For the past couple years we've been going to dinner at my mom's best friend's house on the day before Thanksgiving. They do a fancy roast and everything, and I thought these rolls would go well with big slaps of red meat. And they do.
Also, rosemary is my favorite herb. And I have some in my bedroom for the winter, so it's convenient.
Now these Potato Rosemary rolls are in my top three favorite rolls list, which also includes bubble-top brioche rolls from a Dorie Greenspan recipe and honey buttermilk rolls, I think from a Good Housekeeping recipe. In my opinion, homemade rolls are always a pretty impressive thing to put on the table.
"POTATO ROSEMARY ROLLS"
Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod (good food blog)
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup shortening
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 cup scalded milk
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1. Put the half cup of warm water (I once heard "like you'd want to wash your hands in" so that's what I go by) in a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top and mix it in with a fork or whisk. Let sit for about 5 minutes to see if it foams up like it should.
2. Scald the cup of milk. I had to look up what that meant and I read that you basically just heat it up in a saucepan until bubbles form around the edges - you don't want to scorch it. If you put a thin film of water on the bottom of the pan and bring that to boiling before you put the milk in, it's easier to clean the pan afterwards. Let the milk cool for a couple minutes.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the shortening, sugar and salt (like creaming sugar and butter... but you feel even more guilty because it's shortening. I might actually try this recipe with butter next time, why not?).
4. Add & combine the milk and 1 cup of the flour.
5. Add & combine the yeast mixture and the beaten eggs.
6. Add & combine the mashed potatoes and rosemary.
7. Then add 1 cup of flour at a time until all 5 cups are in there. (Remember you already have 1 cup mixed in.)
8. Scoop the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. You will probably have to re-flour the surface a couple times. It will get nice and smoooooth. (Look at the pictures.)
9. Let the dough rise in a warm place (we use the oven, heat off) in an oiled bowl for about 45 minutes or doubled in size.
10. Punch down the dough to deflate it a little bit. Then start rolling out the wee balls - put three balls into each muffin spot in a greased muffin pan. It will make a lot of balls! I filled up three and half muffin pans. The picture on the blog have a lot neater round balls than I had but I think mine are cute.
11. Once the balls are in place, let them rise for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven at 375.
12. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until as golden as you want them.
13. Remove them from the oven and eat them all immediately. Or you could freeze them. I made exactly 45 rolls, but that could vary a lot on how big your balls are. :)