About a year ago, Maria sent Sophie and me a recipe she developed for buttermilk potato cinnamon rolls with the caption: "I created this recipe and I think they were bomb diggity!"
I love potato in breads. It adds this soft, fluffy dimension. The buttermilk's tang keeps this cinnamon roll recipe from veering too sickly sweet. Maria's original recipe keeps the butter at a neat stick, with 6 tablespoons in the dough, a tablespoon in the filling, and a tablespoon in the frosting. I found I wanted more oomph in my filling, so I bumped up the butter in the filling, cut it out of the frosting, and swapped the white sugar for more brown sugar--yielding a stickier swirl. You'll find both options in the recipe below.
Maria's original recipe was pretty barebones, since she dashed it off in a moment of inspiration in the kitchen. After some tinkering, I think I've been able to fill in all the blanks. For instance, I wasn't sure what sort of pan to use: a cookie sheet or 13x9-inch cake pan. After trying both ways, here's the verdict: If you want neat little independent rolls, with crustier edges, bake on the cookie sheet (pictured above). If you want super soft, super fluffy, super tall pull-apart rolls, bake in the 13x9-inch baking pan (pictured below). IMHO, the 13x9 is the way to go.
Buttermilk Potato Cinnamon Rolls
[For the Dough]
- 1/2 cup mashed potato, warm or at room-temperature (NOT cold)
- 6 tablespoons (3 oz) butter, melted and cooled
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
[For the Filling]*
- 4 tablespoons (2 oz) butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
[For the Frosting]
- 3 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Make the dough. In a large mixing bowl, stir together mashed potato and butter. Add sugar and salt and stir.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk and eggs. Whisk in yeast. Add wet ingredients to potato mixture and stir until combined.
- Add 4 cups of flour and knead until elastic and smooth, adding additional flour by the tablespoon only as needed, up to 1/2 cup more. Don't add more flour than you need! Only add flour if it's too sticky to manage. The dough should be tacky and soft. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1.5-2 hours. (I like to put my dough in the oven with the light on.)
- Make the filling. In a small bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla.
- Shape the dough. Dump the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Pat it down and flatten out into a rough rectangle. (If making these the night before, you can flatten dough on a greased cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge overnight. Take them out the next morning and continue on.)
- With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about the size of a cookie sheet. Spread the filling out over the rolled dough. Starting with the longest edge further from you, begin rolling the dough so that it forms a long log. With a sharp knife, cut the log into 12 slices.
- Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking pan. Place the dough slices in the prepared pan, cut side up. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until puffy, about 30-60 minutes (depending on whether the dough is cold from overnight, or the temperature of the room).
- Bake. Midway through the second rise, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the rolls until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Make the frosting. While the rolls are baking, whisk together cream cheese, powdered sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla. When the rolls come out of the oven, frost them. Enjoy!
*Maria's original filling: decrease butter to 1 tablespoon, and use half white and half brown sugar (so, 1/4 cup of each).