Thanksgiving Love Feast Rolls

Each year I celebrate Thanksgiving with a group of college friends, most of whom have families far away in the Midwest. We’ve been getting together for so many years that, by now, we all have our own traditional dishes that we bring to the potluck. I’m on rolls. Depending on how much time I have, this could mean a few loaves of French bread or, like this year, a more complicated, rich dinner roll. My mom makes these love feast rolls for special occasions, and I followed her recipe.

Love Feast Rolls
(makes 12-20 depending on the size of the rolls)
1 large potato, peeled
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c butter/margarine, cut up
5 1/2-6 c all purpose flour
2 pkg active dry yeast
2 eggs
1 tsp finely shredded orange peel
1 beaten egg

kneading love feast rolls
kneading love feast rolls

I add a Tbs. of shredded orange peel instead of the tsp. because I really like citrus zest. Then its kneading and some more kneading.
Cook potato in boiling water for 30-40 minutes until tender. Do not drain. Mash potato in liquid; measure and add water to equal 1 3/4 c. Add sugar, butter and 1 tsp salt. Heat until just warm. In a mixer bowl combine 2 c flour and the yeast. Stir in potato mixture; add the 2 eggs. Beat on low speed for 1/2 minute. scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes on high. Using a spoon, stir in as much remaining flour as you can. Stir in orange peel. On lightly floured surface, knead in enough of remaining flour to make moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. (6-8 minutes). Shape into ball in greased bowl. Turn once. Let raise until double (about one hour). Punch down. Divide in half–divide each half into at least 6 and roll into balls.(depends how big you want the rolls to be). Place on greased baking sheet. Cut M with shears on top. Rise until doubled. Mix beaten egg and water. Brush on top. Bake 375 degrees 17-20 minutes or until light golden.
love feast rolls
love feast rolls

Because they are brushed with beaten egg, the color of the rolls varies widely depending on which oven rack you use. I also found out, the hard way, that they brown very quickly on the bottom. I had best results with an air insulated baking sheet, using the upper third of the oven, and by reducing the cooking time to 15 minutes. These rolls take a bit longer, because they raise twice, but are delicious, surprisingly light, and have a brioche-like richness without overwhelming your meals other flavors.

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