For the past few months, I have been on a bread baking spree converting a few bread recipes to include mashed potatoes as an additive. This walnut roll’s original recipe is from a Japanese baker/author Backe Akiko, whose backyard garage cafe I really envy. Her recipes requires only basic ingredients, but I wish they have a more “squishable” bite.
Enter the mashed potatoes.
I halved the original recipe, tweaked the flour and water amount with added potato and the end result is a softer bun. As the dough is quite wet, I suspect I might have used easily another 2-3 grams of butter when oiling my hands and work top to make the handling of the dough easier without sticking.
I served them with Japanese curry for breakfast and thought they made a perfect match, although the bread rolls can also be great on their own too, or simply add a spread of butter for a quick on the go snack.
MINI WALNUT BREAD ROLLS
largely adapted from Backe's book here 60g mashed potatoes** 100g bread flour 1/2 tablespoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon instant yeast 40g water*** 2g chilled butter 25g walnuts, chopped
** Potatoes are boiled, mashed and cooled to room temperature before use.
*** You may like to use the starchy water left behind from boiling the potatoes with, cooled to room temperature.
In a mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast with a hand whisk to mix well the dry ingredients together. Add mashed potatoes, and start the mixer running with a dough hook on the lowest speed.
Slowly drizzle the cooled potato water into the mixture with a pouring cup, or spoon by spoon, and when the mixture gathers into a ball, stop adding water. As the quantity of ingredient is really quite small for the dough hook to reach in the big mixer bowl, halfway through the liquid addition, it will be a good idea to stop the mixer and use a spoon to manually incorporate the wet and dry ingredients together, otherwise you may end up adding too much water. Add butter and knead the dough till window pane stage.
Pour all the 25g chopped walnuts into the mixer to incorporate the nuts into the dough. The dough will be wet and sticky, but still manageable with oiled hands/fingers. Stop the mixer, and place dough in a greased bowl for its first proof, around 45 minutes.
The dough would have risen to about twice its original size after 45 minutes, punch down the dough to deflate it, and transfer the dough to a clean work top. Grease the work top if the dough is too sticky. Divide the dough into 3 portions, roughly roll them into balls, place on work top, cover and let the dough relax for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, deflate to squeeze out any air bubbles trapped in the dough balls, and then shape them into balls again, and arrange them in a greased 8″x3.5″x3″ rectangular cake tin. Let it go through its final proof before baking, covered and placed in a draft free place, around 45 minutes.
When ready to bake, make sure that the oven has been preheated to 190C.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, till the bread are golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool on rack before serving. If you want a soft crust, brush melted butter over the bread now while they are fresh hot out of the oven.
If not eaten immediately, store in an airtight container to keep the bread rolls soft after they have cooled down.