The countdown has begun! In just 3 days, one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving, will be here. Get your stretchy pants ready! (Does anyone remember this Friends episode from back in the day? Brad Pitt’s meat sweats, Joey’s Thanksgiving pants…so good.)
Last week, I shared my Classic Cranberry Sauce recipe on the blog. What’s so great about cranberry sauce is that you can make it ahead of the big day. It even tastes better the longer it sits in the fridge, so if you’re cooking for Thanksgiving, I suggest you crank that out today or tomorrow. Save your energy and kitchen real estate for the foods you need to serve super fresh, which brings me to my Mom’s recipe for her world-famous Potato Dinner Rolls. These have been a Thanksgiving staple year after year in my family, and I’m excited to share this recipe with you all too!
Tips for Perfect Potato Prep
The special ingredient for these rolls is a mashed potato, which gives the bread its fluffy texture. To prepare the potato, place 1 large russet potato in a medium saucepan filled with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and cook for about 20 minutes. You’ll know the potato is cooked when you can easily insert a small knife into the potato with little resistance. It’s definitely better to err on the side of overcooking the potato. When the potato is cooked, carefully peel off the skin under running cold water. You can mash the potato with a fork, masher, potato ricer (perhaps from making gnocchi), whatever you have on hand. Just make sure it’s free of any potato lumps and let it cool to a lukewarm temp before adding it to the dough mixture.
My Mom makes these rolls in the afternoon, right before we sit down for Thanksgiving dinner. They’re best served warm, with some salted butter or drops of gravy as you clean up your plate. These Potato Dinner Rolls taste delicious the next day too. Just pop them in the microwave for about 20 seconds, and they’ll taste as if they’re fresh out of the oven. They’re the perfect addition to your plate of leftovers!
Do you have a go-to recipe for Thanksgiving dinner rolls? Leave a comment below!
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1½ cups warm water (105-115 degrees F, check with food thermometer)
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ⅔ cup vegetable shortening
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup lukewarm mashed potato (Russet works well)
- 7 - 7½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
- Stir in sugar, salt, shortening, eggs, and mashed potatoes.
- Add 4 cups of flour and beat until smooth.
- Continue to add remaining 3 - 3½ cups of flour until the dough is easy to handle.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. (If you have a KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook attachment, now's the time to use it!)
- Lightly grease a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Place the dough in the boil and coverl tightly with plastic wrap.
- Let sit at room temperature until the dough rises (at least 2 hours). You can store the dough for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Divide dough into even sections and form 24 rolls.
- Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets with the remaining vegetable oil. Place rolls on the sheet, roughly 12 should fit on each standard size cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Bake rolls for 18-20 minutes, or until golden. Serve immediately while warm.