar and fats to Einkorn dough, it takes a little bit longer to rise.”

She concluded by offering this tip, “I would recommend since you probably won’t have a lot of space in your oven right before dinner to bake these couple of days ahead of time and freeze them in a sealed Ziploc bag. Then take them out in the morning, let them defrost open on a cooling rack. Then just pop them in the oven at 350°F (177°C) for 10 minutes and serve them nice and warm.”

In the comment section below, tell us what you are baking for Mother’s Day this year.

Author: Darryl Alder lives with his wife in Riverside Lodge, which is their home along the Provo River in Utah. He is a retired career Scouter and outdoorsman who spent many hours over a campfire using a Dutch oven and loves sharing recipes for the kitchen and the campfire alike. You can read many of his recipes on this site by searching for Sourdough Saturday or Recipes on the top right-hand side of the blog

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