On the stove, a pot of vegetable soup. That morning, she lined up those carrots and chopped slowly, methodically, until her mind settled into the monotony of her task. No thoughts of work, of her 8 year old daughter's piano recital that evening. She chopped until her cutting board was covered with those unmistakable orange discs--if only that color could be bottled, she thought, and then remembered the orange bathroom at her sister's house.
She brings her family into the kitchen with the smell of cooling bread. Her husband places bowls and spoons on their table. Her child carries the butter, forgets the butter knife, runs back into the kitchen to grab that small silver utensil that she's grown to know well.
They sit together over bowls of steaming soup, and they wait for the broth to cool while tearing into light and fluffy rolls. Her daughter asks if she can sing the song her piano teacher has taught her, the very song she'll be singing in front of eager students and bored parents a few hours later.
Of course, they both say, and then look at each other with pride as their child belts out a moving rendition of "This Little Light of Mine".
After the dishes are done and as her husband wipes a sponge over the splattered stove top, Amelia takes the three remaining rolls and seals them in a zip loc bag. She opens her pantry and places them beside a box of Cheerios, and she imagines how perfect one will taste with a stroke of midnight jam.
When Ryan brought home a bag of potatoes last week, I knew that at least some of them would make their way into a loaf of bread. On Wednesday morning, I boiled three small potatoes and kneaded those buttery mashed spuds into a simple bread dough.
We enjoyed these rolls with bowls of soup and plates of vegetables. The rosemary added the perfect amount of flavor and the potato made each bite moist and rich. I found that this recipe made well over one dozen rolls, so I used the remaining dough to make a miniature "bubble loaf". If you don't have a mini loaf pan, feel free to make a few more rolls to add to your dozen.
I enjoyed reading your comments on my Lemon Tartlet post over the weekend. I was thrilled with all the wonderful suggestions you offered, and I'll be revealing my next mini pie on Friday morning. Thank you for you ideas, and as always, thank you for reading my words!
*yields 18-20 dinner rolls
1 medium russet potato (8 ounces) peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
4 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
3 1/2-4 cups bread flour
1 envelope instant yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1. Bring the potato and 3 cups of water to boil and cook until potato is tender and can easily be pierced with a fork (around 8 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, transfer your potato to a small bowl. RESERVE 1 CUP of the hot potato cooking water. Set aside and allow to cool to 110 degrees F.
2. Add the butter to your hot potato and mash until smooth.
3. Combine the flour, yeast, salt, and mashed potato mixture in a standing mixer fitten with the dough hook. With the mixer on low, add the reserved potato water and mix until the dough comes together (about 2 minutes)
4. Increase the mixer speed to medium low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes). If after four minutes, more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, 2 TBSP at a time, until the dough clears the sides but sticks to the bottom.
5. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with the rosemary and knead by hand to make a smooth ball. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size. (1 to 1 1/2 hours).
6. Grease two 12-tin muffin pans. Begin tearing off small segments of dough and shaping into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place 3 round balls into each muffin tin. Repeat with remaining dough. Mist the dough with vegetable oil spray, cover pans loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size (45-75 minutes).
7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until golden (about 20 minutes). Cool the rolls in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.
Anecdotes and Apple Cores
PS. The online bake sale that I'm participating in opens today! Please visit Steph's site and bid on your favorite baked treats!