Published July 1, 2012. From Cook's Illustrated.
Could the old-fashioned trick of adding stodgy mashed potatoes to bread really create rolls with the lightest, most tender texture?
Potato roll recipes abound, but they’re inconsistent. Almost none specify what type of potato to use, and some use so much potato that the bread gets weighed down by the load.
We wanted a potato roll that delivered the same soft tenderness of a classic American dinner roll but without its richness. What’s more, our dough should work equally well for burger buns.
The key to this recipe was determining the optimal amount of potato and the form it had to take to achieve just the fluffy texture we wanted. We opted for peeled russet potatoes, figuring that their floury texture would serve us best. Initial testing showed that the more we upped the potato the more we had to decrease the flour in order to keep our rolls light and fluffy.
We also discovered that the more potato we used the less time the dough needed to rest. But when we tried to increase the potatoes beyond a certain point, the dough fell flat, making coarse-crumbed rolls with a compromised rise. The problem was not with the potatoes; we had chosen the wrong flour for the job. The protein in all-purpose flour couldn’t provide enough muscle to support all the freeloading potato starch, so we switched to higher-protein bread flour. This simple swap increased the protein and provided just enough stable yet tender structure to support the potatoes, yielding rolls that were not only perfectly risen but also light and airy.list of recipes