From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...We're fortunate to live in an area where there is a large Mennonite community. Their farms surrounded us and the community has its own school, as well as church. The Silver Fox and I have become expert at identifying Mennonite farms. I shouldn't boast because it really isn't that all hard. Their homes are are architecturally simple and exceptionally well maintained. Many of the properties look like the lawns around the home have been vacuumed. Tucked into the community is a bakery operated by a Mennonite spinster. We stopped there today because the Silver Fox loves the oatmeal cake she bakes. I thumbed through an Amish cookbook while he made his purchase and it set me to thinking. I have several Amish recipes that I haven't yet shared with you, and I thought this would be a good time to do it. I wanted to start with these rolls because the recipe, which comes from King Arthur Flour, has been updated and gives instructions for making the rolls by hand, mixer or bread machine. It is also foolproof. The rolls are soft and moist and they keep for several days if wrapped well. I have departed from the original recipe in only one respect. I do not use potato water to make my dough because I think it makes the rolls gummy. This is an exceptionally good recipe and I hope you'll give it a try. Here is how the rolls are made.
Amish Potato Rolls...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of King Arthur Flour
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons softened butter
1 cup unseasoned mashed potatoes, lightly packed*
2-1/2 teaspoons instant yeast or active dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water
4-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
*1 medium-to-large baking potato will yield 8 ounces of mashed potato
1) To make the dough: Mix and knead all of the ingredients together — by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a smooth, soft dough.
2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise until it's doubled in bulk, about 90 minutes. If you're using a bread machine, allow the machine to complete its cycle, then leave the dough in the machine until it's doubled in bulk, perhaps an additional 30 minutes or so.
3) Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 16 large balls, or 24 smaller balls. Round each ball into a smooth roll.
4) Place the rolls in a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan. Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let them rise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until they're quite puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
5) Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until they're golden brown and feel set. Remove them from the oven, and turn them out of the pan onto a rack. Brush with melted butter, if desired.
6) Serve rolls warm, or at room temperature. Store rolls, well wrapped in plastic, for several days at room temperature; freeze for longer storage. Yield: 16 to 24 rolls.
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