Recipe: Potato Burger Buns

Based on a recipe from July 2012 Cook's Illustrated and prepared for dinner on Sunday, July 22, 2012

Makes 9 buns.


1 pound russet potatoes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ⅓ ounces (2 ¼ cups) bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs


  1. Combine flour, salt, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, a hand whisk works well for this.
  2. Lightly beat one egg in a small bowl with a pinch of salt and set aside.
  3. Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Cook the potatoes in unsalted water until tender, 8-10 minutes.
  5. Drain the potatoes, retaining 5 Tablespoons of the potato water. 
  6. Return the pan of potatoes to the saucepan and heat them gently to remove any surface moisture.
  7. Mash the potatoes.
  8. Measure 1 firmly-packed cup of mashed potatoes, transfer to a bowl, and stir in butter. Do what you wish with the leftover potatoes.
  9. Add mashed potatoes to the flour mixture.
  10. Combine the potatoes and flour mixture with your hands, large lumps are OK.
  11. Add the potato water and 1 egg to the flour mixture and mix on low speed using the dough hook for 8-10 minutes. The dough will be soft and slightly sticky.
  12. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
  13. Turn the dough onto a work surface; dust with flour only if the dough is too sticky to work.
  14. Pat the dough into an 8″ square.
  15. Cut the square into 9 pieces and cover it loosely with plastic.
  16. Gently roll each of the 9 pieces into a ball by cupping it with one hand and rolling it on the work surface.
  17. Allow the covered balls to rest for 15 minutes.
  18. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  19. Gently press each dough ball into a 3½″ disk and place on the parchment.
  20. Place oven racks in upper middle and lower middle positions and heat oven to 425°.
  21. Cover the disks with plastic and let rise until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
  22. Gently brush the risen rolls with the egg wash and bake 15-18 minutes until golden brown. About half way through rotate the baking sheets and switch shelves.
  23. Cool on wire racks.
Mash 1 pound russet potatoes.

Add 1 cup of mashed potatoes to a mixture of flour, salt, sugar, and yeast.

Add one egg and 5 tablespoons of reserved potato water then mix with the dough hook.

Form the slightly sticky dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowel.

Let it rise until doubled.

Pat the dough into an 8″ square.

Divide the dough into 9 pieces and roll each into a ball.

After the dough balls rest press them into 3½ disks on parchment lined baking sheets.

Let the disks rise until doubled, gently brush with egg wash, and bake.

Cool the golden brown buns on a wire rack.

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