These Soft Idaho® Potato Sandwich Buns are flavorful, soft, and squishy, and they stay that way for days. Just because they’re soft doesn’t mean they won’t hold up to a lot of fillings, so don’t hesitate to use them as buns for heartier foods like burgers. You can also choose to make them a bit smaller and serve them as dinner rolls.
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- 2 medium Idaho® potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
- Cold water to cover
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 ounces unsalted butter (½ stick)
- 6 ounces whole milk
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 pound higher protein bread flour (such as King Arthur)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- ¼ cup whole milk, for brushing before baking
- Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan, and cover with water by about 1". Add 2 teaspoons kosher salt to the water. Bring potatoes to a boil and then simmer for 10-12 minutes or until they offer no resistance when pierced with a knife.
- Drain the water out of the pan. Put the lid on the pan and put the pan back on the burner (now turned off) for about 5 minutes. This will help the potatoes to dry. When ready, they will look a little "floury" on the outsides. If you have a stove whose burners do not retain heat (such as a gas stove), put over a very low flame to dry.
- Weigh out 8 oz of the potatoes (about 1 cup, lightly packed), and put them in the bowl of your stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and mix until smooth.
- Cut the butter into 4-5 pieces and add to the mixer. Mix until the butter has melted. Mix in milk, sugar, egg, egg yolks, and salt until you have what looks like potato soup.
- Add the flour to the bowl, and top with the salt. Switch to the dough hook, and mix on low speed until the dough comes together, about 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth, shiny, and supple, about 7-8 minutes.
- Once the dough is shiny and stretchy, gather it into a ball. The dough will be fairly soft, so do the best you can. Place the dough into a large, buttered or pan-sprayed bowl, spray the top with pan spray, and cover with a lint free kitchen towel or with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
- Spray a half sheet pan with pan spray and have it nearby. Turn out dough onto a clean, smooth surface. Gently press out the gases from the dough. Using your bench knife and scale, divide your dough into 12 3 ounce portions.* Place these on your baking pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.**
- Meanwhile, prepare your work surface by dusting lightly with flour. Have a cup or so of extra flour handy as well. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, place racks in the top and bottom thirds of your oven, and heat the oven to 375°F.
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten dough out into a disc. Gather up all the edges of the disc and bring them to the center. Turn the dough so the smooth side is up, and add a sprinkle of flour to make it easier to work with.
- Use your cupped hands to roll the ball on the counter, pulling the skin of the ball taut. Place on one of the prepared pans. Continue working in this way, adding a bit of flour as needed and placing 6 rolls on each of the pans.
- Spray the tops lightly with pan spray, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until puffy, about 45 minutes.
- When rolls are nice and puffy, gently brush them with milk. Put in the oven, and bake for 8 minutes.Rotate the pans and switch rack positions. Continue baking for an additional 8-9 minutes, or until the rolls are a lovely medium golden brown.
- Allow to cool on the pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely. Buns will be extremely light and puffy once baked. As they cool, they will sink just a bit, and their tops may wrinkle a little. This is normal, and your rolls will end up tender yet chewy with a nice, even crumb.
- Store at room temperature, well covered, for 3-4 days. For longer storage, place in freezer bags, pressing out as much air as possible, and freeze for up to a month.
*For Dinner Rolls, divide dough into 18 2 ounce portions and bake 9 per tray. You can also place them fairly close together in a parchment-lined 10” cake pan to bake.
**The dough is very soft at room temperature. Chilling it makes it easier to work with. If you are concerned about the dough warming up as you shape each roll, only take 4-6 portions out of the fridge at a time.