This is one of our favorite basic roll recipes. They always turn out and are so light and tender.
I usually make them when I make soup, but Adam and Grace love to make little sandwiches out of them for lunches with PB&Honey.
Makes 24 rolls
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening (I always have butter-flavored Crisco, so that's what I use)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup mashed potato*
Combine 2 cups of the flour and yeast in mixer bowl. Heat and stir milk, water, sugar, shortening, and salt until just warm (120 - 130 degrees) and shortening almost completely melts and sugar has dissolved. Add to flour mixture along with egg and mashed potato. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as possible.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes).** Shape into ball. Place into a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover; let rise in warm place until double (about 1 hour).
Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Divide each portion of dough into 12 pieces. Gently pull each piece into a ball, tucking edges under to make smooth tops. Place onto prepared baking sheet. Cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly double (35 to 45 minutes).
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove immediately from baking sheet, and cool completely on wire racks.
* Peel and quarter 1 medium potato. Cook in a small amount of boiling water until fork-tender. Drain. Mash, and measure out 1/2 cup.
** I just change my beater out for the dough hook on my mixer, instead of kneading by hand.