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Welcome to My Hungry Boys where I share what I love to cook for my husband and our four sons.   I've made a lot of food over the years and I've learned a lot in the process. 

Potato Hamburger Rolls

Potato Hamburger Rolls

Not all of us are crazy enough to homemake every component of our hamburgers, but these are the hamburger rolls to bake if you are.  They are so fluffy and so moist that you'll refuse to return to grocery store rolls afterwards.  They're a bit time consuming (compared to buying rolls), but you can make them early in the day or even the day before, as hamburger rolls don't necessarily need to be served hot.  If making them the day before, I recommend slicing, lightly buttering, and grilling them just before serving.

I prefer instant yeast, but I have also included an alternative recipe (scroll down) for those of you who plan on using active dry yeast. See note here on instant yeast versus active dry yeast.

Potato Hamburger Rolls (Using Instant Yeast)

Scroll down for recipe using active dry yeast.

Makes 8 - 9 rolls

Adapted from a Cook's Illustrated Recipe

Place cubed potato in a small pan with cold water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender.  Drain potatoes, reserving ¾ cup of potato water for the dough.  Rice or mash the potatoes and place 8 ounces of hot potatoes (~ 1 cup packed potatoes) in a container with the butter to melt.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Combine the flour, sugar, instant yeast, and salt in a mixer bowl.  Add warm (but not hot) potato/butter mixture and mix thoroughly.  Add 1 beaten egg and ¼ cup warm (but not hot) potato water.  Mix, adding more potato water as needed until you have a slightly tacky dough.  (Expect to use ~ ½ cup of potato water, but this will vary depending on the season, the air's humidity, and how accurately the flour was measured.)  If using a mixer and dough hook, knead for about 5 minutes.  The dough should slightly stick to the bottom of the bowl but release from the sides (see picture above).  Alternately, you can always knead by hand, but don't add too much flour or the rolls will come out too dry (the dough should be slightly sticky).

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a buttered bowl covered with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size (~1-2 hours).  Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface (just enough flour to prevent sticking), and divide into 8 or 9 pieces.  With your hand cupped, roll each piece into a tight ball by moving your hand in a circular motion.  This works best if done on a surface with just the tiniest bit of flour so that the dough still drags a bit but doesn't actually stick.  Place rolls on a parchment lined baking sheet and press down on each roll slightly so that they're more squat than round.  Brush rolls with remaining egg (beaten with 1 tablespoon of water), and then sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds (if desired).  For plain rolls, wait until after the rolls rise to brush with egg wash.  Cover rolls with a large sheet of plastic wrap which has been lightly buttered to prevent the plastic wrap from sticking to the rolls.  Allow rolls to rise ~ 30-40 minutes until beautiful and fluffy.

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Bake rolls ~15-25 minutes until golden, with an internal temperature of 190°F—200°F.  Let cool slightly before slicing.

Potato Hamburger Rolls (Using Active Dry Yeast)

Makes 8 - 9 rolls

Adapted from a Cook's Illustrated Recipe

  • 10 ounce russet potato - peeled and cut into chunks

  • 2 tablespoons butter - 1 ounce

  • 2¾ cups bread flour - 11.8 ounces - see note for accurately measuring flour here

  • ½ tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 package active dry yeast - ¼ ounce

  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt

  • 2 large eggs - 1 for dough and 1 for brushing on rolls

  • sesame seeds or poppy seeds for sprinkling on top (optional)

  • 1 or 2 tablespoons room temperature butter for greasing plastic wrap

Place cubed potato in a small pan with cold water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender.  Drain potatoes, reserving ¾ cup of potato water for the dough.  Rice or mash the potatoes and place 8 ounces of hot potatoes (~ 1 cup packed potatoes) in a container with the butter to melt.  Set aside to cool slightly.

In a small bowl add ⅓ cup of the reserved potato water. When it has cooled sufficiently not to kill the yeast (~100°F-110°F - not to exceed 110°F) stir in ½ tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle and stir in the package of yeast. Allow 5-10 minutes for it to get frothy.

Combine the flour, and salt in a mixer bowl.  Add warm (but not hot) potato/butter mixture and mix thoroughly.   Add frothy yeast mixture and mix thoroughly adding more potato water as needed until you have a slightly tacky dough.  (Expect to use ~ 2-3 tablespoons of additional potato water, but this will vary depending on the season, the air's humidity, and how accurately the flour was measured.)  If using a mixer and dough hook, knead for about 5 minutes.  The dough should slightly stick to the bottom of the bowl but release from the sides (see picture above).  Alternately, you can always knead by hand, but don't add too much flour or the rolls will come out too dry (the dough should be slightly sticky).

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a buttered bowl covered with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size (~1-2 hours).  Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface (just enough flour to prevent sticking), and divide into 8 or 9 pieces.  With your hand cupped, roll each piece into a tight ball by moving your hand in a circular motion.  This works best if done on a surface with just the tiniest bit of flour so that the dough still drags a bit but doesn't actually stick.  Place rolls on a parchment lined baking sheet and press down on each roll slightly so that they're more squat than round.  Brush rolls with remaining egg (beaten with 1 tablespoon of water), and then sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds (if desired).  For plain rolls, wait until after the rolls rise to brush with egg wash.  Cover rolls with a large sheet of plastic wrap which has been lightly buttered to prevent the plastic wrap from sticking to the rolls.  Allow rolls to rise ~ 30-40 minutes until beautiful and fluffy.

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Bake rolls ~15-25 minutes until golden, with an internal temperature of 190°F—200°F.  Let cool slightly before slicing.

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