My very tiny grandmother who raised 7 children used to make these potato rolls. The recipe calls for a potato and yeast starter to be made ahead of time (up to 3 days) then you add that the other ingredients and voila, you get 3 dozen rolls. I have no idea where the recipe came from. Knowing my grandmother, it was out of a magazine. Also knowing my grandmother, she never once thought of changing it. For my oldest, this is the best part of the holidays. About 5 years ago I put him in charge. This recipe is a PAIN in the but. You use 9 cups of flour! We are a family of 5… I think that may be his favorite part, days of potato rolls.
Anyway, I got thinking this year…. could I convert the recipe to sourdough. The whole making liquid yeast with potatoes, water, sugar and commercial yeast felt a whole lot like setting starter out overnight.
Figuring we should start before crunch time, we made a starter Sunday night. I am a firm believer in child involvement. So I grabbed my son, explained my idea and had him check out this website. It talks about converting recipes. After looking at the original recipe and the above site we decided to make a starter with:
- 1cup mashed potatoes
- 1 cup potato water
- 1 cup starter (super happy starter) you can find out more at Cultures for health They have a video on it.
- 1 cup regular water (I probably could use 2 cups potato water. It bears experimenting with)
- 3 cups flour (The conversion calls for 2/3 the total amount of flour in the original recipe, but that just felt like too much)
We mixed it all together in a large bowl and left it over night. It was very happy the next morning.
To the starter we added:
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1 egg
- Then I gradually added the rest of the flour until my dough formed (probably around the total 9 cups if not slightly more)
I started out mixing by hand and then used my stand mixer to finish up and start the kneading process.
Then comes the fun part, weighing and measuring the dough to go into the tins. Usually this recipe gives me 3 dozen rolls that we cook in muffin tins as pull a part rolls. So my general process is to cut the dough into 3 parts ( a scale helps) and then again into thirds(3) and half and half again…. that should make 12 balls right? Then each of those gets cut again into 3 pieces.
Somewhere our math got off and we ended up with enough dough for 4 dozen rolls. I am not clear on that part as my oldest was in charge of weighing and measuring. The girls were in charge of making the rolls. In the end we had enough dough to put 4 balls in each muffin cup in some of the tins… it was all very confusing, but being flexible, we went with it.
Then comes the hard part. With sourdough, proofing can take 6ish hours or more. I knew my starter was highly active and my breads have been really turning out fantastic. It always feels like somewhat of a gamble, so I left and ran errands and had coffee with a friend.
When I got back…. They were amazing! The best part is that they taste amazing. I can not believe how well they turned out! I told my son that one day he is going to tell his kids that these potato rolls never used to be sourdough!