First lesson learned in entertaining:
People. Love. BREAD.
My mom has served these rolls for special dinner parties our entire life, and people go absolutely bonkers for them.
Every time a holiday rolled around I realllllly looked forward to dunking these perfect little clover leaf rolls into gravy or bordelaise sauce.
And it makes me melt a little bit inside when they spew steam when split open.
These are great for entertaining because you can make them ahead of time, freeze, thaw, and then finish cooking before serving.
Or, you can make a batch of them for yourself, freeze, and bake in small quantities for a weeknight dinner.
If you can bake these rolls, then I’m pretty sure you can make the world a better place.
peaches and cake
Whole Wheat Potato Dinner Rolls
Delicious rolls that can be partially baked, then frozen. Finish the cooking just before serving, for fresh taste (see notes below).
Recipe from my mom.
Original recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine, December 1984.
Makes 3 dozen rolls
2 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 envelopes or 4 ½ tsp. dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar (for yeast) + another ½ cup sugar
11 tablespoons butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing (I use salted Land O’ Lakes)
2 eggs, beaten to blend, room temperature
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup warm milk (105°F to 115°F) (low-fat or whole)
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 egg blended with 1 tablespoon water, for glaze
Butter, for serving
Boil a pot of water. Take butter and eggs out of fridge and let come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces.
Cook potatoes in boiling water until very tender (until you can easily mash a piece with a fork). Use a measuring cup to reserve ½ cup of cooking liquid. Drain the rest of the liquid then mash the potatoes. Measure out 1 cup of mashed potatoes and reserve the rest of the potatoes for another use. Let potatoes and liquid cool to 105° — 115°F.
Sprinkle yeast and 1 tsp. sugar over the warm liquid; stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 3-4 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1 cup milk in the microwave until 105°F to 115°F, about 30-45 seconds.
Combine both flours in a large bowl.
Cream butter and sugar using stand mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in the 1 cup of potatoes, eggs and salt and beat until smooth. Blend in yeast mixture and milk.
Mix 4½ cups flour into potato mixture, using a dough hook. Add remaining flour ½ cup at a time until soft dough forms. Knead dough with the mixer until smooth and shiny, about 10 minutes. Add more flour as needed if the dough is too sticky.
Butter a large bowl. Add dough, turning to coat entire surface. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
Punch dough down. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth, about 2 minutes. Butter 36 muffin tins (3 12-cup pans). Pinch off ¾-inch pieces of dough and roll into rounds between palms. Place 3 in each prepared tin. Brush with egg/water glaze. Cover lightly with towel and let rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400̊F.
To serve immediately: Bake rolls until golden brown (no more than 2 pans at a time), about 15 minutes, rotating and shifting levels once during baking. Transfer to wire racks. Serve warm with butter.
To make ahead 1 day: Bake rolls until golden brown (no more than 2 pans at a time), about 15 minutes, rotating and shifting levels once during baking. Transfer to racks and let cool completely. Place in gallon-size Ziploc bags and let sit in a cool area. Arrange on a baking sheet and reheat in 350̊F oven about 3 minutes. Serve warm with butter.
To make ahead several days or weeks: For brown and serve rolls, bake rolls until very light brown (no more than 2 pans at a time), about 10 minutes, rotating and shifting levels once during baking. Carefully transfer to racks and cool completely. Place in gallon-size Ziploc bags and freeze. Thaw rolls at room temperature. Arrange on a baking sheet and cook in 400̊F oven until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Serve warm with butter.