Amish Dinner Rolls

This recipe was inspired by one in a small handwritten Amish cookbook; thus its name. And my, oh my, are these rolls good! Dense yet still tender, moist but not at all heavy, these are the quintessential soft dinner roll. Mashed potato gives them both their soft texture, and staying power: they'll remain moist and fresh-tasting at room temperature for several days, meaning they're a good candidate for make-ahead.

Prep
15 mins
Bake
20 to 25 mins
Total
3 hrs 35 mins
Yield
16 to 24 rolls
Amish Dinner Rolls

Instructions

  1. To make the dough: Mix and knead all of the ingredients together — by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a smooth, soft dough.

  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise until it's doubled in bulk, about 90 minutes. If you're using a bread machine, allow the machine to complete its cycle, then leave the dough in the machine until it's doubled in bulk, perhaps an additional 30 minutes or so.

  3. Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 16 large balls, or 24 smaller balls. Round each ball into a smooth roll.

  4. Place the rolls in a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan. Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let them rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until they're quite puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  5. Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until they're golden brown and feel set. Remove them from the oven, and turn them out of the pan onto a rack. Brush with melted butter, if desired.

  6. Serve rolls warm, or at room temperature. Store rolls, well wrapped in plastic, for several days at room temperature; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • These rolls have the characteristic golden brown, rounded, smooth top of a classic dinner roll; we like to bake them rather tightly spaced, in a 9" x 13" pan, so that they crowd each other and become pull-apart rolls, with unbrowned sides, as they're baking. For round rolls that are browned all over, place them in a larger pan, farther apart, so that they won't touch one another while they're baking.