This recipe is involved. It had three rises! Three! I'd never seen such a thing. Then there's the whole - cook a potato in the microwave bit and shred it on the grater. What?! Who does that?
All of this to say, good recipe - just a lot of work. It's really interesting that you proof the yeast in sugar and flour. Then beat that into the rest of your dough after it's doubled once. Then let the dough rise again.... Then make the rolls.... Then let them rise again! I chose to refrigerate them before the final rise and let them do that while I made the soup.... the puffed up great and actually came out very well. So... if you don't find working with yeast dough stressful - this recipe is for you. :) If you do? Head to the store and get some bakery rolls... they won't be nearly as good - but you'll at least have some.
Cheddar Potato Rolls
1 cup warm water (110°F)
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
4 cups (18 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 medium russet potato (7 to 8 ounces)
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon mustard powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups (8 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 tablespoons melted butter
In a medium bowl, combine the water, yeast, and 1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) of the flour and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size with large bubbles on the surface, 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prick the potato all over with a fork. Microwave until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then peel the potato and grate on the large holes of a box grater.
Combine the butter, sugar, salt and mustard powder in a stand mixer. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and grated potato until combined, then beat in the yeast mixture and 1 1/2 cups cheddar until incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually beat in the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour until the dough starts coming together in a soft, sticky ball. Shape into a loose ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 24 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, dusting with flour as needed, and arrange in the baking dish so they are slightly touching. MAKE AHEAD: At this point the shaped rolls can be covered and refrigerated overnight, let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until puffy. If already at room temperature, let rise for about 30 minutes, or until puffy.
Spray a sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray and loosely cover the rolls, oiled-side down. Bake until just firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Uncover, brush with the 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar. Continue baking, uncovered, until the rolls are golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 20 more minutes. Let cool at least 20 minutes before serving.
Another make-ahead option: Parbake, covered, for 30 minutes, then let cool and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature, brush with the butter and bake, uncovered, 40 minutes, sprinkling with 1/2 cup cheddar during the last 15 minutes.