Maureen Fraîche

Mixing Business and Pleasure in the Kitchen

Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls

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This past week, we’ve been fighting off various forms of sickness and sickness, as you know, calls for soup.  Soup, of course, calls for something warm from the oven and while I was initially contemplating Southern Buttermilk Biscuits, I suddenly got a craving for some pull-apart rolls.  Soft and buttery, these were just what the doctor ordered.  Plus, I had been wanting to fiddle around with the dough from my Cinnamon Buns to see if I could create a nice dinner roll recipe.  I love, love, love doughs that have been fortified with potato and so I had high hopes I could come up with something good.

In a nutshell, I decided to cut both the sugar and butter in half.  And, while I obviously omitted the brown sugar and cinnamon, I did brush the rolls with a bit of butter right after pulling them out of the oven.  The resulting rolls were wonderful–ever so soft with a touch of sweetness and buttery goodness.

Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls
Makes 18 rolls

Ingredients

1 russet potato, peeled and diced
1 ¼ cups liquid reserved from cooking potatoes
1 packet active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
¼ cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
1 large egg
1 ½ teaspoons salt
4 ½ to 5 cups flour

Begin by boiling your diced potato until tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain the potatoes, reserving 1 ¼ cups of the cooking liquid.  Mash the potatoes until smooth and measure out ½ cup.  Set both the mashed potatoes and liquid aside to cool.

Once the liquid is lukewarm (about 110 degrees), sprinkle in your yeast and allow to proof for about 10 minutes, or until nice and foamy.

Using the paddle attachment on your electric mixer, mix together the ½ cup mashed potatoes, yeast mixture, granulated sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, 4 tablespoons of the melted butter, and the egg.  Once combined, switch to the dough hook attachment and add 2 ½ cups of the flour.  Knead on medium speed and continue to add flour until you have a soft and elastic dough, about 8 or so minutes.  As this is a soft dough, resist the temptation to keep adding flour–4 ½ to 5 cups should truly be sufficient.

Dump your dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm spot until about doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Once risen, punch down the dough, place it on a Silpat or floured work surface, press into a roughly rectangular shape and cut into 18 portions.  (I like to use a pizza cutter for this, but remember that blades aren’t recommended on Silpats…) Butter or spray with Pam two 8″ x 8″ square or 9″ round baking dishes.  Shape your rolls by pulling and pinching the edges of each portion to the ‘bottom’ of each roll and then place seam-side down into the baking dishes, leaving a little space between each roll.  Once all of your rolls are shaped, cover your baking dishes with plastic wrap and allow to rise, yet again, until about doubled in size, this time about 45 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Once your rolls are gloriously risen, pop them in the oven and bake for about 20 or so minutes.  The tops will be golden brown and if you poke a knife into the center of one, you’ll see that it is ‘cooked’ and not ‘doughy’ on the inside.  Invert your rolls onto a cooling rack and then again onto a serving plate.  Brush with the remaining butter and serve!

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**Where this recipe makes 18 rolls, I am experimenting with freezing some of them for later enjoyment.  I’ll do a little addendum to let you know how they are post-freezing.

Nutrition information per serving (1 roll): 166 calories, 4 g total fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 28 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein

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