Potato Dinner RollsMakes about 30
6 cups bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cups potato flakes
2 teaspoons salt
1 heaping tablespoon yeast
1/2 stick safe margarine (I used Fleishmann’s Unsalted Margarine)
3 cups warm water
a few handfuls of chopped dried cherries (optional)
1.) Mix it all up in a stand mixer and knead for 5 minutes.
2.) Yes, this is a very soft sticky dough. If it’s a gloppy mess, add more flour a couple spoonfuls at a time, until the dough comes together. It should clear the sides of the bowl, but still be sticking to the bottom of the bowl. I would rather overshoot the water amount in a recipe, because it’s easier to add flour to a sticky dough than to add water to a stiff dough.
3.) At this point, I opted to split my dough and make half plain and add some chopped cherries to the other half. You can do whatever you want! Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to raise for 1 1/2 hours.
4.) Get ready to shape the rolls. Spray two 9 x 13 pans with cooking spray. Pour a little oil in a small dish to dip your fingers into as you shape the buns.
5.) Working quickly, shape nice little buns by pulling the tops tight and pinching down at the base. The dough is sticky, so don’t fuss around too much with things.
6.) Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let raise for another hour.
7.) Bake at 365 for 35 minutes, or until the tops are golden and the spaces between buns seem set. I’m a geek and I check with a thermometer. I want the center buns to register at least 185 degrees to avoid raw buns. Remove from the pans to allow cooling and prevent soggy bottoms.
Every year, the food holidays seem to get a bit easier as my cooking skills improve and the kids get older and less likely to scavenge from the buffet. I still have to watch my overly curious 3 year old, but he can eat wheat this year. (Gotta keep any eye on that kid, I found him complaining about the “yucky cookie” he found in the kitchen, only to realize he’d been chomping on a cork trivet.)
Usually I bring the pies, but this year I’m on starch duty, bringing rolls and potatoes. I’m sure you could find some frozen bread dough in a pinch, but these rolls are pretty easy and foolproof. My sister suggested making a plain batch and one with some chopped dried cranberries or cherries…and I think that’s a great idea for leftover sandwiches!