I believe a lot of discoveries are made by accident or discovered by doing someting different. At some point in time someone learned that potatoes added to the dough for rolls and doughtnuts created an additional softness in the finished product. I suspect some cook either used water that had potatoes cooked in it to make bread (hey if your have walk to a water source you make do or had extra potatoes). Now some bakers make more mashed potatoes than needed for a meal to make some “planned” leftovers. Yummy! If you do not have mashed potatoes I have used reconstituted instant mashed potatoes with great results. I do not like instant mashed potatoes for mashed potaotes and gravy but I have a small box for baking and use as a thickener. Take 1/2 cup of instant potatoes and add 1/2 cup warm water and via you have mashed potatoes for bread. You can add more to make it thicker if needed.
1 cup sugar
1 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup lard or shortening
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2- 2 packs yeast
1 cup warm water
5 cups flour (if you use all-purpose I suggest adding a tablespoon of gluten)
Mix together the sugar, potatoes. lard, eggs and salt. Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup warm water; then add that to the above mixture.
Stir in about 3 cups of flour. Add the remaining 2 cups flour while kneading. Knead until the dough is no longer sticky but moist.
Let rise until doubled.
Roll out dough into a 3/4″ – 1″ thickness. Cut into bun shapes with a jar or doughnut cutter and put on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Let them rise until puffy but not doubled.
Brush with milk. Bake a 325 degrees F until lighly golden brown.
Makes 3 dozen
Roll out dough to a 1/2″ thickness. Cut out with a doughtnut cutter. Then place on clean towels laid over cookie sheets or boards. Let rise until almost double. Then fry in fat, heat to 350 dress F, about 4 inches deep. Keep fat at that temperature throughout frying. Turn doughnuts once while frying. When they turn golden brown take out and drain.
Glaze for doughnuts
1 pound 10x sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon soft butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat together just until butter is melted and milk is warm. Glaze doughnuts while still hot.