Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Potato Rolls and Crab Cakes

Photo by shantilly picnic

This is a pretty delayed post but way too good of a meal to keep to myself. Buttery crab cakes on fluffy potato rolls with tartar sauce made from my own homemade dill pickles! Delicious. Every time we make it down to Avalon for a beach weekend we absolutely cannot resist the crab cakes from Back Bay SeafoodThey might be the best on the East Coast. This time we froze a few and brought them back to Brooklyn. 

Photo by shantilly picnic

At the same time, we've been getting inundated with potatoes from our CSA, so potato rolls seemed like a win win. Ever wonder why potato bread is so good? Well, potato starch granules are about five times larger than wheat starch granules which means they can absorb at least five times more water, resulting in that moist crumb that we love!

Photo by shantilly picnic

Potato Rolls (Adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
Makes 12 rolls

Ingredients:
1 lb small red potatoes
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups bread flour (I used AP which worked ok but a high protein flour would have been better)
2 tsp instant yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg

Photo by shantilly picnic

Place potatoes in medium saucepan and add water to just cover (do not salt the water). Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain potatoes but safe the water. Return potatoes to saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, shaking pot occasionally, until any surface moisture has evaporated, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Process potatoes through ricer or mash well with potato masher. Do not remove the peel. Measure one very firmly packed cup potatoes and transfer to bowl. Stir in butter until melted.

Photo by shantilly picnic

Combine flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in bowl of stand mixer. Add warm potato mixture to flour mixture and mix with hands until combined (lumps are ok). Add 1 egg and 5 Tbsp of reserved warm potato water. Mix with dough hook on low speed until dough is soft and slightly sticky, 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will look dry at first. That's ok.
    Photo by shantilly picnic

  1. Shape dough into ball and place in lightly greased container. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature until almost doubled in volume, 30 to 40 minutes. Turn out dough onto counter, dusting with flour only if dough is too sticky to handle comfortably. Pat gently into 8-inch square of even thickness. Using bench knife to cut dough into 12 pieces. 
  2. Photo by shantilly picnic
  3. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, shape each into small boules. Arrange rolls on prepared baking sheet. Brush each round with oil or dust lightly with flour, then cover loosely with plastic and let rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size, 30 to 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. (I egg washed this batch but I didn't really love the way they colored. I prefer a dull potato bun.)
  4. Photo by shantilly picnic
  5. Bake rolls until deep golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cool on wire rack before slicing them open. These were really good, perfect for the crab cake sandwiches, but next time I'd like to try roasting the potatoes rather than boiling. 
Photo by shantilly picnic