Bread Loaves: Grease bottom and sides of 9x5-inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray. On lightly floured surface, roll half of dough into 18x9-inch rectangle. Roll up dough, beginning at 9-inch side. Press with thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Pinch each end of roll to seal. Fold ends under loaf. Place loaf, seam side down, in pan. Brush with softened butter. Cover and let rise in warm place about 2 hours or until dough has doubled in size. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.) Heat oven to 375°F. Place pan on low oven rack so top of pan is in center of oven. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until loaf is deep golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan to wire rack. Brush with softened butter; cool. Makes 1 loaf (16 slices).
Cloverleaf Rolls: Grease bottoms and sides of 8 to 10 regular-size muffin cups with shortening or cooking spray. Shape one-fourth of dough into 2-inch balls. Place 1 ball in each muffin cup. With kitchen scissors, snip each ball completely in half, then into fourths. Brush with softened butter. Cover and let rise in warm place about 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size. Heat oven to 400ºF. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 8 to 10 rolls.
Why it Works: Rising with Potatoes
Adding mashed potatoes to yeast dough may seem unusual, but it does more than add flavor. Cooked potatoes are made up of mostly starch. This starch readily converts to sugar in the dough, which is hungrily eaten by the yeast. With this “jump start,” the yeast alters the flavor of the bread. In addition, the extra potato starch in the bread holds moisture longer than bread made without potatoes. Bread made with mashed potatoes, then, last longer before going stale.