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Mom & Aunty Ann’s Kauai-Style Portuguese Sweet Rolls

Ingredients

1 small russet potato
1 1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 envelope (1/4 ounce) dry active yeast
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
3 large eggs
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
2-3 drops yellow food coloring
5-5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
extra softened butter for brushing on rolls after baked

Preparation

Peel potato and cut into cubes. Place in a small saucepan with 1 1/3 cup water. Cover and cook until soft. Drain water and save (should equal 2/3 cup; if some has evaporated, add enough water to potato water to make 2/3 cup). Mash potato and measure out a 1/2 cup. Measure out 1/3 cup lukewarm potato water, mix in sugar and yeast, set aside. Combine remaining 1/3 cup potato water with evaporated milk, salt and butter in a saucepan and scald to melt butter. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat eggs with sugar, lemon extract and food coloring, mixing well. Add 1 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup mashed potatoes. Beat well. Add yeast mixture and continue beating. Add evaporated milk mixture and mix well (note: be sure to cool milk mixture to 120˚F or lower before adding to yeast mixture). Change to a dough hook if desired. On low speed, add remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium and kneaddough until dough pulls away from sides of bowl and clings to dough hook (about 4 to 5 minutes).

Lightly oil hands to remove dough as it may be slightly sticky. Form into a ball. Place dough in a well greased bowl, turn once to coat dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled. Punch down and allow to rise till doubled again. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide dough into thirds. Form each third into 12 rolls (the size of large golf balls). Place 12 rolls in a greased 9-inch pan with rolls just barely touching. Cover lightly with a clean towel. Allow to rise until a slight indentation is left when gently poked with a finger. Bake in a preheated 350˚F oven for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush tops with softened butter. Cool for about 5 minutes then turn out onto a rack to continue cooling. (Rolls may also be formed and baked as individual cocktail-size buns and served with sliced char siu Chinese barbecue pork.) Makes 3 dozen.

This recipe courtesy of Stephen Gomes, Founder and DJ, Hawaii Radio Connection.

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