The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Potato Rosemary Rolls

Potato Rosemary Rolls

potato rosemary rolls

Thanksgiving in the States is coming up soon. These rolls would make a wonderful accompaniment to the banquet table, though they are simple enough that they can go along with any night's dinner. They make amazing hamburger buns too.

Potato Rosemary Rolls Makes 18 small rolls or 12 hamburger sized buns 1 potato, cooked and mashed 1 lb (3 1/2 cups) bread or all-purpose unbleached flour 3/4 - 1 cup water 2 teaspoons instant yeast 2 teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon dried rosemary or 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon ground sage leaves

Cook the potato until soft, either by boiling or baking in the oven or microwave. For this batch I chopped up and boiled the potato. I then reserved a cup of the potato water to add to the loaf, figuring it had additional nutrients and starches that would help my loaf.

Mash the potato. Removing the skin prior to mashing is optional: if you are using tough skinned potatoes like russets I would suggest removing them, but with soft skinned potatoes such as yukon gold or red potatoes I typically leave them on. The chopped up skin add nice color and texture to your rolls.

Combine the flour, mashed potato, yeast, salt, pepper and herbs in a large bowl. Add 3/4 cups water and knead or mix for 5 to 10 minutes, adding more water or flour until a consistency you are comfortable working with is reached. I added close to a full cup of water and ended up with an extremely sticky dough that was difficult to work with. I was only able to shape the rolls by repeatedly dipping my fingers in flour. The end result was wonderful though.

(I encourage amateur bakers to push the limit of what they think they can handle, moisture-wise. More often than not you'll be pleasantly surprised with the results, though you can go too far and end up baking a pancake, which I've done more than once.)

potato rosemary rolls

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a moist towel and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, typically 60 to 90 minutes.

Remove the dough from the bowl, gently degas it, and shape it. For rolls or buns you can weigh them if you like or just eyeball them. I cut racquetball sized chunks of dough (larger than golf balls, smaller than tennis balls) then rolled them into balls in my well-floured hands. I placed them on a baking sheet covered with parchment, placed the entire sheet in a plastic trash bag, and set it aside to rise for approximately an hour again.

While the dough rose, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees.

If you have a spritzer, spray the top of the rolls with water right before placing them in the oven. Place them in the center rack and bake them for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake them for another 10 to 20 minutes, depending on size. My large hamburger bun sized rolls took close to half an hour to bake. You'll know they are done when the bottom of the rolls is solid and slightly crispy. If you have a probe thermometer, check the temperature inside one of the rolls. When the internal temperature is approaching 200 degrees F, they are ready to pull out of the oven.

potato rosemary rolls

potato rosemary rolls

Allow the rolls to cool before serving. They keep very well too, so you could bake them a day or two ahead of time and still serve them for Thanksgiving.

Related Recipe: Kaiser Rolls.


capnmoney's picture

Did you maybe mean 1 teaspoon of salt? I followed this recipe but found it way too salty. Also, I couldn't get that awesome color you have on your rolls. Any suggestions? BTW, love the site.

Floydm's picture

I made them with 1 tablespoon salt. For burger buns that much salt was good, but I agree with you that it was a bit much for the bread just as a roll.

I'm editing the recipe to drop it down to 2 teaspoons salt. I suspect that will be about right, though 1 teaspoon may be adequate.

If you want a darker color, try turning the oven temperature up. I often preheat the oven to my oven's max temp, 550. I leave it up at 550 while I am loading the oven and steaming it. After having the pan in the oven for one or two minutes I drop the temperature to my regular baking temperature, typically in the 375-450 range. The extra heat increases the oven spring and also starts the sugars in the bread caramelizing quicker, which usually leads to a darker roll. I don't recall for sure that I did that for this batch of rolls, but I often do so it is pretty likely.

Glad you like the site, and thank you for the feedback on the recipe.

rhea's picture

I am about to try the rosemary potato rolls and would like to know what the temperature of the water should be. Thanks so much.


uluro's picture


What I do to determine water temperature is to first take the temperature of the combined dry ingredients, then subtract that from 130. The difference is what the water temperature should be. Example: if the dry ingredient temp. is 65 degrees, then the water needs to be 65 degrees.

If you mix the dough by machine, kitchen aide type, the dough needs to be between 75 and 80 degrees before placing in a raising bucket or bowl. I don't grease the bowl or bucket; it's easier for dough to "climb" the sides or bowl or bucket if it isn't greased.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

mij.mac's picture

Uluro, if you are noticing a difference in the height of the dough from the walls of the bowl to the centre of the bowl it's because the dough has passed it's peak and is deflating, you should try to catch it earlier, then it won't make any difference to the height of the dough in the bowl. I don't grease the bowl because I'm lazy and also if I put too much oil on I find it harder to shape the dough.


rhea's picture

Thanks for responding. It was a big help. I have now made the Potato Rosemary rolls twice. We had them first as dinner rolls and the second time as hamburger buns and they were delicious! I used fresh cooked russet potato, along with some potato water, fresh rosemary and a little dried sage for the dinner rolls and reconstituted, dried potato flakes and dried rosemary (no sage) for the hamburger buns (to experiment) and both worked well. I brushed the hamburger buns with melted butter when they came out of the oven. Thanks for your help and for the recipe. I am sure we will enjoy these rolls many times in the future.

Suiseiseki's picture

I'm about to make these because they sound so delicious! However, I noticed that butter is in the list of ingredients but not mentioned anywhere in the instructions. Is it only for greasing or did you omit it by mistake in the 3rd paragraph following the ingredients?

Thank you so much for the recipe and the entire site, your pictures and tips helped me a great deal!

Floydm's picture

I'm pretty sure I mixed a little butter into the dough, just to keep them softer. They'd be fine without it though.

kategill0's picture

I made these on Tuesday night with a large sweet potato that we had sitting around in the kitchen.  Boiled and mashed, it equalled about 1 1/4 cups.  Also, I used 2 cups of whole wheat flour, and 1 cup of bread flour to start, then added bread flour while kneading.  I skipped the butter entirely.  I ended up knotting them into 6 HUGE kaiser rolls... they were gorgeous and absolutely delicious with grilled turkey burgers and all the fixins'.  I highly recommend the sweet potato variation... gorgeous color and great flavor!

amethystrosemaiden's picture

Hi there,

Fabulous recipe & rolls Floyd.  I was very much encouraged by your success & kategill0's sweet pot version.  So...I'd like to attempt to use poolish for my first try. Would it be possible to combine poolish with the sweet potato version?  I live in a very hot & humid Equatorial climate so slow multiple cool rises isn't possible as the dough tends to end up with a horrid beery off odour.

I've come up with this version, would appreciate any comments:


3/4 tsp yeast

1/4 c warm sweet potato liquid

1/2c + 1 tbsp room temp water

1 1/4c AP flour


2 3/4c wholemeal or whole wheat flour

3/4 tsp yeast

1/4 warm sweet pot liquid

3/4 room temp sweet pot liquid

1 c sour cream

3 c Bread Flour

4 tsp salt

2 tbsp butter

2tbsp dried rosemary

2 tsp grd black pepper

2 tsp round sage leaves

I would be most grateful for any helpful tips.  I did however made a very successful Poppy Seed Hot Crossed Buns(photo posted in the gallery) using Floyd's very detailed & informative "Lesson 5, No 7, The Wetter & Better"".  The crumb texture was fluffy soft & had some bits of irregular tiny holes but not as much as I'd expected since it was my first attempt in handling a very wet & slack dough.

maggie664's picture

Made these to-day for the cafe but used olive oil as fat. I used fresh rosemary and a little fresh sage and garlic. We used roast turkey cranberry sauce and brie plus lettuce and cucumber and mayo. The dough wasn't very sticky - I may have used a more floury potato variety. Each roll weighed 140g. I was really pleased with the result. Thanks Floyd. I will try golden kumera (sweet potato) when they come into season soon.

uluro's picture

    The reddish color in the crust of either bread or rolls usually means that too much salt was used. For this recipe, the correct amount of salt should be 1 teaspoon.


CosmicChuck's picture

Yum. I made these rolls yesterday and the results were great enough to warrant my first posting to the Fresh Loaf!

I adapted the recipe to sourdough by fermenting the mashed potato and a bit of potato water with 1 cup of my sourdough starter(Carl Griffiths) overnight. The next morning, I had the most active looking starter I had ever seen (rolling bubbles almost like a very slow boil!) so I added a cup of the flour to the starter in an attempt to push the sour flavor. It doubled in volume after 2 hours! After that I followed the recipe using fresh rosemary and pineapple sage from my backyard, making a very sticky dough and when done was left with amazing rolls that turned out a bit crustier than the pictures above, and had incredible flavor and chewy texture with large holes. They were supposed to be for me to make sandwiches for work this week, but they all got eaten by my housemates and friends last night. Can't wait to experiment with this recipe again!

Thank You!

bwraith's picture

Does anyone know how much water to add to potato flakes to have the same amount of water as there is in peeled, boiled, mashed potatoes. I have a recipe that uses 400 grams of peeled, boiled, mashed potatoes. I want to substitute potato flakes and water. I think I should use less water than for the "mashed potatoes" the flakes would make according to the instructions on the box, since the consistency of just boiled potatoes is drier than you would get after you add millk, butter, etc., to make mashed potatoes that you would serve for dinner.

Thanks, Bill

mariana's picture



100 g of boiled potatoes, cooked without skin,  contain 77 g of water and 23 g of dry matter. Times four will give you the amounts of water and potato flakes to add to your recipe.



bnb's picture


 What size pan would I have to bake in to make a loaf out of this recipe?


Floydm's picture

I'm sure you could use whatever size you have.

Standard sized loaves would probably take around 45-50 minutes to bake at 375.

bnb's picture

I'll try using a 9 x 5.

LisaPA's picture

Rather than chopped herbs. Also brushed them with oil before I put them in the oven. They have a lovely, delicate rosemary scent and flavor.

It's also the first time I've ever made potato bread. They're excellent toasted with butter, but I think they'll make even better sandwiches. Thanks!

vincent's picture

made this today it's perfect and tasty thanks for the recipe my friends like it have,

more recipe to come please



absolutelyeve's picture

I have tried to duplicate a roll I enjoyed at a restaurant.  I also use a recipe calling for potatoes and sometimes herbs.  Recently I have started brushing the rolls with butter and coarse salt right after baking.  However, by the time I serve the rolls the tops appear cloudy and a little shriveled.  What am I doing wrong?  

droidman's picture

I used your recipe for hamburger buns and topped them with grilled juicy lucys. The family loved them. Thanks for the recipe. I think I'm going to make them for Thanksgiving.

fatherjay's picture

Made these this afternoon and they are delicious!  For about the last five minutes of baking time I gave them a quick egg wash, and sprinkled on a little sea salt.  Lovely!

Pepperpot's picture

Hi there,

I am new to the site, found it one day when searching for recipes and this one caught my attention... lol

How many cups of mashed pototo would you recommend to use. Such terms as small, medium or large does not do it for when living in different parts of the world and I remember having a very hard time when first experimented in making noquis a long time ago. Plus, should the mashed pototo be warm, room temperature or cold?

Thank you and love the site!

Floydm's picture

Try half a cup.

Room temperature is ideal, but you can easily adjust the water temperature to compensate (i.e., use slightly warmer water if the spuds are cool, cooler water if the spuds are hot).

Good luck!

Sparkie's picture

How much potato is used? 1 potato is not enough to know since potatoes can be the size of a golfball and the ones used to make boxed dehydrated potatoes are huge way bigger then you'd imagine. The process is vile and the chemicals used to make instant potatoes are nasty. read the ingredients list. So while I will use fresh spuds , how much in ounces of what type. These look yummy enough for Xmas! mmmmmm


Floydm's picture

I don't recall how big the potato I used was.  I would guess between golf ball and tennis ball sized, more like a raquetball. 

Good luck!

Sparkie's picture

I will give these a try I got tons of rosemary, (all dried). I suggest if you are going to use the water put the dried rosemary in the warm potato water as it will extract more of the flavor. If you like, you can screen out the rosemary,if you boiled the herb with the potato. Some people consider the chopped  up herb as a sensorty defect. (not I ) But regardless it will rehydrate the stuff, yielding a nicer flavor. I make foccaccio a lot, the only real good idea regardless or recipe is to rehydrate dried and use the youngest shorted lightest leaf you can find. Here in NYC area  in a mild winter it grows all year, but the over wintered stuff is bitter and nasty, so in spring lop off quite a bit, the new growth is what will be way nicer. If you live say, below NJ, it grows all year, (on coast anyway), and trim back a lot  from thyme to thyme and the younger shoots are nicest.  Let it grow huge and lop off fat twigs as barbeque skewers, you can use them semi dried with the herb on it, just pre poke the meat and for chunks of just about any meat it is pretty nice. lamb is a natural as is chicken. Pork is simply wonderful wedded to rosemary and olive oil and garlic.


Shape these rolls as long hot dog buns do the skewers, pull meat off onto the rolls and hit with Tzatzikki sauce (huh , I can't spell in English so forget Greek)some mint and minced cuke.


these rolls gunna shine through that



in fat grams and calories


Tex8612's picture

I'm a recent retiree and am new to the site, and am also somewhat new to bread baking.  Can I substitute Active Yeast for the Instant Yeast?  The photos are very nice indeed and I'd like to give the recipe a try.  Thanks in advance.

Floydm's picture

Yes, you can.  Just proof the yeast in some warm water first.

Good luck!


embth's picture

I had leftover fried potatoes with onions and added them to this dough with a half teaspoon of dried rosemary.  The rolls had mild onion and rosemary flavor and were a big hit.

orville76's picture

These rolls are is this site!  I have learned more about bread making from you folks this summer than I can even say.  Of course, it helps that I am an unemployed newlywed in a new city right now and I have been making bread about five times a week (I am making Montreal bagels as I type) .  I used more potato than Floyd did in the original recipe (which I found out about in the comments) and so I ended up using less flour than the recipe suggests (since it's just the two of us I almost always halve recipes and I think I used more potato in the half recipe than was used in the entire original).  I used 2/3 Dakota Maid bread flour and 1/3 Gold Medal white whole wheat flour.  They raised beautifully!  I started the oven at 550F convection and dropped it to 340F as soon as they were in...also did two ice cubes in a pan on a lower rack vs. the water spray.  I brushed them with a tiny speck of melted butter when they came out...they are beautiful!  These are destined for the burgers I am grilling outside tomorrow.  Many thanks!

spe1793's picture

Hi Floyd,  I was wondering if you could use instant potatoes for this recipe or only fresh cooked?  Have you tried both ways and if so what was the results?




spe1793's picture

OK folks, since nobody pitched in with a comment to my question I made them anyway using real potatoes and the best I can say is they sucked.  They were gray, dense and very hard and chewy.  They had limited taste and I used fresh rosemary in the first batch and dried in the 2nd one.  Anyone have any ideas what went wrong?  I followed the recipe and got garbage.  Hopefully someone will answer me this time.

KathyF's picture

I have not tried this recipe, but my guess is too much potato. Also, from your original question, I don't see why you can't use instant potato flakes. Just add extra water.