what what in the....

butttttt, before i continue with this post, let's get one thing straight. my first true love is crusty, crunchy, yank with your teeth artisan bread. however, there is a soft spot in my heart for soft rolls (zing!). there's something about that marshmallow-y texture that makes a person want to shove at least five at a time in their oral orifice...then try to whistle. and if they choke, they can always mutter the safe word: whiskey

auditory pairing: tune-yards - jumping jack (i'll need to do 563 sets of 965405943 of these)

soft white dinner rolls
adapted from king arthur flour
yields 16 rolls

-2 1/2tsp instant yeast
-7/8c to 1 1/8c lukewarm water (the lesser amount in humid/summer, greater amt in dry/winter)
-3 c unbleached all-purpose flour
-1 1/4tsp salt
-3 tbsp sugar
-6 tbsp unsalted butter @ room temp
-1/4c nonfat dry milk
-1/2c mashed potato (wrap a potato tightly in plastic wrap, microwave for 3 mins, remove skin, mash into a fine paste [i use mortar and pestle] and measure out 1/2c)

1. combine all ingredients and knead by hand, in mixer (5-7min on on speed 2), or bread machine on dough cycle (if using bread cycle, make sure to add ingredients according to manufacturer's instructions).

2a. if mixing by hand or mixer, lightly oil a bowl and place dough inside, gently cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to double in bulk, about 1hr.

2b. if using bread machine, skip 2a, as the dough will do its first rise in the machine.

3. while the dough is rising, lightly grease a 9x13 pan.

4. gently deflate the dough a little and transfer to a work surface sprayed with a little cooking spray. divide into 16 pieces.

5. shape each piece into a ball by pulling the dough into a small knot at the bottom. place 'knot' side down.

6. here's the kicker, only 15 rolls fit in the pan...so like...play ball with the 16th piece. or put up your nose, or save it in the freezer for a day when youre feeling like wasting all that energy and heat on baking one roll. 

7. after fitting the 15 rolls in the pan, loosely cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. allow them to rise until theyre touching one another and are very puffy (1hr-ish). preheat the oven to 350F during this time.

8. bake rolls 25 mins until theyre golden on the top, and lighter on the butt cracks (teehee!)

9. remove from oven, let cool if possible for a few minutes, then stuff 5 in your mouth and say whiskey.

fyi, these can totally be made bigger for hamburger buns, or tinier for little trolls that haunt your basement.