Simply Perfect Potato Rolls

Simply Perfect Potato Dinner Rolls

Theses Simply Perfect Potato Dinner Rolls are incredibly soft, light and moist and the perfect choice for your holiday table or next to your Fall and Winter soups.

I am probably a little more bread obsessed that most, but who’s with me in their love of a really great dinner roll? As I look forward to holiday season (Canadian Thanksgiving is October 8!), it’s not the turkey I’m thinking about right now. It’s the rolls! So I thought I’d share what I think is the perfect dinner roll.

These Simply Perfect Potato Dinner Rolls are incredibly soft, light and moist and not only that, they stay that way for days! That makes them perfect for all the left-overs. And these rolls are also easily made vegan. Simply use oil instead of butter and sugar instead of honey. This is always a nice option if you are feeding a crowd with varied diets.

These potato rolls start with just one large potato, that is boiled and mashed. If you happen to have left-over mashed potatoes on hand, you can even skip that part. I used a Yukon gold potato, which gives these rolls a slightly yellow-ish tint to the rolls.

There is just something about potato (and potato cooking water) in bread dough that does the most wonderful things to the texture and flavour. It’s my favourite and I think you will love these, too!

Simply Perfect Potato Rolls

Cook’s Notes for Simply Perfect Potato Dinner Rolls

As mentioned above, I like to start with a yellow-fleshed potato. You’ll need one large or two smaller potatoes. I don’t peel. I cut in half and then scoop out the cooked potato. Don’t forget you’re going to need the potato cooking water, too, so be sure to drain the potatoes into a bowl or large measuring cup!

If you happen to have leftover mashed potatoes, you can use them instead. If they are buttered and salted already, you may want to reduce the amount of additional butter and salt you add to the dough a bit.

As you prepare the dough (and shape), add only enough flour to make a dough that isn’t sticky, but that is still very moist – right on the edge of sticky. The more moisture/the less flour added, the more tender your finished rolls.

I use a fine mesh strainer to sift the flour on top after shaping. It makes for a nicer, finer finish that just scattering it by hand.

Baking time for these rolls will vary slightly, based on your oven and the pan you use to bake them. Watch them regularly after about 15 minutes. My pan/oven took about 20 minutes.

You’ll want to take your rolls out when they are “just done” – lightly golden on top and not yet browning on the sides. Again, the less time in the oven, the more moist the rolls and the longer they will stay moist. If you have an instant read thermometer, you can check the roll in the middle of the pan and if it is about 172-175F. you’re good to take them out.

This recipe makes 9 rolls. If you’d like more, double the recipe and bake in two 8-inch square pans.

These rolls freeze well, so you can make ahead and freeze. Thaw in the wrapping at room temperature, then warm wrapped in foil in a 350F. oven for 10 minutes or so.

Simply Perfect Potato Rolls

Simply Perfect Potato Rolls

Simply Perfect Potato Dinner Rolls

Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: old fashioned potato rolls, potato dinner rolls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 9 rolls
Energy: 145 kcal
Author: Jennifer

Light, soft and moist dinner rolls that start with a bit of mashed potato and potato cooking water. 



  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes from 1 large or two small yellow-fleshed, mashing potatoes
  • 1/2 cup potato cooking water
  • 2 Tbsp butter or vegetable/canola oil or vegetable/canola oil *see Note 2
  • 1 Tbsp honey or 1 1/2 Tbsp white sugar *see Note 2
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant or dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp fine table salt
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour plus additional for topping


Prepare the mashed potatoes:

  1. Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in a medium-large saucepan. Cover potatoes with at least an inch of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat slightly and continue cooking until potatoes are tender. DO NOT DRAIN YET! Place a strainer over a medium bowl and pour potatoes and water over, reserving the potato water in the bowl and the potatoes in the strainer.

Prepare the bread:

  1. Place 1/2 cup potato cooking water in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Scoop out the potato flesh, discarding the skin. Place in a bowl and mash with a fork. Measure out 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes and add to the bowl with the potato cooking water. Add the butter (or oil) and honey (or sugar).

  2. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until mixture has cooled to lukewarm (about 120F for instant yeast or 110F for dry active yeast). Sprinkle in yeast and mix to combine. If using instant yeast, proceed to next step. For active dry yeast, let stand 5 minutes before proceeding.
  3. Add salt and 1 cup of the flour to the mixture and still using the paddle attachment, mix until combined. Remove the paddle attachment and replace with the kneading hook. Begin adding the 2nd cup of flour gradually, until you have a moist dough ball, not sticky to touch, but almost. You may need to add a bit more flour than specified, but be careful you don't add too much. You want to stop when the dough is just not sticky, but is still very moist.
  4. Remove dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Set aside.
  6. Remove dough to a floured work surface and gently deflate. Divide dough into 9 equal pieces (*see Note 1). Form each piece into a ball (*see Note 3) and place into your prepared pan in 3 rows of 3 rolls, leaving a little space between rolls. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside to rise until doubled and puffy. Using a fine mesh strainer, dust the top of the rolls with a dusting of flour.
  7. Bake rolls for 20-23 minutes, or until just lightly golden on top and not yet browning on the sides. If you have a thermometer, remove when the centre roll is about 172-175F. Cool rolls in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool to warm (to enjoy right away) or to cool completely. If not enjoying immediately, store in an airtight container or freeze.

Recipe Notes

1. I like to weigh the entire dough ball, then divide that weight by 9, to figure out the weight for each roll. That way all the rolls will be the same size and cook at the same rate, as well.

2. If you'd like these to be vegan, opt for the oil instead of butter and the sugar instead of honey.

3. To form the dough into balls, take the piece of the dough and using both hands, stretch dough out from the 3 and 9 o'clock position and tuck underneath, pinching lightly. Repeat from the 12 and 6 o'clock position. Flip over and pinch well where the dough meets underneath. This method creates a tight ball, with surface tension on top, which makes them rise nicely!

Be sure to read the "Cook's Notes" in the original post, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!


Kitchen Tools I Love

My Instant Read Thermometer is one of the most used tools in my kitchen. Not only is it great for checking doneness or meat, it is perfect for testing homemade bread, as well. My thermometer has saved me from undercooking bread more times than I can count! You spend time and ingredients on your cooking and baking. Why guess if it’s done?

Instant Read Thermometer

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I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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