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Soft potato rolls arranged on a striped tea towel.

How to Make Easy Potato Rolls

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I know some people are scared off by baking with yeast doughs. If you’re among them, I hope this, my favourite bread rolls recipe, will change your mind!

Easy potato rolls are soft and absolutely delicious, and they really aren’t difficult to make. The dough is mixed together in a single step (no activating yeast or slowly working in extra ingredients here), and instead of being sticky and stretchy, it’s lovely and silky to work with when you’re forming the rolls.

I discovered the joy of potato rolls at Shake Shack in New York City a few years back, where they buy in commercially produced ones as a sturdy and delicious base for their fantastic burgers. At home, I wanted to use potato rolls for my own burgers but couldn’t find any to buy. Then I discovered how easy they are to make yourself, and we’ve been enjoying their carb-laden goodness ever since!

If you haven’t made bread before, this is the perfect starter recipe. And if you have, you’ll love how simple it is to turn out a batch of these dinner or burger rolls which are better than almost anything you can buy. Let’s get started.

How to make the best potato rolls

The ingredients for soft potato rolls in individual bowls on a marble countertop

Obviously, if you’re going to make potato rolls, you’ll need potato. I’ve seen recipes which use instant mash or dehydrated potato flakes to make these rolls, but the soft texture and better flavour I get using cooked and mashed fresh potato make a little extra preparation worthwhile.

Once you’ve cooked and mashed the potato, you just need to mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until you get a soft, smooth dough. I like to mix mine in a mixer fitted with a dough hook but by hand will work just as well if you’re happy to put in a little elbow grease!

Collage of four images showing the steps in making the dough

The mixed dough needs to rise in a warm place until it’s doubled in size, which will take around an hour to and hour and a half depending on the room temperature. Then you’ll portion the dough into even sized pieces and gently form each piece into a roll before leaving to rise again.

When your rolls are perfect little puffy domes, it’s time to bake. You should bake your potato rolls until they’re evenly golden and feel completely set when gently tapped on top.

Collage of six images showing the steps in shaping the dough for baking

To add an extra flavour dimension and a gloss to your finished potato rolls, you can brush the tops with a little melted butter, though it’s not essential. Either way, they are delicious warm or at room temperature, and will keep, covered, for a few days on your counter, or up to a couple of months in the freezer.

Preparing your mashed potato

You don’t need to add butter, cream or seasonings to the mash you use for potato rolls, just boil or steam a potato or two and mash or pass through a ricer so it’s lovely and smooth.

If you’ve got leftover creamy mash that works just fine for potato rolls, too. Any leftover mash at my place usually gets turned into these rolls, I just use a little less salt than the recipe states if I’ve already got seasoned mash.

A rectangular steel lined baking dish filled with baked bread rolls

Variations on traditional potato rolls

To give these rolls (or, more correctly, my kids) more fibre, I often substitute around a third of the white flour for whole wheat flour. It’s barely noticeable in the finished product and is a little more nutritious than all white. If you use some whole wheat flour, you may find you need to add a couple of tablespoons of extra liquid when mixing the dough.

If you want something different, orange sweet potato is a great substitute for regular potato in these rolls. The rolls end up more earthy and sweet, with a lovely golden hue I can’t get enough of. Sweet potato also has a lower glycemic index and higher levels of magnesium and vitamin A than regular potato. Let’s not kid ourselves that we’re turning these rolls into an outright health food, but I do like the idea of balancing out deliciousness with a little bonus nutrition boost wherever I can.

Another way to change up your bread rolls, potato or otherwise, is to add a couple of tablespoons of finely chopped fresh herbs to the dough. It adds a lovely aroma while baking, and you can use whatever herbs you like to complement the dish you plan to serve your rolls with.

Enjoy baking these delicious rolls. If it’s your first time baking with yeast, just follow the directions below and look forward to the feeling of immense satisfaction you’re going to get when your kitchen fills with the smell of freshly baked bread!

Happy cooking, see you here again soon.

A bowl of soft potato rolls
Soft potato rolls arranged on a striped tea towel.
Print Recipe
4.75 from 8 votes

Easy Potato Rolls

If you need a simple recipe for the best bread rolls, easy potato rolls are a dream. They’re soft, tender and the mashed potato means they keep well for several days.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
proofing time1 hr 5 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Breads
Cuisine: American, Western
Keyword: easy potato rolls, potato rolls
Servings: 15
Calories: 243kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mashed potatoes warm or room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 oz butter softened
  • 2 eggs large
  • 2 tsp instant yeast or 2 x 7g sachets if using active dry yeast, and allow a little longer for the first rise
  • 3/4 cup water lukewarm, or use milk for richer rolls
  • 4 1/4 cups unbleached white bread flour
  • 3 tbs butter extra, melted (optional for glazing)

Instructions

Conventional Oven Method

  • Make the dough. Put all the ingredients except the extra melted butter into a large bowl and mix by hand or with a mixer until a soft, smooth and elastic dough forms. If you’re mixing by hand this could take up to 10 minutes, in a mixer it takes around 4-5 minutes.
  • Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place (somewhere that’s around 27°C/80°F is ideal) until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently press it down to remove any large air pockets (no need to flatten it into submission here!). Divide the dough into 15 pieces and form each into a smooth roll.
  • Place the rolls in a lightly greased or parchment-lined 22cm x 32cm (9in x 13in) pan. Cover the pan with a damp kitchen towel and let the rolls rise until they’re puffed and the dough springs back into shape when a finger is gently pressed onto the surface, about 60-90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Bake the rolls until they’re golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and turn them onto a rack. If you’d like to give them a gloss, brush each roll with melted butter while hot.
  • Serve rolls warm or at room temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for a couple of days at room temperature, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Combi Steam Oven Method

  • Make the dough. Put all the ingredients except the extra melted butter into a large bowl and mix by hand or with a mixer until a soft, smooth and elastic dough forms. If you’re mixing by hand this could take up to 10 minutes, in a mixer it takes around 4-5 minutes.
  • Place the dough in a clean bowl and use the dough proving setting in your steam oven until the dough has doubled in size, about 30-40 minutes. There’s no need to cover the bowl. If you don’t have a dough proving setting, steam setting at 35°C/95°F (100% humidity) will achieve similar results.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently press it down to remove any large air pockets (no need to flatten it into submission here!). Divide the dough into 16 pieces and form each into a smooth roll.
  • Place the rolls in a lightly greased or parchment-lined 22cm x 32cm (9in x 13in) pan. Place the pan in your steam oven on dough proving setting again and let the rolls rise until they’re puffed and the dough springs back into shape when a finger is gently pressed onto the surface, about 25-30 minutes.
  • With the pan still in the oven, change your oven temperature to 180°C/350°F, combination steam setting. If your oven has variable steam levels, select 30% humidity (if you don’t have variable steam settings, don’t worry! Just set the temperature and combination or convection steam, and the oven will work out the rest).
  • Bake the rolls until they’re golden brown, about 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and turn them onto a rack. If you’d like to give them a gloss, brush each roll with the extra melted butter while hot.
  • Serve rolls warm or at room temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for a couple of days at room temperature, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Video

Notes

  1. Makes 15 medium rolls.
  2. I divide my dough into 15 medium sized rolls, but if you want small dinner rolls you could do 20 or even 24 portions.
  3. These rolls are quite forgiving when it comes to the quantity of potato you add. I’ve used as little as ¾ cup and as much as 1¼ cups, with great results either way. One large potato will give you approximately the correct quantity for the recipe. Mash the potato without any extras such as salt, butter or cream (if you do want to use leftover creamy/seasoned mash that’s fine, just hold back a little on your salt in the dough).
  4. You can use water or milk to make these rolls. Water is just fine and it’s what I use most often, but milk makes for a richer dough which bakes up a little more ‘cakey’ than the water version.

Nutrition

Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 399mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 291IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg

Over to you – if you try this recipe I’d love to know about it! Share your comments below or on Facebook, tag @steamandbake on Instagram, or pin all your favourite Steam and Bake recipes over on Pinterest!

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1 thought on “How to Make Easy Potato Rolls”

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy! My neighbor always requests these now when we have neighborhood dinners .

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