These gooey, soft cinnamon rolls have a secret.
Hidden inside is a good helping of mashed potatoes. Why you asked? Because potatoes
have magical powers baked goods making extra tender and moist without changing the flavor.
This recipe for potato cinnamon rolls will help you unlock the secret to the most delicious
cinnamon rolls you’ll ever taste. Let’s start by preparing the potato for this recipe. Prick
a 10-ounce unpeeled potato all over with a fork. Russets a good choice because of their
high-starch content. Place the potato in the microwave and cook it on high until it’s tender
about 5 to 7 minutes. Once it’s cool enough to handle, cut the potato in half lengthwise
and scoop out the pulp into a small bowl. Potato starch provides excellent structure
to the dough and holds more moisture than wheat flour, but lacks the gluten that can
make baked good stuff. That’s what makes these rolls so light, tall and tender. Discard the
potato skin, and using a potato masher or electric mixer on low speed, mash the pulp
into its smooth and lump free. You can also use a potato ricer here if you have one. Set
the mash potato aside for now. Next, place 1-1/2 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl
and add 1 package of active dry yeast. Whisk the mixture together and set it aside. Pour
1 cup of milk into a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add 1 cup of the mashed cooked
potato, a third of a cup of butter, a third of a cup of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon
of salt. Stir the mixture until it’s just warm between 120 and 130 degrees and the butter
almost melts. The temperature is key in order to activate the yeast. Pour the milk mixture
into the flour and yeast. Add 2 eggs and beat the dough with an electric mixture on low
to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl constantly. Increase the
speed to high and continue mixing for 3 more minutes. You’ll need to add additional flour
to the dough between 2 and 3 quarters to 3 in a quarter cups. Use a wooden spoon to stir
in as much of the remaining flour as possible. Use some of the additional flour to lightly
flour your work surface. Turn the dough out. Begin kneading it. Start with the minimum
amount of flour and working the additional flour while kneading adding enough of the
remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that’s smooth and elastic. Use the heel
of your hands to push the dough away, then pull the edges in. Rotate the dough and push
it away again. Continue kneading like this for 3 to 5 minutes until the dough is smooth
and elastic like this. Shake the dough into a bowl. Lightly grease a large bowl. Place
the dough inside and turn it once to grease the entire surface. Cover the bowl with a
damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size about 45 to 60 minutes.
Next, punch the dough down. That part is always fun and turn it out on to a lightly floured
work surface. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile,
lightly grease that 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan and set it aside while you prepare the
filling. Place a half cup of packed brown sugar into a small bowl and add 1 tablespoon
of cinnamon. Stir the filling and set it aside using a rolling pin. Roll the dough out to
an 18 x 12 inch rectangle. Spread a quarter cup of softened butter evenly over the dough.
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top leaving 1 inch unfilled along one of the longest sides.
Starting with filled long side, begin slowly rolling up the dough. Don’t worry, the dough
is pretty forgiving. Pinch the dough at the end to seal the seams. Now, using the sharp
knife, slice the roll into 12 equal pieces about 1-1/2 inches thick. Arrange the sliced
rolls in a prepared baking pan. Cover it with a damp cloth and allow the dough to rise in
a warm place until it’s minimally doubled in size about 30 minutes. First, preheat your
oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls until they’re golden brown about 25 to 30 minutes.
You’ll be amazed how good they smell, but you can’t have them yet. Let them cool in
the pan. Set on the wire rack for 10 minutes while you prepare the icing. Place 1-1/2 cups
of powdered sugar into a small bowl and add half a teaspoon of vanilla. Whisking just
enough milk to reach drizzling consistency about 4 to 6 teaspoons. Transfer the rolls
from the pan to a serving tray and use a spoon to drizzle the icing over the top and they’re
ready to eat. Well worth the effort. Make sure you serve them warm, which shouldn’t
be a problem. They have a way of disappearing fast.