I just came up with the recipe for these rolls the other day and at dinner that evening my husband said they have to be on the Easter menu. I agreed. They are really very easy -- they won't eat up a big chunk of your meal prep time (just makes sure you start far enough ahead) -- but they are soft and sweet and the perfect dinner roll.
The recipe makes two round cake pans -- 8 rolls each -- which is perfect for Easter dinner with company. For a regular week night I would freeze half the dough for another dinner. A few notes: You could use all-purpose flour for this recipe, but the bread flour is what gives you the really tender roll. The milk and water should be baby bottle warm -- just slightly warmer than body temperature. And just add flour as directed. You may need the whole measure on a humid day, or less on a dry day. You'll want a really soft, but not sticky dough. For very soft rolls, brush the baked rolls with melted butter when they come out of the oven. Or for that homemade look, dust the tops with flour before baking.
Soft Potato Dinner Rolls
1/2 cup warm water (more if needed)
1/2 cup warm milk
3 cups bread flour
3 cups bread flour
1 t. salt
3 T. sugar
6 T. unsalted butter, soft
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
|Dissolve yeast with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the warm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 5 minutes, until the yeast begins to bubble. |
|Add to the yeast the remaining ingredients, adding only two cups of the flour. Mix and knead everything —by hand or bread hook — until you have a smooth dough, adding more flour as needed a little at a time. The dough will be soft, but should not stick to the bowl or your hands. Add just enough flour to get this consistency. |
|Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow dough to rise, at room temperature, until it's nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour. It should be very puffy when it's ready. |
|Lightly grease two 9" round cake pans, or one 9" x 13" pan.|
Gently push down the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased or floured work surface. Divide it into quarters and divide the quarters into quarters for 16 pieces. (If freezing half the dough, divide dough in half and place one half -- dusted in flour -- in a freezer bag and freeze promptly.** Continue with other half, dividing into eight portions.)
Shape each piece into a ball (pull the dough into a very small ball with the edges underneath, smoothing the top).
|Place eight balls in each of the round cake pans (or all in the 9" x 13" pan), spacing them evenly; they shouldn't touch each other.|
Cover the pan(s) with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the rolls to rise until they're very puffy, and are touching one another, about 1 hour. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the rolls until they're a deep golden brown on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from pan. Serve warm or cool.
** To use frozen dough, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator, dust with flour, form into rolls and place in pan as directed. Let rise and bake as directed.