These Potato Rolls are made with instant mashed potatoes for a light and fluffy texture. Brushed with salted butter, they're absolutely delicious fresh out of the oven, but they also stay soft and pillowy for days. Can't stop won't stop.
It is slightly incomprehensible to me that there are people in the world who choose not to eat bread. I'm not talking about those folks who can't eat gluten for medical reasons. I really feel for them, but obviously, keep yourself alive. I'm talking about those low-carb, keto, paleo, various bread-free diets out there. I guess to some people, bread is the culprit behind the fall of civilization, but to me, it's a gift from the Gods.
Traditionally, bread has actually been given as an offering to various deities around the world and still figures prominently in religious observances worldwide. The science of flour, water, salt, and yeast combined with time and heat that leads to bread is still magic in my mind. Even though we now have the tools to understand the chemical reactions occuring in bread baking, I can't help but feel an alchemical transmutation taking place in my kitchen. And to be honest, I might choose freshly baked bread over gold anyway.
What makes Potato Rolls so awesome?
These Potato Rolls are pillowy soft and so flavorful. Some of the starch comes from potato rather than wheat, and you can look up the science for yourself if you're curious, but what you need to know is that it yields a bread roll that stays soft and flavorful for days. Potato Rolls are my absolute favorite.
These are a plain, everyday bread roll that you could use for sopping up gravy or sauce, dipping into soups or stews, or just standing at the kitchen counter next to a stick of salted butter and shoving in your face one after another because they're so irresistible. Do what you gotta do.
How to make Potato Rolls with instant mashed potatoes
We've got a pretty standard method here. We're gonna heat up some milk and melt some butter in it until it reaches about 110 F (43 C). In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a regular mixing bowl if you're going to knead by hand) combine all-purpose flour, potato flakes or instant mashed potatoes, salt, a bit of sugar, and yeast. If you don't have instant yeast, you may need to wake it up in some water first. Check your package. Then bring it all together and get to mixing.
The gurus say to get all your ingredients combined and then let it rest for a bit before kneading until a smooth dough forms. Allow your dough to rise for an hour or two until doubled in size, then divide your dough into 16 roughly equal pieces and shape them into rolls. Put these in a baking dish, and let them rise again while you preheat your oven to 350 F (175C).
Then bake your rolls for about 20 minutes until light golden and fluffy. Brush some melted butter over the top while they're hot out of the oven, and serve warm with more butter.
For my British friends who have never heard of potato rolls, first of all, I'm sorry that your culture has wronged you in this way. A potato roll is just a bread roll with some of the starch coming from potatoes instead of wheat. They're awesome and you will now want to eat them always.
Yes, if you really really wanted to go to the trouble of boiling or baking a plain potato and mashing it up to use in your bread, you could do that. I've done it with other recipes, and it's really good. Using the instant mash yields an ethereally light bread, though. If you use mashed potato, your bread will be a little more dense. Your choice.
Magickal properties of yeast
We've discussed potatoes, wheat, and pretty much all the other ingredients of this recipe before (see Kitchen Magick), but we have yet to investigate the magical properties of yeast. I mean, do we even need to consult a book? Yeast is a living thing that produces gas and makes bread rise. That's pretty freakin' magical.
Ancient bakers would have been relying on wild yeast, and if you've ever tried to keep a sourdough starter alive, that has almost certainly felt like witchcraft. In fact, a sourdough starter was once referred to as Witch's Yeast and was carefully tended to as part of the heart of the home.
Commercial yeast didn't become available until the late 1800s. Today, modern witches have easy access to this living energy. We can still call on the energy of yeast to bring us a rise in our vibration through the patient practice of bread baking.
(Source: Steven Spanglers Science)
Bread is life, friends. And Potato Rolls are life at its finest. Go on, get in the kitchen and make some magic.Print
Potato Rolls with instant mashed potatoes
These Potato Rolls are made with instant mashed potatoes for a light and fluffy texture. Brushed with salted butter, they're absolutely delicious fresh out of the oven, but they also stay soft and pillowy for days.
- Prep Time: 30
- Rising time: 120
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 3-5 hours
- Yield: 16 rolls 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 cup whole milk
- 43 grams (1-½ ounces) unsalted butter
- 373 grams (2-¾ cups) all-purpose or plain flour
- 20 grams (⅓ cup) potato flakes for instant mashed potatoes
- 5 grams (2 teaspoons) salt
- 42 grams (3 tablespoons) sugar
- 7 grams (1 envelope) instant yeast
- Melted butter for brushing, optional
- Add the milk and butter to a small saucepan and heat until the mixture reaches 110-120 F (43-48 C). Remove from heat.
- Add the flour and potato flakes to the a mixing bowl. I use my stand mixer with the dough hook for this. Give these a quick stir to combine, then the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir again. With your mixer running on its lowest setting, stir in the warm milk and butter. Mix until combined, then just toss a dish towel over your mixer to cover the bowl and walk away for 20 minutes to let the dough rest. If you're doing this by hand, stir in the milk and butter, cover the bowl, and let it rest.
- Next you'll knead the dough until smooth, about 5 minutes by machine or 7-10 minutes by hand. I just remove the mixing bowl from the machine, pull out the dough hook, and let it have its first rise in the bowl. If you're working by hand, add your dough back to your mixing bowl. Cover and allow the dough to rise for an hour or two until doubled in size.
- When it's risen, carefully turn your dough out of the bowl onto a lightly oiled worktop. Use a bench scraper or a dull knife to divide the dough into sixteen roughly equal pieces, then roll each piece onto a ball. Place the dough balls in a 13x9 inch baking pan. Cover the pan, and allow the dough to rise for another hour or two.
- About 20-30 minutes before the end of your rise time, preheat your oven to 350 F (175 C).
- Bake your rolls for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and puffy. Brush them with a bit of melted butter right after removing them from the oven for optimal awesomeness.
- Serve warm and store leftovers in an airtight container.
Keywords: potato rolls, dinner rolls
Recipe slightly adapted from I'm Just Here for More Food by Alton Brown.
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