Potato Rolls

The Open Bar

With the holiday cooking season fast approaching, we thought it the perfect time to cull back through Tin House’s various forays into the culinary world and share some of our favorite recipes.

In the spirit of living frugally, food—even those never-ending leftovers you’re so sick of eating—should never have to go to waste. That’s why it’s always great to find new ways to use food items leftover from Thanksgiving. From her memoir, Possum Living, Dolly Freed gives us a great way of repurposing mashed potatoes into something different.

Potato Rolls

*Make up 3 cups of mashed potatoes (skins and all). Or use leftovers.

*Stir in enough water to make soupy (medium thick soup). 

*Add 1/3 cup powdered milk, 3 tablespoons margarine, 1½ teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons sugar. Beat well. (If any of these ingredients are already in your mashed potatoes, omit them here.)

*Gradually stir in 4 cups flour. You can use white flour or half white, half well-sifted ground wheat flour (give the middling’s to the chickens).

*Dissolve a packet of dry baker’s yeast in a little warm water and add.

*Stir and beat thoroughly.

*If necessary, add enough extra four so the dough isn’t sticky. Knead well.

*Place in a bowl, cover with a cloth, and let rise 6 hours in a warm place (75°–90°).

*Do not knead again. Gently roll out to a thickness of 1 to 2 inches on a lightly floured surface. Cut the rolls into whatever size you prefer. Separate them and gently place them on a greased cookie sheet.

*Let them sit at room temperature till they rise to 3 to 5 inches. (About 2½ hours at 70°.)

*Bake in oven at 375° till done (about 35 minutes). Poke them with a toothpick to see that they’re not sticky inside.

Following her success as an author, Dolly Freed grew up to be a NASA aerospace engineer. She put herself through college after she aced the SATs with an education she received from the public library. She has also been an environmental educator, business owner, and college professor. She lives in Texas with her husband and two children.