12 Days of Christmas Recipe Contest Winner – Grandma McNamara’s Potato Rolls

In honor of the release of our newest cookbook, 12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters’ Stuff, we hosted a recipe contest to find YOUR favorite holiday recipes!  After a lot of baking, cooking and sampling we have chosen 12 of our reader’s favorite recipes!  Thanks to everyone who participated!

Today we are featuring Grandma McNamara’s Potato Rolls submitted by Donna Bailey!

These rolls go back to the Irish heritage in her family.  Her great grandmother was known for her baking and always had honey (in the comb!) on her table, which meant fresh rolls with butter and honey were a staple during the holidays!  Donna’s family carries on this tradition by always serving these potato rolls at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  These rolls taste absolutely amazing and are so light and fluffy!  You are going to love them!

Serves: 16

Grandma McNamara's Potato Rolls

These rolls are a family favorite and are perfectly light and fluffy!

2 hrPrep Time

12 minCook Time

2 hr, 12 Total Time

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  • 1 large russet potato (big enough to make 1/2 cup mashed potato), peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup reserved potato water, luke warm with 1 teaspoon sugar added to it
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup bread flour


  1. Boil potato until tender. Drain cooking water, reserving 1/4 cup for use in the rolls. Finely mash the potato and measure out 1/2 cup. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together mashed potato, butter, sugar, honey salt and egg with paddle attachment. Mix together on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  3. Combine yeast, warm milk and potato water and pour into mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until incorporated.
  4. Gradually add flours, about a 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead on low speed for 5 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to achieve a soft dough that is slightly tacky but not sticky.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 60-90 minutes.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and punch it down. Separate into 16 equal pieces and shape into rolls.
  7. Place rolls on prepared baking sheet, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Sprinkle the rolls with a dusting of flour. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise again until the rolls have grown into each other, about 30-45 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  9. Bake rolls for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.



209 cal


1 g


42 g


6 g
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6 Responses to “12 Days of Christmas Recipe Contest Winner – Grandma McNamara’s Potato Rolls”

  1. When using instant yeast, there's no need to do that first rise prior to shaping the rolls. I much prefer to use regular yeast, though, and let my dough do a total of three rises - two in the bowl and then another one after shaping. It makes for super soft, fluffy bread that has won me "Best of Show" ribbons at the fair! When you mix the yeast with the liquids, make sure the milk and potato water are approximately 100-110 degrees F. Any cooler and the yeast will be really sluggish, but any hotter and you risk killing the yeast. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, or until it looks foamy on top, before adding it to your mixer.
  2. This is by far the best potato roll recipe EVER! Tastes just like my Grandmother's which the recipe was lost and now I feel it's been found. Certainly worth the time involved. They are flaky, delicious, NO yeasty flavor, just PERFECT in every way. Thank you for sharing this marvelous heirloom recipe.

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