Amish Potato Rolls are the most tender, flavorful rolls you’ll ever try, perfect for serving with a holiday feast. Even better, you can make the dough the day before you bake them!
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Is any holiday meal complete without rolls? Everyone I’ve ever met – EVERYONE – wants to eat rolls with dinner, including those who claim they’re “watching their carbs” and “kale is healthier” and “cauliflower tastes almost like bread.” Yup, even those people secretly want to eat a nice chewy, warm, cozy roll slathered in butter. True story. It’s just human nature.
Yet many people find rolls a little tricky to bake. Whether it’s the time it takes to let the rolls rise, or whether it’s juggling kitchen space during a Thanksgiving baking spree, rolls sometimes fall by the wayside. THIS IS WRONG, PEOPLE! Bring back the rolls! And there’s a simple way to fit them into your Thanksgiving or Christmas or other holiday schedule without any stress at all. Enter: the make-ahead roll. These Amish potato rolls are the best recipe I’ve found to relieve your holiday stress while making everyone happy.
Oh, and let’s be clear. This is not one of those recipes that sacrifices taste and flavor for ease of preparation. Hand on my heart, Amish potato rolls are honestly the most luscious rolls I’ve ever eaten in my life. They’re just dense enough to be super-satisfying, without being heavy at all. The secret ingredient to these perfectly moist rolls? Mashed potato.
So now we’re up to TWO huge advantages in making these Amish potato rolls: you can make them ahead of time, and also put some leftover mashed potatoes to use! Of course, if you’re making them for Thanksgiving, you might not have leftover mashed potatoes yet, but it’s easy to whip up some instant mashed potatoes to use instead. And if you’re making them to go with some turkey leftovers during the days after the feast, you should be all set in the leftover mashed potato department. If you’re using leftover potatoes, check to see if they’re on the saltier side – if so, don’t use quite as much salt in the dough as the recipe calls for. If you make some mashed potatoes just for this recipe, simply leave out the seasoning – the dough doesn’t need it.
How We (Amish Potato) Roll
The night before you want to bake your Amish potato rolls, you’ll start by mixing all your ingredients together, including some eggs and butter for a nice rich dough, plus the aforementioned mashed potatoes. While I usually make bread by hand, it’s easier to use a stand mixer and a dough hook with this particular recipe. Why? Well, the dough is quite sticky. If you knead it by hand, you might find that you have to keep adding flour to keep the dough from sticking to the counter and your hands. More flour won’t ruin the dough, but it will be a little less tender by the end. So if you do have a stand mixer, by all means use it! If you go the old-fashioned kneading route, just use as little flour as you can. I also assume that a bread machine would work equally well, but I’ve never used one, so I can’t confirm from experience. (If you do use a bread machine, and you try this recipe, let me know how it goes!)
After you mix all the ingredients to form a smooth dough, you can move on to the easy part. Just refrigerate the dough in a covered bowl overnight. That’s it! The yeast activates much more slowly in the cold temperatures, so the dough will rise veeeeery slowly. And by the next day, you’ll have a developed dough ready to shape into rolls.
Note: if you want to make the Amish potato rolls all in one day, just skip the refrigerated rise, and let the dough rise for about 90 minutes at room temperature. Kudos to you, you get-it-all-done-in-one-dayer, you!
For the rest of us make-ahead types, leave the dough in the fridge until a couple hours before you want to bake it. It will be fine in the fridge all day long, if you want to serve the rolls for dinner, or feel free to pull them in the morning for breakfast. So many options!
Rolling Right Along
When you pull the chilled dough, you’re going to shape it into rolls right away. The cold dough will be less sticky than warm dough, so shaping it should be a cinch. A full batch can make 24 rolls that are a little on the smaller side (perfect for serving with a Thanksgiving feast), or 16 rolls that are slightly larger (and perfect for making a sandwich with leftover turkey). Once formed, let them rise at room temperature in your baking dish for about 2 hours, until they are nice and puffy. The second rise takes a little while because they have to come to room temperature. (If you skipped the refrigeration and let them rise at room temperature, the second rise may take less than 2 hours.)
Then you’re ready to bake your rolls until golden, beautiful, crave-worthy and scrumptious! I can’t even tell you how amazing these rolls smell while baking, and that first bite with a bit of melted butter? Unreal. Trust me, no one at the holiday table will care if the turkey is dry or the gravy is salty if you serve them these Amish potato rolls. You’ll just have a table full of silent, chewing, and very very happy guests.
From your friendly Ready To Yumble team, we hope you all have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving, full of warmth, good company, and yes…delicious food!
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 6 tablespoons softened butter
- 1 cup mashed potatoes, lightly packed (Use leftover mashed potatoes, unseasoned instant mashed potatoes, or mash about 1 reasonably large baking potato with a little milk. If your leftover mashed potatoes are on the saltier side, reduce the salt in the dough by a ¼ teaspoon.)
- 2½ teaspoons instant yeast or active dry yeast
- ¾ cup lukewarm water (if you boiled a potato for the rolls, use this water - otherwise lukewarm tap water is fine)
- 4¼ cups all purpose flour
- Mix all ingredients together, preferably in a stand mixer with a dough hook. You can also mix and knead by hand, or use a bread machine. The dough will be quite sticky.
- Spray a medium mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil. Put your dough in the bowl, and lightly spray the top of the dough as well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 24 hours.*
- About 2 hours before you want to bake the rolls (about 2½ hours before you want to serve them), pull the dough from the refrigerator. Form it into 24 equally sized rolls, if you want the rolls on the smaller side, or 16 rolls for a bigger size. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, and place the rolls in the dish. Cover the dish loosely with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot in your kitchen to rise. Let rolls rise until very puffy, about two hours. **
- A few minutes before you expect the rolls to finish their rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake rolls approximately 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven. The rolls are done when they are golden brown - if you poke them, they should feel set and not squishy.
- Remove the pan from the oven when done and set on a wire rack. Optional: brush rolls with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
** If you skip the refrigerator rise, and let the dough rise at room temperature, the second rise may go quicker.
Store rolls at room temperature in a well-sealed bag. They are best right out of the oven, but they will stay fresh-tasting for a couple days after baking.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.
Need some more holiday sides? Try our Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Garlic, Thyme, and Balsamic – simple to make, with a surprisingly sophisticated taste!