Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Kindness of Strangers

This is just too easy.  I got this recipe for Potato Rosemary Potato Bread from The Culinary Chronicles.  I love Rosemary Bread and had been buying a small rounded loaf from the grocery story for about $5.00.  I didn't have any left over mashed potatoes, so I quickly cooked some using potato flakes you can buy in the store.

Assembling all the ingredients, I made the dough.  It reminded me of Grandma's Hands.  That's the name of an old song.  I don't think it's a Negro Spiritual, but everyone seems to know it and I first remember singing it in church.  I learned to cook by watching my grandmother.  She told me the food tasted better if you put your hands in it.  And hers certainly did.  So a lot of my mixing is done with my hands.

As I dug my fingers into the dough, I thought I could have used the mixer with the dough hook for that.  Too late.  My hands were already coated with flour.  So I continued, mixing the ingredients and kneading the flour until I had an elastic ball.

I used a glass bowl to mix the dough.  I also used a glass one to allow it to rise.  The reason for this is I live in the northeast.  It's still cold here (40 degree range) and we can have snow as late as April.  To warm my kitchen in winter I set the oven to 170 degrees and put the glass bowl on top of the stove.  The dough rises in the warmth.  Metal pans conduct heat and in some cases will cause the dough to begin cooking.

Rising on the stove

Since the heat comes from the back of the stove, I sit the bowl toward the front for more even heat.  I covered it with a towel that I folded up so none of the fabric touched the burners (safety first).

Now it's time to make the rolls.  Punch the dough down and then break off small pieces.  Roll them into balls and place three in a greased muffin mold.  I used PAM to oil the pan.

Before the second rise

All muffin pans filled

When I ran out of muffin pans, I used muffin top pans.  The dough flattened to the mold of the pan.  But all of them rose.

The yield on this was 30 rolls.  And I got exactly 30 rolls.

Coming out of the oven

Set in a rose

I set the roll in a rose napkin, but it didn't stay long.  The house was filled with the aroma of rosemary and baking bread.  It brought the troops down the stairs and straight for the counter filled rolls.

In any shape it tastes as good

I froze some of them.  Each day I take out a few and warm them.  They taste just as fresh as when they came out of the oven.

Here's the recipe courtesy of The Culinary Chronicles.

2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup shortening
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 cup scalded milk
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1. In a small bowl, put the yeast in the warm water and stir with a spoon. Let sit for about five minutes or until the yeast starts to bubble.  Scald the milk and let it cool for two minutes.

2. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, shortening, and salt. Add the milk and stir in one cup of the flour. Next, add the yeast mixture and the beaten eggs. Add the mashed potatoes and rosemary and stir. Stir in the remaining flour until the dough comes together.

3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. Place the dough in a large greased bowl and let rise in a warm spot for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

4. Punch down the dough. To form the rolls, pinch off about a 1/2 tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place three balls into a greased muffin tin. Continue forming rolls until dough is gone. Let the rolls rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Bake rolls at 375 degrees F for about 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Makes about 30 rolls


  1. Please defrost a roll for me. I will be RIGHT OVER! This is a great tutorial, Shirley. Not only do you cook up great food, you cook up the most divine word images. This is a great post--I'm selecting it for the Foodie Friday Cafe this Sunday (may I use one of your images?)

  2. There is nothing better than warm bread with lots of butter!

  3. Lovely! I have some instant potato flakes in the pantry that I purchased to use in a recipe, but I have no plans to use them to make mashed potatoes, so this is the perfect way to use them up. Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe.

  4. Shirley, this is one beautiful bread recipe. They came out perfectly. As an an avid reader of romance novels, well, I just had to become a follower. I found you through Foodie Friday Cafe. xo

  5. These look so delicious. I wish I had a knack at making bread:)