These rolls are light and airy; great for dinner rolls or for party sandwiches. I’ve even used part whole wheat flour when making them. Jane Medina shared this recipe with me and it is a favorite of ours.
Potato Puff Rolls Makes about 34 rolls
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1 cup milk
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 (1/4 oz.) pkg. active dry yeast or scant tablespoon of bulk yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
4 - 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, or more as needed
1. Scald milk by placing measured milk into microwave, or in a pan on the stovetop, and heating to a temperature of 150°. Remove from heat, transfer to an electric mixing bowl (I use a Kitchen Aid® mixer) and add shortening, sugar (reserving a teaspoon to sprinkle on the yeast --- this will aid in the yeast fermentation), salt and potatoes. Cool to lukewarm or approximately 110° to 115° degrees.
2. Sprinkle yeast on warm water, adding the reserved teaspoon of sugar; stir to dissolve and let stand until bubbly.
3. Add 2 cups flour, the egg and yeast mixture to the milk mixture. Beat until smooth (with the flat blade of the mixer) adding enough remaining flour to make a smooth dough that leaves side of bowl (avoid too much flour so you will not have a dry dough!). At this point, remove the flat blade and install the dough hook and knead on low to medium setting for 5 to 10 minutes until dough is smooth, adding more flour as needed.
4. Place the dough in a greased mixing bowl (turning the dough to grease all sides). Let rise until double in bulk (about an hour conventionally but see note below). When double, punch down and let rest 10 minutes.
5. Then form into rolls and place on greased (or parchment lined) cookie sheet or in muffin tins. Again let rise until double in size (about 1 hour conventionally).
6. Sprinkle with flour right before baking.
7. Bake in preheated 400° oven 10 to 12 minutes. Rolls should be nicely browned on both the top and bottom. Remove to a cooling rack.
To rise properly, dough needs to be in a draft-free warm place, ideally with a temperature of 80 to 85°. One way to create such an environment is to put the dough in a gas oven warmed by a pilot light or in an electric oven that has been turned on at 200° for 1 minute, then turned off.
To add moisture to dough rising in a barely warm oven, set a pan of hot water on the bottom rack and place the bowl of dough or a rack above the water.
The above tips should decrease the rising process to just about 20 minutes.