HOT POTATO II (TOO)
I love a challenge! So when I read about the BREAD BAKING DAY Challenge #17 – Bread and Potatoes – hosted by Lien’s Notes, I couldn’t make just one recipe, especially as my first recipe Potato Focaccia was a play on what I make almost every week. What to do?
Flipping through my much-loved Joy of Cooking cookbook, which belonged to my mom before me and is now split in several pieces because of so much loving wear and tear, I came across a few interesting recipes. I decided on a Potato Buttermilk Dinner Roll recipe, as the others touched just a bit too much on the snack or dessert and I wanted to try and stay within the rules as much as possible.
Now, I love working with yeast dough. I make pizza and focaccia from a basic, unadorned bread dough recipe every week. I love making yeasted coffee cakes and cinnamon buns. But the last time I tried to make light, fluffy dinner rolls was about 20 years ago and the results were disastrous! Hard as a rock! That kind of thing can so turn a girl off to baking dinner rolls. But after 20 years, I thought that maybe the time had come to get over the Dinner Roll Phobia.
So I measured, mixed, blended, kneaded. The dough rose. I knocked back, cut and tweaked, rolled and brushed and sprinkled and baked.
I was simply so AMAZED by the results, I couldn’t stop saying how happy and proud of myself I was. These rolls were so light and fluffy it was like eating clouds. Served straight from the oven, pulled apart and buttered while still warm, they were so good!
Now, I don’t know exactly what role the potatoes played in this recipe, but no one could tell there were potatoes in the dinner rolls. They may have added to the ethereal texture of the bread, the moistness while still remaining fluffy. I don’t know, but I do know that they were utterly perfect!
I can now stand up and proudly cry out “I have now made the perfect dinner rolls! I am no longer afraid!” And now I am even feeling adventurous, wondering what I can do with the rest of the dough that spent the night in the refrigerator!
PERFECT POTATO BUTTERMILK DINNER ROLLS
¾ to 1 cup freshly cooked, riced potatoes (1 used about 2 medium-sized Marabel potatoes)
½ cup (8 Tbs, 120 g) butter, cut into cubes
2 cups (500 ml) buttermilk
2 tsps (about 7 g) active dry yeast
2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
about 7 cups (2.2 lbs/1kg flour = about 8 cups) flour
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp cold water)
1 Tbs poppy seeds
1 Tbs sesame seeds
Peel the potatoes, boil until tender, then rice them immediately.
Add the cubed butter to the still hot riced potatoes and stir until the butter is melted. Set aside.
Gently heat the buttermilk until warm (body temperature). Place it in a large mixing bowl with the yeast, sugar and salt and allow to sit for 10 minutes until the yeast is dissolved and frothy.
Stir the potatoes into the buttermilk and beat until light.
Add the 2 lightly beaten eggs and blend in well.
Add 6 cups of the flour to the buttermilk/potato mixture and stir to blend, forming a dough.
Turn this dough out onto a floured surface and knead in the remaining dough until you have a smooth, homogeneous dough that is no longer sticky (adding up to ½ cup more flour if needed).
Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides of the dough. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
When doubled, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. I wanted to make only enough rolls for three of us for dinner, so I cut off about a quarter of the dough. This dough I sliced into equal (well, I can never get things to be equal size, but apparently this didn’t matter in the baking) pieces, rolling each piece lightly in between my palms, then placing them side by side in a round cake pan, leaving just enough space in between to allow them to rise. I then covered the pan again with the cloth and let the rolls rise for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
Brush the rolls with the egg wash, then sprinkle each roll with either poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown on top.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately.