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Taro Rolls

This recipe is for soft yeast rolls filled with taro and drizzled with a glaze.

The dough is typical of a cinnamon roll and can be used for such rolls, but I have always wanted to try this kind of roll with taro, but never did. Then, recently I tried rolls from a bakery that was made with ube (purple yam). After that, there was no doubt a taro roll would work and it works well too. The best part is that the filling isn’t pure sugar and butter like you would find in a cinnamon roll and you can easily substitute for many of the fillings one would find in typical Asian pastries like red bean or ube as previously mentioned. I think adding a textural ingredient like coconut flakes as in my sesame balls with taro filling would have elevated the recipe more.  Save that idea for next time.

Here are a few other notes for the recipe:

  • A mixture of bread flour and all-purpose flour works well. I forgot to check my flours one weekend before baking and came to realize that I didn’t have enough all-purpose flour. I used 2 cups of all-purpose and then added 1 1/2 cup bread flour after the yeast mixture and that worked really well. I almost like that combination better than just plain all-purpose.
  • Knead the dough with the total 3 1/2 cups of flour before you decide to add any additional flour. It may not need it and you can’t take out flour if you’ve added too much.
  • You can melt the butter when you heat up the milk to save a pan. I did them separately to demonstrate the ingredients separately.
  • I mentioned earlier that you can use different types of filling. You can also use store bought filling to save some time. You can also make the filling ahead of time.


Taro Rolls

Yields 12-14
Time: 2 ½ hours (including resting time)

1 (4 oz) package active dry yeast (about 2 ¼ teaspoons)
¼ cup warm water
3 ½ cup all-purpose flour (or more if needed)
5 Tablespoons butter – melted
¾ cup hot (scalded) milk
1 large egg (slightly beaten)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

1 lb taro (peeled, wash, sliced and steamed)
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
Red and blue food coloring (optional)

1 ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
3-4 Tablespoons milk

In a small bowl mix yeast and warm water and let sit for a few minutes.

In large bowl, mix melted butter, hot milk, sugar, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until combined. Then add yeast mixture and the rest flour. Knead for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Place dough ball in greased bowl. Cover bowl with kitchen or flour towel and let rise for about an hour.

While the dough rises, make the filling by cleaning, cutting and steaming the taro. Then mash the steamed taro with sugar, pinch of salt. Add red and blue food coloring to get purple color if desired. Set aside.

After an hour, turn dough onto lightly floured surface and roll out into 5×16 rectangle. Spread taro filling onto the rectangle, leaving about a half inch on one long side. Start folding the long side that is completely covered with taro filling and roll to form a long log. With a serrated knife, cut into 12-14 pieces and arrange onto a greased 9×13 pan with a couple inches in between or onto more space in between on a baking sheet (for separated rolls). Cover the pan and allow the rolls to rise for another 45 minutes to hour. They will puff up.

Bake in oven that had been preheated to 350F for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly.

Make glaze by mixing confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Add more milk if you want thinner consistency.

Drizzle glaze over slightly cooled rolls. Enjoy!


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