Like most people, I’ve been recovering from Thanksgiving–which was fun and all, and shouldn’t require any recovery. Except that we handed out head colds along with the turkey dinner, and so it’s taken everybody a little bit of extra time to get over the festivities.

Which must mean that it’s time for another recipe!

Whenever I look at my blog statistics (which is a fun thing to do) I see that most random users seem to find me because they are looking for a pot roast recipe, which I wrote about here, in case you’re in need of a good pot roast (and who isn’t?)

But today’s recipe is for dinner rolls. They are called Gladys Elviken’s Potato Rolls, and they come from the Bentley Farm Cookbook, which was published in 1974.

“Strong men have been known to weep for joy when first biting into one of these,” said Virginia Bentley–and she is right. My kids all refer to these as the crying rolls, because of the weep factor. They are that good.

And they’re good because not only are they made with mashed potatoes (to keep them light as a feather) but also they’re sweetened with maple syrup, which is a perfect foil for the earthy taste of the potatoes.

Here goes:


2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed (you will mash these)

1 package of active dry yeast

1/2 cup lukewarm water

2/3 cup maple syrup

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

4 large eggs, well beaten

2 teaspoons salt

approximately 6 cups of all-purpose flour


Cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of potato water, and mash. While potatoes are cooking, dissolve the yeast in a small bowl in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water until foamy, about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine yeast mixture, mashed potatoes, reserved warm potato water and maple syrup. Let stand in a warm place until spongy, about 1/2 hour.

Using a wooden spoon, stir into the yeast sponge the butter, eggs, salt and enough flour to make a soft dough. Mix thoroughly, turning out the dough onto the counter and mixing with your hands to combine completely. Wash out bowl, dry and butter it lightly. Place the dough in the bowl and cover and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2-3 hours.

After the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a lightly floured board and knead lightly. The less flour you use, the lighter the rolls will be. Roll dough out about 1 inch thick and cut into rounds with the rim of an inverted glass. Place rolls on two buttered baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart to allow for rising. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake rolls in middle or top rack of oven for 10-12 minutes, until tops are pale golden brown. Serve hot, and keep the Kleenex nearby.


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