For my entry, I'm harking back to the very first bread I ever successfully baked. When I started baking more than two decades ago I got really stressed when baking with yeast (well nowadays I still get a little anxious). I think it's the worry that the dough won't rise that I constantly peek while it is proving. This might have contributed to my first few attempts at bread making to fail. So when I saw the Make-Ahead Potato Bread Rolls in my beloved hardbound Betty Crocker cookbook, I lost no time in trying it. See, in that recipe the rising is not done in a warm place but in the fridge - overnight! How great is that? No more stressing, hand wringing and peeking to see if the dough rose at all. Anyway, the bake was successful but I never got to bake that bread again until now more than 25 years later.
One thing I only remembered now is that the shaping of the dough into balls can be a bit hard. They would not follow easily the shape I want. Maybe I should let it come to room temperature first before shaping? I'll find out next time. There's also one thing I remembered - how delicious it is especially when warmed. My youngest daughter loved it so much she slathered it with strawberry jam - one of the few times I saw her do that. This is a definite keeper of a recipe.
Potato Bread Rolls
1 package [2 1/4 tsp] active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup unseasoned mashed potato
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2/3 cup butter - softened
7 - 7 1/2 cups plain flour
- In a bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water together with 2 tsp of the sugar. Set aside. It should foam and bubble after 10 minutes. If it did not, this means the yeast is dead so discard the mixture and start again with a new batch of yeast.
- Add the sugar, potatoes, eggs, butter, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Mix with electric mixer on low speed until smooth.
- Add in enough of the rest of the flour to make the dough easy to handle. Knead on a floured surface for about 5 minutes of until smooth and springy.
- Grease a bowl and place dough in it. Turn dough to grease all over. Cover tightly with cling film and let rise in the fridge for at least 8 hours but not more than 5 days.
- Punch dough gently and knead for a few turns. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces for loaf and 4 equal pieces for rolls.
*For small dinner rolls:
- Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Arrange on a greased baking sheet 1 inch apart. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (about 1-2 hours).
- Brush with melted butter or egg wash (beaten egg with 1 Tbsp water or milk).
- Bake in an oven preheated to 200°C/fan 180°C/400°F for 15-20 minutes.
*For clover leaf rolls:
- Grease muffin pans. Shape into 2-inch balls and put in the muffin pans. Using scissors, cut balls into halves and then into fourths.
- Brush with melted butter and let rise in a warm place until double (1-2 hours).
- Bake in an oven preheated to 200°C/fan 180°C/400°F for 15 minutes.