Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Potato Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls - #BreadBakers

As I sit here, it's raining heavily outside. It's been like this for the last few days - five minutes of sunshine and then heavy rain for the rest of the day. It's annoying when one has errands to run, yard work to do, and pictures to take. But the rains are desperately needed. The state had been experiencing a bit of a drought - nothing like California and Jamaica though. I wish that I could send them some of this rain. I also have to be grateful that it's just heavy rains and not the hurricane that we were looking out for last week.

It's been years since I've had to do hurricane preparations. I actually had to google what was needed. Sure, I needed water but how many gallons per day was it again? In typical South Florida style, water was flying off the shelves faster than the workers could restock it. Bread was also a scarce commodity. I haven't bought bread in over three years and I couldn't decide whether I should get some or not. I had already planned to make a potato bread for this month's Bread Baker's whole grains theme. But was homemade bread a good idea for my hurricane food supply? Homemade bread doesn't have preservatives and would only last so long. Baking multiple loaves was probably not a good idea. Some sourdough loaves tend to have a little bit more staying power but I wasn't in the mood to wake my starter up. Plus, it probably would not have made a huge difference.

Luckily, the storm fizzled and died so I could bake my bread without worrying about how long it would last in my hurricane survival kit. Let me tell you, it was great to enjoy these rolls without needing to think about post-disaster survival. These rolls are delicious. You know when you make something so good that when you take that first bite, you immediately propose to yourself? These were that good. (What? You don't propose to yourself? Odd.) I picked up the phone to text a friend about the rolls - intending to send her some. Luckily, I realised that would mean fewer rolls for me and put the phone down. Sorry, friend. I can't take any credit for the recipe. I just took King Arthur's recipe and substituted whole wheat flour (whole white wheat actually). I worried that I wouldn't have amazing fluffy rolls since I did a direct one to one substitution. But one should never doubt the power of potato. Potato is an amazing dough conditioner and certainly worked wonders here. You'd never guess that it's completely whole wheat. It also helped that I used white wheat instead of red wheat - a very different flavour profile. Traditional red whole wheat would work perfectly here too. I just know that not many like that stronger taste.

Scroll down to see how others used whole grains. Thanks for hosting, Cali!

Potato Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
Recipe by: Kelly   Adapted from: King Arthur Flour
Yield: 20 rolls

1 medium russet potato (large enough to yield 7.25 oz mashed potato)
2 eggs
3 oz oil 
2.5 oz sugar
18 oz whole white wheat flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
6 oz potato water
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cook the potato until soft. Reserve the cooking water and mash the potato until smooth. You will need 7.25 oz for the recipe. 

In a large bowl, beat the mash potato, eggs, oil, and sugar. Add the flour, yeast, and water. Knead for about a minute just to get the ingredients mixed together. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, add salt and knead until smooth. This could take up to 10 minutes. If the dough seems dry, add water by the teaspoon. It may look a bit sticky but try not to additional flour unless it is actually sticking to your hands. During the kneading process, it will eventually pull away from the sides of the bowl but still stick to the bottom.

When the dough is smooth, form into a ball and place in a greased bowl to rise until doubled. It could take about an hour or more. It depends on the temperature of your room. 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9" x 13" and a 9" round baking pan.

Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces that are approximately 2 ounces each. Form each into a tight ball and place an inch apart in the prepared baking pans. Cover and let rise until doubled and puffy. 

Bake 20 - 25 minutes until golden. Brush with melted butter, if desired. Cool slightly in the pans then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy warm.

  • Typically, a whole wheat recipe will use more water than one with all purpose flour.  The recommendation from King Arthur is an additional 2 teaspoons of water per cup of whole wheat flour. I didn't do that here because I made these rolls on a very rainy day and rainy days usually means my bread dough is more sticky than normal. Reserve some additional potato water to add to your dough just in case you need it.
  • This dough looks sticky but it really isn't. Pinch off a piece. If it forms a ball that isn't sticking to your hands, you're fine.
  • These are really delicious. Make them!.   

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once per month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme.You can see all of our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board. Links are also updated after the event on the #BreadBakers homepage.
If you're a food blogger and would like to join us, please email Stacy at

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    1. Those rolls turned out perfectly. I think I'd use them for sliders too.

    2. When we lived in Kuala Lumpur, I used to buy potato rolls that were soft and fluffy and ever so slightly sweet at a nearby supermarket that had an in-house bakery. I've never found them anywhere since. You and your lovely rolls have motivated me to try baking them, Kelly.

    3. They look great. Never tried potato bread before

    4. Looks delicious Kelly. Glad that the storms dissipated before putting you in any danger.

    5. Yes, send us some of that rain! Those rolls look perfect! Dare I say, for Thanksgiving? Sorry =)

    6. Wow, your potato whole wheat dinner rolls look so perfect. I've to try these real soon.

    7. I have always wanted to make a potato bread and your post gave me that gentle push. We went through a whole month of rains in spring in Colorado and everyone had started to wonder if we were in Seattle. Nature has it's own plans.. we can only try to stay safe.

    8. I absolutely love potato rolls and these look delicious!

    9. Mmm, potato rolls could help weather any storm but I'm glad yours passed you by. Lovely!