Chestnuts, Potatoes & Sourdough

Post-holiday January has become les delicieux petites restes time for us – it probably always was, but now it has a French name. That French phase literally translates as delicious small remains. Leftovers is what it really means in English. This is rather prosaic (a fancy way of saying dull) which is why I prefer the cachet of the French. It has a much more positive – and interesting – connotation.

This year, in addition to the turkey (turkey curry, turkey pie and turkey soup) we had mounds of mashed potatoes which had been mixed with savoury chestnut pureé – a fabulous combination of 2/3 potatoes to 1/3 chestnut. We, of course, made too much. So what to do with leftovers (I mean, delicious small remains)?

First, I made Chestnut Tattie Scones: 450g mash to 150g flour with a pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons of baking powder added. A few chopped pieces of parsley made it into the dough as well. Mix it up just until it is no longer sticky. Do not over mix or the dough (and the resulting scone) will become tough. Place the dough on a floured surface (half at a time) and roll out to about 1.5cm thick; cut into triangles and place on a lightly greased griddle for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. They were excellent with fried eggs and rashers of bacon.

The the pièce de résistance of les delicieux petites restes, however, was the soft sourdough rolls.

Soft Sourdough Potato & Chestnut Pull Apart Rolls
Based on an Amish soft potato dinner roll. Can simply be made with standard mashed potatoes.

Makes 16 rolls

  • 225g sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 470g white flour
  • 8g sea salt
  • 30g honey
  • 225g mash (75g chestnut purée and 150g mashed potatoes)
  • 85g melted butter
  • 60g warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • more butter for brushing the baked rolls

Measure out your sourdough starter, making sure it had recently been “fed”, and place it into a large mixing bowl. Add the flour and salt to the sourdough starter. In a separate bowl, mix the honey, mash, melted butter, water and eggs until they form a smooth wet mixture. Add this to the flour and sourdough starter, Stir until the dough becomes sticky and the flour is incorporated. The dough will begin to separate from the side of the bowl when stirred. Add more flour if the mixture is too soft or more warm water if it is too dry.

Take the dough out and place it on a floured surface. Stretch and fold, turning the dough as you do this. Proceed until the dough is no longer sticky and has a slight bounce. Place it in a clean oiled bowl, turning so that the oil covers the surface. Cover the bowl with clingfilm (or, my preferred method – a shower cap). Put in a warm place for several hours until it has risen twice the size.

Gently remove the risen dough and cut into 16 equal pieces, shaping them into round balls. Place these in a baking pan that has been lined with greaseproof paper. Space the rolls only slightly apart. Cover and let this rise again in a warm place. The rolls will touch each other.

Bake at 170 degrees C for 20 to 25 minutes. Immediately brush the surface of the rolls with melted butter and let them cool. This glaze will keep the crust of the rolls soft.

To serve, place the rolls on a platter and pull them apart.


    • It is a great term – one I learned from the cookbook writer Diana Henry in her book, Food from Plenty which delves into a bit of detail on how to stretch meals and creative uses of leftovers. The tattie scones are brilliant and easy to do!

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  1. There are so many uses for leftover mash, we especially love potato pancakes topped with smoked salmon, so sometimes I deliberately over cater. Your rolls looks delicious Debi, I’ve bookmarked the recipe to try


    • Oh, I have to try potato pancakes or blinis. Sounds like they would go over well here. I used to love the Amish potato rolls when I was little and I was pleased with the result. I’ve been experimenting with instructions on how to convert conventional bread recipes to sourdough and this one worked.

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