Thanksgiving is one of those holidays I often take for granted. We have so much here in the US, and so many things are readily accessible that we often don’t think about being thankful for the little things. The past year has been incredibly challenging for me, mostly from a health standpoint. I’m only 35, but man has 2016 beat me up, chewed me up and spit me out a couple of times. I’ve had horrible back pain, surgery, been super sick, been deaf in 1 ear for a month, I mean I’m one whipped puppy. Not-too-mention all the political stuff that infiltrates are social feeds on a daily basis, which can often be incredibly negative. However, in the midst of all the craziness this year has brought in, I really have so much to be thankful for. My family is amazing, we have a cool house, a new kitchen, great friends, a supportive family, food on the table, and the bills are paid. All I can say after that is AMEN! So much to be thankful for. I’ll write another post that explains in a bit more detail…
With giving thanks, more times than not, comes with delicious food. Soft delicious and hot rolls are a staple at my table at every holiday, and truth be told I’m Italian so I want some form of bread at the table at all times haha. Not sure if you’ve ever wondered how to make potato rolls, but truth be told they are super easy to make and 10 times better homemade then what you are going to get in the store, and it ain’t even close J. Potato rolls are simply using mashed up skinless potatoes with all of the other ingredients that go into making bread. While these little potato rolls are delicious by themselves, I paired it up with a goat cheese and honey butter to make it even more delicious. More of that later though.
There are a few different ways to cooking the potatoes. I’ve seen people pierce them and microwave them and I’ve seen peeled, boiled and strained. I’m a bit of a purist so I simply roasted them in the oven at 375° for about 70 minutes until they were nice and tender. Now these suckers are hot, so be sure to hold them in a towel while pealing them with a paring knife. Good way to hone those potato peeling skills, almost like you were 3 floors sub-level in the navy :-).
When the potatoes have all been peeled and mashed, it’s now time to heat up some milk, add in the yeast and sugar and watch it chow down. The yeast will form almost a raft like top to it, don’t let it weird you out, it’s perfect! Once it is to that level then you begin to add your other ingredients. To make sure these potato rolls had the right consistency, I used Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour which is stone ground. The protein content is lower in this pastry flour which makes for the most tender baked goods, which is pretty much exactly what I’m looking for when making these potato rolls. Now, normally when making these I would have used extra virgin olive oil which would have been totally fine. However, I had some leftover rendered bacon fat lying around that I thought might help kick these up a notch and make them even more tender. I was right, they’re ridiculous.
Once the rolls were rested under a towel, I brushed them with melted unsalted butter and topped them off with some sea salt and oats for some flavor and of course appearances. This part is totally up to you, feel free to simply brush with butter and bake in the oven.
While the potato rolls are in the oven, it’s time to make a goat cheese and honey butter to spread all over them. Honey butter by itself is so stinkin’ good, but adding in goat cheese and fresh thyme, FA-GET ABOUT IT EH?! Dang delicious!! Make sure your butter is soft, as well as the goat cheese, and simply whip them together with the honey and thyme using a wire whisk or in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment. I seasoned it just a little with salt and pepper, but the bacon fat in the roll and salt on top are going to make these plenty seasoned and should complement each other perfectly when paired with the goat cheese and honey butter.
Well folks, that’s all I got! If you want to make some homemade rolls this Thanksgiving, I’d look at these guys, they’re good. Oh yeah, don’t forget to give thanks :-).
- 3 medium sized baked and peeled russet potatoes
- 1 ½ cups of warm whole milk (110° to 115°)
- ½ tablespoon of yeast
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- ¼ cup of rendered bacon fat or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 eggs
- pinch of Kosher salt
- 4 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Pastry Flour
- 2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour
- ¼ cup of melted unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon of rolled oats
- 1 pound of softened unsalted butter
- 1 cup of softened goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Rolls: Mash the peeled cooked potatoes in a large bowl and set aside.
- Next, add the milk, yeast and sugar to a standing mixer with the hook attachment. Lightly mix and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add in the potatoes, bacon fat and eggs and mix on medium speed until combined.
- Mix the Kosher salt and flours in a large bowl and add them to the mixer in 2 different batches until combined. Do not over mix.
- Cover the bowl with the dough in it with a towel and let sit for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Next, form 20 balls of dough and place them on cookie sheet trays lined with parchment paper. Cover with a towel and let sit for 15 to 20 more minutes.
- Brush the tops with melted butter and evenly sprinkle on salt and oats.
- Bake in the oven at 375° for 18 to 22 minutes or until they are lightly browned and top and cooked in the center.
- Butter: While the rolls are cooking whip together the softened butter, goat cheese, honey, thyme leaves, and salt and pepper until it is light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Chill before serving alongside the rolls.