You must probably be wondering what Irish potato rolls are. Well, Irish potato rolls are no different from regular potato rolls except that they originate from Ireland.
But believe me, this is one of the easiest Irish recipes out there.
When I made the Irish potato rolls I didn’t expect them to come out as fluffy and soft as they did. They even beat regular rolls in terms of overall taste and flavor.
These potato dinner rolls are definitely something worth trying. But the downside is that these potato rolls are a side.
This means you will have to eat it with some gravy. Some of the gravies I love trying this with are – Butter chicken, Matar paneer, Tomato gravy, Tomato bisque, Rajma curry. You can add any other curries/gravies you know to the list- anything that is spicy and flavourful goes.
There is one thing you need to take care of. There is a possibility of cracks forming on top of the potato dinner roll while baking- this shows uneven heating of the rolls. So, check if your oven has different temperatures in different areas. If this is not the issue it can also be an issue of the dough being too soft.
Now let’s get into it!
What makes potato bread different?
Potato bread is different from regular bread because of the addition of potatoes. Potato is added to bread for a number of reasons. All these reasons are scientific because cooking is a science after all. Apart from improving the taste and flavor of the bread potatoes serve the following purpose:
Better rising: Potatoes help the dough to rise better. This is because the way that yeast works is that once it comes in contact with water, it gets activated. After getting activated, the yeast needs to ‘feed’ on something. This something is sugar. Yeast can feed on the sugar present in the flour to produce carbon dioxide that then fill up the dough with millions of tiny air bubbles. The role of the potato is to provide sugars too. This gives the yeast more sugar to feed on than when using flour alone. This causes the yeast to rise faster. Albeit we will be keeping the dough to rest for a whole hour while making these Irish potato rolls. You can read all about yeast in this article -> Science of bread.
More moist: Wheat starches don’t hold as much moisture as when wheat is combined with potatoes. And a more moist dough means a softer bread that pulls apart more easily.
Prevents too much gluten: The presence of potato reduces the formation of a large clump of gluten in the baked product, which is also caused by a long kneading time, which stretches the dough more and more. Too much gluten in bread makes it tough and chewy which is undesirable. Thus, potatoes save it from going all hard and tough.
Longer shelf life: The starches in wheat start to crystalize and dry out when kept for a long period of time, in a cool place. The presence of potato starch makes it harder for the wheat starch to crystalize and harden out and thus increasing the shelf life.
Potato bread vs Wheat bread
Now let’s get down to the talk of wheat bread vs potato bread. There are two different variations when we talk about potato bread – either by mixing mashed potatoes with wheat flour, or by mixing small quantities of potato flour with wheat flour, or by entirely using potato flour to make the bread.
Mixing potatoes with wheat flour yields results of the bread being more soft, moist, and having longer shelf life as explained in the previous question. The other kind of potato bread is when a small portion of potato flour is mixed with wheat flour. The amount of potato flour mixed can vary anywhere from 6% to 30%.
According to a journal published in the American Journal of Research by Fan-kui Zeng, Hong Liu, Hui Yu, Jin-chun Cheng, Guo-qiang Gao, Yan Shang & Gang Liu shows the addition of potato flour beyond 30% can cause the bread to become tough and chewy because of the increase in protein weakening. There was also an increase in hardness when compression test was conducted in another journal published by Qian Ju, Yaoxi Li, Huaxing Sun, Jincheng Chen, Yanqiu Yuan, Yayun Hu, Kaori Fujita , Guangzhong Luan which proved that bread with over 50% of potato flour substitution was basically inedible.
So with that kept in mind, the addition of potato flour to wheat flour in a feasible ratio has the following advantages –
Fibre: Potato bread has twice the fibre of wheat bread. A single slice of potato bread has 2 grams of fiber while wheat bread has only 1 gram. This is a big advantage since fiber is really important for your body from a dietary point of view. A high, fiber dense diet is also recommended for weight loss since it can be much more filling. Daily consumption of fiber can also reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Vitamins: Wheat bread has more amount of B vitamins than potato bread. B vitamins have an important role in the body. It keeps up your energy levels and maintains brain functions and cell metabolism.
Minerals: Potato bread contains more phosphorus than wheat bread per slice.
Total fat: While white bread and potato bread have the same amount of fat per slice, whole wheat bread on the other hand has double the amount of fat that potato bread has. So if we put them head on head, potato bread is better for weight loss than whole wheat bread.
Proteins: A single slice of potato bread has 4 grams of protein while a slice of white bread only has 2 grams, with whole wheat bread having 3 grams. Proteins are an essential muscle building compound in the body. Other than that proteins are also good for your bone health and are preferred for weight loss because of their property of making you feel ‘full’, similar to fiber.
Folate: A slice of potato bread supplies 48 grams of folate which is twice the amount found in a slice of white bread. Folate is an essential compound for the body as it is required for the production of red and white blood cells in the bone marrow. Folate is also important during periods of rapid growth like pregnancy, adolescence, and infancy.
Vitamin E: One slice of potato bread provides 0.15 milligrams of Vitamin E compared to the 0.03 milligrams from one slice of white bread. This is a significant increase and of high importance since Vitamin E is needed in the body to support the immune system and help in cell regeneration.
You can read the full nutritional info about potato bread here -> Potato bread.
Irish potato rolls recipe | How to make potato dinner rolls
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 10 grams yeast or 1 tsp
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup mashed potatoes
- 1 nos egg large
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- Mix the instant yeast in ½ cup warm water and set it aside for a minute.
- In a bowl mix 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, salt, mashed potatoes, milk, butter, and eggs, either with your hand or with a stand mixer.
- Now add 2 more cups of flour while mixing continuously. It'll start to form a dough.
- Add the last cup of flour, and any extra if required to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Yes, the dough will be slightly sticky.
- Knead the dough for 5 minutes and then cover and let it rise for an hour. The dough should now be double in size.
- Divide the dough into 8-12 small pieces depending on your size preference.
- Roll each piece into a ball and place them in an oven tin slightly apart. Make sure the oven tin is buttered at the bottom.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350° F for 20-25 minutes until the rolls become slightly golden on top. Apply some butter on top and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Serve your Irish potato rolls or dinner rolls with gravy. I personally love this combo! Or you can just eat it whole.
- The original recipe demands more sugar but I felt it to be a little too sweet. You can add sugar according to your preference.
- Add more butter to get a smoother, softer dough.