Like many an accomplished hostess in the South, Miss Lewis was a dab hand at making yeast rolls and always generously anointed them with butter before putting them in the oven. Dinner rolls should be brought to the table hot, so if you make them early in the day, you will want to reheat them gently. (Leftovers are great for breakfast the next morning, split, buttered, and served with homemade strawberry or fig preserves.) Mashed potato is a traditional addition to a yeast dough like this one; it helps the rising and also contributes to its tenderness. These rolls have outstanding flavor and are so light and fluffy they almost levitate.
Generously cover potato with cold water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until very tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid, then drain potato well.
Meanwhile, melt 2 1/2 tablespoons butter.
Mash hot potato in a large bowl with a fork. Stir in milk, salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 2 tablespoons melted butter (mixture will be lumpy).
Cool 1/2 cup cooking liquid to warm (105 to 115F). Stir in yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, Start over with new yeast and remaining cooking liquid.)
Stir yeast mixture into potato mixture, then stir in flour with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.
Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, dusting surface and hands with just enough flour to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (dough will be slightly sticky).
Brush a large bowl with some of remaining melted butter, then turn dough in bowl to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise, chilled, 8 to 12 hours.
Punch down dough (do not knead), then halve. Roll each half into a 12-inch-long log on a very lightly floured surface with lightly floured hands. Cut each log into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a ball. Arrange evenly spaced in 6 rows of 4 (less than 1/2 inch apart) in a buttered 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan. Cover pan with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth).
Let rolls rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled (they will fill pan), 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375F with rack in middle.
Melt remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter.
Brush top of rolls with melted butter and bake until golden-brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Loosen edges with a sharp knife, then transfer rolls to a rack and cool slightly.
Rolls are best the day they''re baked but can be frozen, wrapped well, up to 1 month. Thaw, then reheat, uncovered, on a baking sheet in a 350?F oven, 5 to 10 minutes.
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|Serving Size: 1 Dozen (301g)|
|Recipe Makes: 2|
|Calories from Fat: 226 (28%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 25.1g||33 %|
|Saturated Fat 15.1g||76 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 6.3g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 1.5g|
|Cholesterol 62.8mg||19 %|
|Sodium 1606.5mg||55 %|
|Potassium 724.2mg||19 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 130.9g||38 %|
|Dietary Fiber 5.9g||24 %|
|Sugars, other 125g|
|Protein 17g||24 %|
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Calories per serving: 816
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