Feather Dinner Rolls

The Better Homes and Gardens Golden Treasury says these rolls, light as a feather-bed, were a Sunday dinner staple in the 1930’s.  If you’ve been looking for Grandma’s or Mom’s dinner roll recipe without success, this is it.  It's certainly my favorite plain dinner roll recipe - always good.  Refrigerating the dough while it rises the first time makes it easy to handle when shaping into rolls.
I am giving the original recipe made with leftover mashed potatoes, and my quicker version, with instant potato flakes - I make them both ways.  I do use this recipe for sandwich buns or I cut off enough dough to make 4 rolls for lunch and shape them in knots and bake them on a sheet pan.  I also make these in 2 square or round pans – not necessarily on the same day - I often make half of the recipe right away and leave the remaining dough in the refrigerator to use in a day or two - this recipe is wonderfully versatile.   
When I make these for pot-lucks and reunions, I cool them on a wire rack, then split and butter them and place them back in the pan and take them along.  Folks know that they are homemade, and I never bring any back home.                        
 Feather Rolls
Original Recipe:
  5           cups  flour, all-purpose
  1            package  instant yeast
     1/2    cup  mashed potatoes
     1/3    cup  cooking oil
     1/4    cup  sugar
  1           teaspoon  salt
  1 1/2    cups  warm water --120-125°
My Recipe:
  5           cups  flour, all-purpose -- 20 ounces
  2           teaspoons instant yeast
     1/3   cup  potato flakes
     1/4   cup  sugar
     1/3   cup  cooking oil
  1          teaspoon  salt
     2      Tablespoons  wheat bran or germ -- Optional
15         ounces  water -- 120-125°
  1.  Heat water to 120-125°.  Add to dry ingredients in mixer bowl.  Add liquids and beat on 'stir' until combined. Change to dough hook and knead 4 minutes more on '2'. 
  2. Cover bowl with a cover or plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
  3. Stir down, cover and let rest 10 minutes.  Shape into 18 rolls approx. 2 1/4 oz. and place in greased 9x13” pan.  Preheat oven to 400°.  Let rise, covered, 30 minutes in warm place.  Bake for 16-20 minutes in top part of oven.
  • Can also be made into 3 ¼ ounce hamburger or bratwurst buns - 12 per recipe.
  • The dough can also be shaped into bowknots, cloverleaf rolls or whatever shape you like and baked on a sheet pan.
  • The entire recipe costs me about 98¢, including the wheat bran – or about 65¢ a dozen.
  •  The original recipe added the mashed potatoes with the oil, then the warm water.
  • Try them with strawberry jam, plum jam or Myrna's marmalade.


  1. Mmmmmm!!! Another keeper!

    I'll take a peek at those jam and marmalade recipes, too!

    Thanks, Sue!

  2. Hello, Can the Feather Rolls be made in the dough cycle of a bread maker then baked in the oven?

    1. You bet...I used to do just that when I had a bread maker; actually I only used the dough cycle on it!

  3. I just baked off a batch of these rolls, after letting them sit in the refrigerator for 2 days. They had a great texture and were really yummy, and I had fun practicing my fancy knots. I love that the dough doesn't have to be baked right away! Sometimes I have time to mix up dough, but not enough ambition to bake it right away. I used instant potato flakes, and added 2 T of golden ground flax meal (I don't keep wheat germ or bran), which worked fine.

    I have a question: if I shaped the rolls, put them in the pan, and then stuck them in the refrigerator, how long would I have before I had to bake them? For example could I prepare a pan for baking at 11am, refrigerate them, and then slide them into the oven at 5:30pm? I am curious as to how forgiving that second rise is. I would love to be able to bring a pan, unbaked, to a friend and let her bake it up to go along with that evening's meal so her family could have the joy of hot, homemade rolls right out of the oven.

    Next time I am going to make the 3-1/4 oz rolls and surprise my husband with some homemade hot dog buns. I think I might experiment around with adding some dried herbs as well.

    I am having a blast trying out all these bread recipes! So far, my family's absolute favorite is the Honey Oatmeal bread. And I'd have to agree--that is one incredibly yummy bread. In fact, my family made me promise I would make it again for my next batch.

    Thanks so much!

  4. I am sorry to say I don't have the answer to your question...I have never tried to leave the second rise in the refrigerator.
    If you try this, we would like to know your results.
    Glad you are baking bread with us.


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