In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I proudly present: Roasted Garlic Potato Rolls, a limerick:
The roll most tender and soft that ever I did know
Would not give up the secret to his perfect, fluffy dough
Since he wouldn’t give up his reason
I had no choice but to eat ‘em
Now I’m full with a tale to tell: it’s POTATO!
Yes friends, the humble spud is the secret to the most pillowy, melt-in-your mouth dinner rolls in the land. Rather than making the rolls taste like potatoes (though I’m not convinced that would be a bad thing), the potato serves to soften and tenderize the dough, turning each roll into a buttery cushions of roasted garlic carby heaven.
About These Roasted Garlic Potato Rolls
Though you certainly make potato rolls with by boiling, then mashing a whole potato, I decided to keep these roasted garlic potato rolls quick and easy with instant potato flakes. I’ve made potato rolls both ways (including these Yukon Gold Potato Cinnamon Rolls), and I find the instant potatoes flakes result in a dough that is equally fluffy and flavorful, but with far less work and more consistent results. I also baked roasted garlic potato rolls with part whole wheat flour (fiber!), and the instant potato flakes miraculously offset heaviness that whole wheat flour can sometime add to yeast breads.
Now let’s talk butter. And by butter I mean roasted garlic, because this magical substance is the butter of the bulb kingdom.
It feels totally weird to call garlic a bulb for some reason, although that is its closest culinary taxonomy. It’s not a vegetable; it’s not an herb or spice. Garlic defies categorization. Roasted garlic is transcendent.
The Magic of Roasted Garlic
If you’ve never roasted garlic before, I’m pleased to introduce you to one of the easiest, healthiest ways to integrate rich creamy flavor into your cooking. Forty minutes of hanging out in the oven unattended is all that’s required to transform garlic’s signature bite into a complex, mild, and almost sweet paste that tastes great added to everything from flatbreads (try smearing it over pizza crust or even toasted baguette slices) to pastas (mix a bit in with any pasta sauce) to hummus.
My current favorite use for roasted garlic, however, is these roasted garlic potato rolls. Because it’s so thick and creamy, roasted garlic can replace a bit of the butter in the dough, while still adding moisture and a subtle, but complex flavor. I also added a bit of chopped fresh for a savory counterpart to the lightly sweet garlic. If you are not a fan of sage or are looking for alternative options, I image rosemary, thyme, or even basil would all be lovely.
To finish our golden roasted garlic potato rolls in appropriate fashion, let’s call in butter. As in actual butter. A quick brush of melted over the top gives these rolls a delicate exterior that stays soft for days—though with the dynamite combo of a final butter “polish” and melt-in-your-mouth potato dough, the rolls won’t be around long to adequately test this theory. You’ll have to trust me.
Plus, ahem: butter polish. Even if it did absolutely nothing for the rolls’ shelf life, I’d still tell you to go for it. Two or three tablespoons will cover the entire batch, and it is absolutely worth it.
Potatoes may be classically associated with the Irish and St. Patrick’s Day, but Roasted Garlic Potato Rolls are too good to limit to once per year. With only 30 minutes of active prep time (both forming the dough and shaping), you can make these little buttery potato pillows tonight in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, then make them every other night after in honor of life, carbs, and the pursuit of good fortune.
Thanks for joining me on this year’s St. Patrick’s Day culinary journey!
Other St. Patrick’s Day Recipes
HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!
Roasted Garlic Potato Rolls
- 1 head garlic
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 sage leaves, finely chopped
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (or substitute unbleached all purpose or bread flour)
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour plus additional for kneading
- 1/2 cup instant potato flakes plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/4 cup instant non-fat dry milk
- 2 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Platinum Instant Yeast (1 packet)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces, plus 2 additional tablespoons for brushing rolls
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- Prepare the Roasted Garlic: Place rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. With a sharp knife, cut about 1/4 inch off the top of the garlic head, just enough to expose the interior of each clove. Place garlic on a piece of aluminum foil that is large enough to wrap around the head. Drizzle with the olive oil and wrap loosely. Roast directly on the oven rack for 30-40 minutes, until the garlic cloves are soft. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the soft garlic from each clove into a small bowl. Mash and stir with a fork until a puree forms. Stir in the chopped sage and set aside.
- Make the Dough: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, potato flakes, dry milk, yeast, and salt. Add the butter, honey, and reserved garlic-sage puree. Lightly stir, but don’t worry about combining evenly. Place water and milk in a microwavable measuring up or small saucepan and heat to the temperature specified by the yeast manufacturer. (Red Star Platinum Yeast is 120 to 130 degrees F.) Pour over the dry ingredients and stir on low speed with the mixer’s paddle attachment or by hand with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are roughly combined. Switch to the mixer’s dough hook (or turn out onto a lightly floured surface) and knead until you have a soft dough, about 5 minutes by machine or 7 minutes by hand. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, then turn dough to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until it is very puffy, though it may not double in bulk, 1 to 2 hours. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch, 11-inch square, or 12-inch round pan and set aside.
- Shape the Rolls: Gently deflate the dough, then turn it out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide dough into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a rough ball by pulling the dough edges down and away from the center, then into a small knot at the bottom. Roll the dough in your hands to form a smooth ball. Evenly space the rolls in the prepared pan (they will not touch). Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, then let the rolls rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. They will puff and expand to touch one another. Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
- Uncover and bake the rolls until they are deep golden brown on top, but lightly colored on the sides, 23 to 25 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let rolls cool in pan for 3 minutes. Gently transfer the rolls to a wire rack (they will be hot and delicate). Melt 2 tablespoons additional butter and brush the tops of the rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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I baked Roasted Garlic Potato Rolls using my most trusted bread-baking tool: Red Star Platinum Yeast. For more bread baking tips and inspiration, follow Red Star Yeast on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus, and don’t miss this step-by-step baking guide.
Red Star Yeast compensated me for my time to create this recipe and post. As always, all opinions are my own.