Homegrown in the Ozarks: Mountain Meals and Memories, 2007, by Rolland Love and Mary-Lane Kamberg (Click for link to Amazon listing)
Looking for a fast, easy dinner bread recipe yesterday to go with our beans, I grabbed this newly purchased cookbook and gave the Mashed Potato Rolls a whirl. I'll definitely be adding these to my repertoire. They went together quickly, for bread, were a fast rise, and because of the high potato and fat ratio, had a solid dense crumb, almost similar to a corn muffin. In fact, I crumbled half a roll up into my beans and felt almost like I'd made cornbread.
The cookbook itself is a soft back treasure for those of us who grew up in these "mountains", filled with uncomplicated (my hand is heavier when it comes to spices) recipes from my youth that I haven't thought about much since my youth, to be honest. There are old-fashioned favorites (not always my personal favorites but I remember these being around when I was a kid) like gooseberry pie, persimmon bread, cornbread, catfish, bass, venison, rabbit, and even squirrel. Along with the "wilder" stuff, there are also great recipes for pork chops with mustard sauce, several breads and cornbreads, many vegetable dishes that showcase the fields and woods of this area, and desserts of all kinds, including a black walnut pie.
Reading a lot of the recipes reminds me so much of being a kid growing up in small rural town where we often scavenged the woods around us for trashbags or pillow cases full of black walnuts, persimmons, morel mushrooms, gooseberries, etc. for Mom, who repaid us by working up our treasures into delicious eats. The one thing I miss the most are persimmons, a wild version much smaller and sweeter than the $3/each persimmons I occasionally see at the grocery. I ate buckets full of those as a kid and then whatever was leftover got made into bread.
Back to the bread recipe...
Mashed Potato Rolls
- 1 cup milk
- 2/3 cup shortening (personal note about shortening--I don't even keep it in the house due to health concerns so I substituted expeller pressed canola oil--Glenna)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup prepared mashed potatoes (leftovers)
- 1/2 cup sugar (I used half of this--Glenna))
- 1 1/2 tsps salt
- 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided for use
- 1 pkg dry yeast (double this for a faster rise--Glenna)
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- Additional shortening as needed (I used melted butterr and a pastry brush to just brush the tops before baking--Glenna)
1. Scald milk by heating it in a saucepan to just under the boiling point until a skin forms on the surface. Remove from heat and cool. In a separate small mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Set aside.
2. Place the shortening in a large, greased mixing bowl. Pour in the cooled milk. Stir in mashed potatoes, sugar, salt, and eggs. When well blended, stir in 3 cups of the flour until well moistened. (I used my Kitchen-Aid mixer for all mixing and most of the kneading--Glenna)
3. In a separate small bowl, dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water. Stir into the dough. Add remianing 3 cups of flour. Blend well.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl. Knead for 10 minutes. Grease the bowl again. Place the dough back in the bowl. Set aside for 1 hour. When the dough has risen, use a rolling pin to roll it out on a breadboard. Cut into circles with a biscuit cutter or an inverted drinking glass dusted with flour, or roll into balls. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
5. Over low heat, melt enough shortening to dip the rolls. Dip each roll in the melted shortening and place on a cookie sheet. (As noted in the ingredient list, I simply brushed the tops with melted butter). Set aside for 1 hour until doubled in size. Bake 15-20 minutes.