Soft potato rolls for your next dinner. They're super-soft thanks to a boiled potato, and loaded with chives.Jump to Recipe
These were supposed to be Potato Rolls with Rosemary. But at the last minute, I realized I didn't actually have any fresh rosemary, and was concerned dried rosemary might be a little coarse and gritty in these soft potato rolls.
But I had a small container of partly dried chives, and went with those instead. Recipes need to be flexible in my opinion, to accommodate what we have on hand.
And this recipe, based on one I saw in the New York Times, was a home run. These potato rolls need to be on your Thanksgiving table this year.
Are Potato Rolls Made with Real Potatoes?
Yes! Potato rolls or any kind of potato bread are essentially a wheat bread that's enriched with mashed potato, potato flour or dehydrated potato flakes. When using either potato flour or flakes, a portion of the wheat flour is swapped out for the potato.
Why Are Potato Rolls Better?
So, why go to that extra trouble? There are several reasons that make this a worthwhile habit for you in your own bread baking, in addition to reducing some of the gluten in the bread.
1 – They're healthier.
Potatoes are a great source of potassium, which we all need in our diets. In fact, potato bread has 3 times the potassium (generally) provided in whole wheat bread, and 7 times that of white bread. Potatoes also provide a big fiber boost when incorporated in breads.
2 – Faster rise.
The potassium also contributes a faster rise. So that saves you time. Yay!!!
3 – Moister bread.
When you boil the potatoes, and yes they must be boiled when using them in breads, the starch molecules expand and absorb more water. This makes potato bread beautifully moist, for the same reason tangzhong worked to make these Cinnamon Rolls so moist. It's all about getting moisture absorbed as completely as possible before baking.
4 – Lighter and airy bread.
The starches in the potatoes when boiled, make it difficult for the protein in wheat flour to develop gluten. This promotes a light, airy dinner roll.
(Additionally, this recipe calls for all-purpose wheat flour, which has lower protein than bread flour.)
5 – Keeps bread fresher longer.
Potato starch provides a final big benefit by keeping breads fresher longer. There's some science behind it, this is baking after all, but essentially the potato starch molecules prevent the wheat starch molecules from crystallizing.
All of this combines to make potato rolls and any other kind of potato bread a very goof-proof way to bake yeasted breads.
Use russet potatoes for this recipe. I prefer Idaho russets if I my market has them. Yukon potatoes will be too waxy and moist, and will affect the texture.
This recipe uses all-purpose unbleached wheat flour, not bread flour. Bread flour will make the roll more chewy (gluten-y). I prefer King Arthur, as they have very tight, consistent parameter for making flour.
This dough is very easy to knead, and does not require a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. Nor do you need a rolling pin.
Kitchen Scales are must when baking bread, IMHO.
Potato Rolls with Chives
- 1 russet potato, about 6 ounces or 170 grams
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons (plus more for greasing) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (add 1/2 Tablespoon for high altitude baking)
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon dried chives
- 320 grams (2 ½ cups) all-purpose flour,
- 1 teaspoon Maldon salt flakes, or kosher salt
- Put the potato cubes in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer until the potato pieces are very tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Either use a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes to a bowl, or strain over a bowl so you retain the potato water.
- Measure 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) of the potato broth and set aside to cool to around 110˚F. I keep it in the measuring cup. Put the potato in a medium shallow bowl, and thoroughly mash using a fork and cool.
- Measure 2/3 cup of mashed potato and save the rest for another use (there shouldn't be much, if any, if your potato was around 6 oz). Place the 2/3 cup mashed potatoes back in the bowl you used to mash them.
- Sprinkle the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar over the top of the reserved potato broth, and loosely cover with a cloth or plastic. Place it in a warm area of the kitchen, and let sit until the yeast is foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Stir the remaining 3 teaspoons sugar, the melted butter, egg, chives and salt into the mashed potatoes, using a fork, until well-combined. Stir in the foamy yeast.
- Weight the flour in a large bowl. Form a well in the middle of the flour, and pour the potato mixture into the well. Use a fork to stir the flour around the well into the liquid until a dough starts to come together. It will be very shaggy and dry.
- Dump it all onto a clean work surface, including any flour left remaining in the bowl. There should be quite a bit. Knead the dough, incorporating the flour until you have a smooth dough. This should take around 5 – 7 minutes.
- Pro-tip: Don't knead the dough past when it becomes smooth, as this can toughen the bread when baked. More is not better.
- Form the dough into a large ball, and place it in a clean, oiled bowl. Lightly rub the surface of the dough with a bit of oil. (I use olive oil, but any neutral oil will work too.) Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, and set in a warm area of the kitchen. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 – 2 hours.
- Butter an 8-inch square ceramic baking dish. Weigh the dough, and divide into 9 even pieces (mine ranged from 72 – 74 grams each). Cover loosely with plastic while you work with each piece.
- Taking each piece of dough, flatten into a square using your fingers. Then, tuck each corner into the center, and pinch together the edges. Place each ball, seam side down on your work surface, roll the dough into a smooth ball, and place in the buttered baking dish. Cover loosely with plastic while you complete all of the balls of dough.
- Pro-tip: Use a very light dusting of flour, if necessary, to keep the dough from sticking to your work surface. But use as little as possible.
- Keeping the dough balls covered in the baking pan, place in a warm area of the kitchen, and let rise until almost doubled, about 1 hour. The balls of dough should be puffy, and touching each other. Preheat the oven to 350˚F while the dough goes through its second rise.
- Remove the plastic, sprinkle lightly with the Maldon salt flakes, and bake on the middle rack for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the rolls are browned and reach an internal temperature of 200˚F. Use an instant temperature probe to check.
- Cool in the baking dish on a cooling rack for 5 – 10 minutes before removing. If you run a sharp knife around the outside edges around the baking dish, they should easily flip out all in one piece. Serve warm.
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. And this month, the theme was dinner rolls, as we all prepare for a big entertaining time of year, and Thanksgiving in particular.
Dinner Roll Ideas!
- Butternut Corn Dinner Rolls from A Messy Kitchen
- Buttery Sourdough Dinner Rolls from Food Lust People Love
- Garlic and Herbs Dinner Rolls from Ambrosia
- Garlicky Dinner Rolls from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- No Knead Dinner Rolls from Sneha’s Recipe
- Savory Monkey Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Soft Homemade Dinner Rolls from Palatable Pastime
- Soft Potato Rolls with Rosemary from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Sourdough Crescent Rolls from Zesty South Indian Kitchen
- Pumpkin Shaped Pumpkin Rolls from The Magical Ingredients