Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Potato Pan Rolls

I am about to share with you one of my absolute favorite bread recipes EVER! I love bread! I love making bread, eating bread, smelling bread.  I love watching the dough rise and then forming it into rolls or loaves and watching it rise again.  Maybe it's the science teacher in me, maybe it's the baker/cook in me, but I just think it's amazing!
I missed my usual Monday post because this week I am preparing for Thanksgiving and making things that I can put into the freezer for later. I was hoping to post about this bread on Monday, but by the time I finished the sun had gone down and I needed to wait until I had light again for pictures (I know, silly right?!?). I'm telling you though, this bread is totally worth the wait.

I stumbled upon this recipe many years ago from a package of free recipe cards you get when you subscribe to too many cooking magazines. I don't even remember who put it out originally.  Over the years, I have polished my technique with this bread and can actually get it done pretty quickly. I have to admit, I am not such a fan of the kneading part, and this recipe totally gets that. You use the mixer and your kneading drops down to a couple of punches and you're done. And the end result is soft, airy, buttery bread rolls for your Thanksgiving dinner, or Christmas dinner, or Tuesday night casserole dinner.  They go with everything!

Did I mention I love these rolls? :)

Potato Pan Rolls

2 medium potatoes; peeled, chopped (~1 c)
1 c potato cooking water reserved
2 pkg active dry yeast
1 t sugar
1/2 c butter, melted
1/2 c honey
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 t salt
6 - 7 c flour

In a saucepan, bring the potatoes to a boil in water. Boil potatoes until they are soft and easy to mash, about 15 - 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 c of the cooking water. While the water cools to 110 - 115 degrees, mash the potatoes and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in reserved water that's cooled to the proper temperature. Let it rise for about 5 minutes. Then, add mashed potatoes, butter, honey, oil, eggs, salt and 1 c flour. Beat until smooth and continue to add flour one cup at a time until your dough is springy and a little sticky, but no so sticky that it stays on your finger. I have found that during more humid times of the year, it takes more flour and during more dry times of the year, it takes less.  Keep that in mind as you're adding flour.
Turn your dough out on a floured surface.  Knead it for about 1-2 minutes and then place it in a buttered bowl and cover it with some towels to let it rise. It will need about an hour to double in size. Pull it out afterwards and knead it down.  Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces.  Each piece will be divided and formed into 10 dough balls, making 30 rolls total.  Place 10 rolls into a greased round cake pan, and do that 2 more times for 3 cake pans total. Cover with your towels and let the rolls rise once more for about 30 minutes.
Bake at 375F for 15-25 minutes.  I know that's a huge range, but it depends on how baked you like them.  We like our bread barely baked, which is why they are so light in color. Therefore, I only bake for about 15 minutes. My Mom likes them baked longer and bakes for 22 minutes.  It totally depends on what your preferences are. When finished baking, place them on wire racks to cool. They do freeze really well.  I place them in twist-tie bags and remove the excess air in the bag before placing them in the freezer.  To thaw them out, just pull them out, or if you forget until the last minute (been there, done that) simply put them into the microwave on defrost for a couple minutes. You are going to love these rolls!

*If you like this roll recipe, check out these variations on the original.  Sweet Potato and Whole Wheat.


  1. These look wonderful! Thanks for the recipe. :)

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!