Beverly Brown’s Potato Rolls

Howard Hanna

The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange, Kansas City, MO

Howard Hanna says that many of his favorite dishes from around the world originated with grandmothers cooking frugally—and the chef makes good on his word with this dish, which hasn’t left his restaurant’s menu since its first appearance. These soft, fluffy, and subtly sweet rolls come courtesy of Hanna’s sous chef Kara Anderson, who learned to make them at the knee of her grandmother, Ms. Beverly Brown herself. Instead of suffering through gummy rewarmed mashed potatoes, use your leftovers to make these irresistible rolls that have both the grandma and restaurant kitchen seal of approval.


  • 4 cups plus 1 tablespoon whole milk, divided
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 2 sticks butter, plus more for brushing on after baking
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons yeast
  • 8 cups bread flour, divided
  • 5 eggs, divided
  • Fleur de sel to taste


Combine the milk, mashed potatoes, butter, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Heat on low heat until the butter has melted, whisking until the mixture is smooth, about 10 minutes—whisking constantly if butter is cold. Let cool about 1 hour, to room temperature.

In a small bowl, combine the yeast with 1 cup of the flour. Add the flour and yeast to the cooled milk mixture. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Add 2 more cups of flour and mix on medium speed. When the flour is incorporated, add eggs all at once, followed by the remaining flour. Mix until a dough ball has formed. Continue mixing until the dough is smooth, soft, and slightly sticky, about 10 minutes. Transfer the dough ball to a buttered bowl and cover with a slightly damp towel. Place the bowl in a warm part of your kitchen and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

To shape the rolls, first cover your hands in flour. Portion the dough into 2-ounce pieces, shape the rolls by rolling them in your hands, and transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches from one another. You should have 30 rolls, which will fit neatly on a large baking sheet arranged into 5 rows, or if you are using smaller baking sheets, you can separate onto two sheets. Allow the dough to rise again for about 30 minutes. They should increase in size until they are almost touching each other.

While the rolls are proofing, preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk the last egg with 1 tablespoon milk and brush the rolls with the egg wash. Transfer to the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. The rolls should have fused together to keep the sides lighter in color and super soft while the tops are beautifully golden. Brush generously with melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and eat while they are hot.


From Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food by The James Beard Foundation/Rizzoli Publishing.


Approximately 36 large dinner rolls

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