17 October 2007

Dilly Potato Rolls

I just wanted to use up some leftover mashed potatoes, but when my BB pronounced these the best rolls I've ever made, I figured I should probably add the recipe to my blog. These are very buttery, soft and light. They walk a fine line between biscuits and rolls, depending on how you shape them, and make killer egg-biscuits for breakfast.

NOTE: If you're at high altitude, let the dough rise in the fridge so the gluten structure doesn't weaken. You may have to extend the rising time a little, but trust me, it's well worth it.

The recipe was adapted from the awesome cookbook, "One Potato, Two Potato" by Roy Fenimore.

Dilly Potato Rolls

~ 1 c leftover mashed potatoes, or 1 russet potato about 3/4 lb.
1 c warm water (~ 120 degrees), or 1 1/2 c water if using uncooked potato
1/4 c sugar
1 packet yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
3/4 t sugar (only if using an uncooked potato, instead of leftovers)
4 eggs
1/2 lb unsalted butter, melted
~ 5 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 T coarse sea salt
~ 1/2 t dill weed
1 beaten egg, for glazing

If using the leftover mashed potatoes, add the yeast to 1/2 c warm water and let sit until bubbly, about 5 minutes. In a stand mixer bowl, add the potato, 1/4 c sugar, remaining 1/2 c water, and 1 c of the flour to the yeast mixture, stir until smooth, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in warm place for about 30 minutes, until doubled.

If using uncooked potato, peel and dice the potato, cover with the 1 1/2 c water and boil for at least 15 minutes, until potato is quite soft. Measure 1/2 c of the potato water and add the yeast to it with the 3/4 tsp of sugar; follow the instructions above, using another 1/2 c of potato water.

Once the sponge has risen, punch it down with your hands or a baker's spatula, put the dough hook on your mixer, and add in the eggs, butter, remaining 4 1/2 c flour, 1 1/2 tsp of salt, and the dill. Mix until it forms a smooth dough, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place until doubled, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Flour a work surface and your hands, and turn the dough out onto the surface.

For biscuits, punch the dough down again briefly, and pat it out to a circle about 3/4 inch thick. Use a three-inch cutter to cut out the rolls and put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat, spaced a couple inches apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double, about an hour.

For rolls, divide the dough in half, then divide each half into 10 - 12 equal pieces. Generously butter two 10-inch cake pans. Shape the dough pieces into spheres and line the cake pan with them, putting one or two in the center. This creates pull-apart rolls. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double, about an hour.

About 20 minutes before they're done rising, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Brush the tops of the rolls with the beaten egg, and sprinkle with the remaining sea salt. Put the tray/cake pans on the middle rack for 15 - 20 minutes, and rotate after 8 - 10 minutes for even baking. Once the tops are a lovely golden brown, lay a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the top so they don't burn while the insides keep baking.

Eat immediately, or can be stored at room temperature for several days. Makes about 20 rolls. They can also be frozen for several months.

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