Potato Pull-Apart Rolls

These soft, fluffy tender potato pull-apart rolls are a family favorite. They’re perfect for special occasions and are a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes!

Hands pulling apart two potato pull-apart rolls.

It’s hasn’t been too long since I made rolls. If you follow along you’ve probably read about my slightly traumatic 100% whole wheat roll experience. Luckily it had a happy ending… which is why I’m here today sharing this recipe. I’ve recovered, moved on and once again made a batch of yeasted rolls.

An up close shot of a potato pull-apart roll.

I may have a slight obsession with bread. But that’s ok, because these potato pull-apart rolls are amazing!! They’re so incredibly fluffy and tender, you’d never be able to tell that they’re made with one cup of mashed potatoes!

That’s right, I’m reusing or up-cycling leftovers… and in the best way possible. I’m breathing a bit of new life into what would be a very plain side dish, for the second night in a row. Instead I’ve worked them into a dough recipe for the best little pull-apart rolls.

Instant yeast makes for a quick rise for these potato pull-apart rolls.

For this particular recipe we’ll be working with instant or rapid-rise yeast. 

What’s the difference between active yeast and instant or rapid-rise yeast?

Not much, aside from the size, the only real difference is that active yeast must be proofed (or activated) in a liquid prior to using, and rapid-rise yeast can be mixed directly into dry ingredients because of it’s fine particle size.

Just make sure to check the dates on your yeast container/packet and check the temperature of your liquid ingredients to avoid killing the yeast. The liquid ingredients should read 110-115 degrees on an instant read thermometer.

Tacky dough ready to rise and be shaped into potato pull-apart rolls.

The dough comes together like any other homemade bread with one exception. You have to add mashed potatoes! I mean, these are called potato pull-apart rolls after all!

What if I don’t have leftover mashed potatoes?

 

If you don’t have leftover mashed potatoes, don’t sweat it. You can still make these! Just use a large russet or 2 medium size yukon golds instead. I’ve made these with both seasoned potatoes (leftovers) and plain (non-leftovers), and they’re great either way. If you do decided to cook your own just for this recipe, I’d highly suggest peeling them, chopping them and sticking them in one of these microwave bags along with a little water to steam. You’ll thank me later. They’re life-savers (ok, more like time-savers). I’ve picked them up at both Target and Walmart.

Of course, you can always use potato flakes too. I’ve made this recipe using both, and to be honest, I can’t taste a difference. 

Potato pull-apart rolls shaped and ready for the second rise.

Once you’ve got your ingredients prepped, mix up the dough, knead it (using a stand mixer with a hook attachment or by hand) and transfer it to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and place it in your warm oven until has doubled in size.

Then turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 15 balls, shape and place into a buttered 9×13 metal pan.

See how shape perfect, round rolls in the video below:

Dust the tops with extra flour to prevent the plastic wrap from sticking as the rolls rise (this is a tacky dough, so it’s a necessary step).

A pan of golden brown potato pull-apart rolls.

Cover again and return to the oven to double in size again. TIP: The rolls should be nice and puffy and they should be touching each other.

Remove the rolls and turn your oven on to 350 degrees. Bake them for 20-25 minutes. They should be a deep golden color on top.

The tender, flaky inside of potato pull-apart rolls.

Enjoy them while they’re nice and warm… that’s the best way to eat pull-apart rolls!

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Potato Pull-Apart Rolls

Potato Pull-Apart Rolls

Yield: 15 rolls
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
These soft, fluffy tender potato pull-apart rolls are a family favorite. They're perfect for special occasions and are a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes!

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. mashed potatoes, lightly packed (about 1 large russet)*
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, when it reaches that temperature turn it OFF (you want your oven to be warm but not hot).
  2. In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, add the butter, milk, and water. Heat in the microwave until the mixture is warm and the butter is mostly melted (about 1 minute - 1 minute 30 seconds on HIGH). It should be at or above 115 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Make sure the butter is fully melted by stirring every minute.
  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix on low for 15 seconds. Once the warm liquid mixture reaches 110 degrees on an instant read thermometer, add along with the mashed potatoes and eggs.
  4. With mixing speed on low, mix until a soft dough forms, then switch to the dough hook and set on the lowest mixing setting for 4 minutes. The dough will seem very tacky.
  5. Transfer to a large, clean bowl. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and place into the warm oven to rise for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Just be sure to check on it at the 30 minute mark to monitor the progress.
  6. Once the dough has doubled in size, remove from the oven and punch it down. Turn it onto a lightly floured surface and cut it into 15 equal pieces using a bench scraper or butter knife. You can use a kitchen scale to ensure accuracy if desired.
  7. Roll into circles (see video in post) and place into a well-buttered 9x13 metal baking pan. Dust with excess flour to prevent the plastic wrap or towel from sticking. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and return to the oven to rise again. Allow rolls to double in size, about 45 minutes. The sides should be touching.
  8. Remove the rolls from the oven, and turn ON your oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until deep golden brown in color.
  10. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before pulling apart.

Notes

*Potatoes can be seasoned and can have butter/milk/sour cream folded into them. They can also be completely plain.

-You can easily add chopped rosemary to these rolls or even a bit of garlic powder to enhance the flavor.


Recipe source: slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour

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