Soft and Yeasty Baby Taro Root Rolls

Can I just tell you about the day I have had? This is legitimately the first chance I have had to sit down and simmer and get a post typed up so I do apologize for my lateness.

You see, my car has this very special ability to attract nails to its tires. I’m convinced if a nail falls inside a house it will end up in my tire’s tread. My car found a prime specimen of a nail yesterday and I noticed it after getting off work. The dealership I was close to wouldn’t even touch it, the tire place was closing and couldn’t take it that day so, ok, had to do it today. I had to go to the tire place at 8 A.M. (which is early for me), get a hair cut at 10 and then go to a check up at 1:30 all scattered around town.

Then of course I had to take a nap. I get two days off a week, I’m not losing any sleep.

You know what I’ve been eating though as soon as I wake up? These fluffy little morsels of yeast roll goodness.

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Now I know I have mentioned before about how having to work for something makes it taste so much better, but these were at least a four hour endeavor. You better believe they are tasty as can be.

Incorporating essentially mashed potatoes into a dough though is a long process. I’ve heard of potato bread and buns before and I’m not too sure what exactly the potatoes add to it, but I saw these and knew I had to make them. I also must add that I am not adept at math whatsoever and chemistry so I most definitely didn’t make this recipe up, but got it from CookingHawaiianStyle.com and think it is totally worth making.

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It seems daunting, but the trick is just to dive in head first. You’ll want to peel the taro root and be careful just in case it irritates your skin. Chop it into chunks just like you’re going to mash them but instead of adding milk and butter, just mash them up and use them as an ingredient.

I did the thing again though where I may have left them sit out too long before getting to them and found more rotten ones. It is super tough to tell the difference from the outside because it isn’t obviously squishy but when you start to peel it you can immediately tell that the inside is gone from the acceptable realm.

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Again, I held onto hope that maybe once I cooked the taro root that I would get a gorgeous purple out of them, but they remained white and not a single speck of purple. It was here I had to give up my dreams of eating a purple potato of any sort.

Fun fact though is that I used to be a sort of baker. I didn’t exactly mix up a fresh batch so much as I just worked with frozen dough, but I think it still counts. I used to go in at midnight and would bake until about 8 A.M. five days a week and it was definitely not fun hours and labor intensive but it made me love making bread.

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I remember there were days where I would bake all night then come home and want to bake up my own loaves of french bread and loved it. I even invested in a pan with ventilation so I can get that good crust on it. I may not make the prettiest things, but I know some of my stuff.

A little trick to getting a good rise out of some doughs is to invest in a really large plastic container. Not like a moving tote, but something you would put a family gathering’s worth of potato salad in. Long as it fastens and can hold the dough you’ll be good. Place a cup of hot water in the container and the dough, seal it up and you have yourself a miniature proofer. This will help the dough rise and I like it more than having a big batch of bread sitting out where temperatures can fluctuate and semi-smart canines can reach it.

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After boiling the taro root, mashing the taro root, incorporating taro root into the dough, let dough rise, mold into rolls and let dough rise again I finally had finished rolls in my hands. I thought I would make two separate types of rolls, technically three, and totally not because I ran out of pans. I put some in muffin pans so they would be taller and some just flat out on the pan to make the traditional yeast roll looking thing. The website actually has a recipe for coconut butter to put on the rolls when they come out and I can’t lie that I was not impressed with it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love anything involving coconut from foods, to lotions, shampoos, soaps, drinks, and even dishes. So when I saw coconut butter listed as an extra for these rolls I knew right then and there that I would have coconut butter sitting in my fridge.

Unfortunately, I still have lackluster coconut butter sitting in my fridge, I’m not sure if I used to wrong kind of coconut or what but it was more of a powder than a spreadable butter like I anticipated. After trying it on one batch and not being impressed I thought about how tasty they would be sprinkled on top of the rolls themselves and boom, my mouth had a fit.

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So the end result of all this was a cross between a weird muffin and dinner roll that I’m not sure what you could pair it with but I’ve been eating one with breakfast every morning. You know what I was slightly missing though?

Taro root.

The whole point of all this was to taste taro root and while I’m not mad that I ended up with a whole container or sweet yeast rolls, some sprinkled with coconut, I’m disappointed I couldn’t get close to that taro bun I had from the market. I knew I couldn’t get a mochi filling, but this just tasted like a sweet little roll. I guess it would be difficult to really let a potato shine though in a bread recipe.

Either way, go make some of these rolls and impress people.

 

Author: Olivia O.

East Tennessee native with an interest in food and trying new things.

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