Delicious Dinner Rolls & Cinnamon Rolls
1 1/2 cups warm water (100-100 degrees)
1 TBSP yeast
1 cup instant mashed potatoes (already made up)
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP salt
5 1/2 cups flour
First I make my mashed potatoes and put them aside to cool a little.
Combine warm water with yeast and let rise. (Sometimes adding a little bit of sugar...like a tsp... to the yeast/water mixture helps it rise better.)
In electric mixer (with a bread attachment if you have it...but I don't. I just use the triangle shaped attachment. Just don't use the regular one you would use for making cakes and cookies etc.) Combine mashed potatoes, shortening, sugar, salt & eggs. Add risen yeast mixture.
Slowly add flour, making sure not to add too much. You want it to still be slightly sticky. More flour can be added later when you roll the rolls out but you can't take it out if you've added too much.
Cover dough with a dishcloth and let it rise for about an hour until it's doubled in size. (This depends on how warm your kitchen is. Mine was really cold yesterday when I made them and so I actually put a little space heater in front of them to move things along.) Separate your dough in half and then roll them out into a circle (it's ok if it's not a perfect circle) and spread melted butter over the top. Use a pizza cutter to cut them like you would a pizza and roll crescent style. I like to make pretty thin slices for smaller rolls. Let them rise another hour on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-20 minutes (depending on ovens...my old gas stove only took about 12 minutes but my electric takes about 20.) They are done when the tops are turning slightly golden. Sometimes before I bake them I spread a little more melted butter on the top. Yummy!
If you want to freeze these rolls and bake them another time it is super easy and the rolls turn out great. Simply go through all of the steps until you would let them rise the 2nd time. After you roll them out and shape them simply freeze them on a cookie sheet. Once they are frozen you can put them all in a freezer safe baggie. When you want to cook them simply grease your cooking pan and then pull out as many rolls as you want. Let them rise 3-4 hours (depending on how warm the area where you are warming them up.) Bake as normal.
For Cinnamon Rolls:
When you roll them out roll them more into a rectangular shape. Add the melted butter and then add a combination of sugar & cinnamon which is already mixed together. Roll the entire thing up like a long snake. Use a long piece of thread to cut the cinnamon rolls. Place it under the roll where you want to cut and then bring the thread over the top and switch sides. It will slice right through the dough cleanly.
Let them rise on a greased cookie sheet for about an hour.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. When they have cooled frost with frosting. Delicious!!