Well I wandered into the kitchen last night around 8:45, all set to start the potato rolls. Then I saw that the recipe said they needed to rise TWICE for 1-2 hours each time. I was not staying up that late.
So this morning I got the turkey in the oven and started the rolls. And apparently I made a fatal mistake. After two hours they had not risen much at all. I had them in the warm sunlight, covered with a towel. I shaped them into rolls and prayed for some sort of miracle. But it was obvious it was not happening. I called my mom. I realized that when I dissolved the yeast in the potato water it was probably still too hot and had killed the yeast.
My dad offered to pick up some rolls at the store but that was so NOT the point, right? Even though I really only had about 2.5 hours until we were going to eat I figured it was worth a last ditch attempt. I boiled some more potatoes. This time I cooled down the potato water w/ ice until it was exactly 110 degrees.
Success! They still aren’t as good as Grandma Opal’s. Hers came out twice as high and so light and fluffy. Later mom reminded me that she really did sift her flour which I had skipped. I don’t even think I have a flour sifter. So now I’m curious and half tempted to make another batch this weekend, after a quick trip to the store to buy a sifter.
In case you want the recipe, here it is:
Grandma’s Mashed Potato Rolls
2 packages granular yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. potato water (no hotter than 110 degrees)
2 eggs, well beaten
2/3 c. sugar
7 – 7 1/2 c. sifted flour (I used 7)
1 c. mashed potatoes (Just mash, don’t add anything to them)
2/3 c. melted shortening
Put yeast in large mixer bowl; add a little lukewarm potato water. When yeast is dissolved, add mashed potatoes, remaining potato water, sugar, salt and eggs. Add about 1/2 of flour, beat well. Add shortening, then the rest of the flour. Mix in. I can use my large Kitchen Aid mixer with regular mixer blade, then switch to the dough hook to knead. My mixer is very full by the time all the flour is added.
OR if you don’t have a dough hook, turn out on board and let stand 10 minutes, to tighten up. Knead until smooth.
Place in greased large bowl and cover with towel to rise and double in bulk., 1-2 hours. Shape into balls (helps to butter up your hands) and place in lightly greased baking pan(s); let rise till double, 1-2 hours or store in the refrigerator with damp towel, then foil, sealed on top. Dough will keep several days.
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Makes 50 rolls. (Mine made more like 35)