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Great Depression Potato Buns

They don’t make recipes like these anymore.

You may have heard of using potatoes to make candy in the 1930s or Depression era crazy cake with mayonnaise in the recipe. But, have you ever seen a recipe for Great Depression potato buns? They sound really interesting and they look divine.

woman cooking, 1938
Via/ Library of Congress

The recipe comes from a 1930s community cookbook called The Mixing Bowl, which was in aid of the Welland County General Hospital in Ontario, Canada, near Niagara Falls. The booklet features all kinds of baking recipes submitted by women from the area, so it would have been a sort of cross section of what many people were making at home at the time.

1930s community cookbook
Via/ YouTube

The ingredients for these potato buns are lard, yeast, sugar, water, mashed potatoes, eggs, water, and salt. Flour actually isn’t mentioned in the recipe, but the preparer wouldn’t be able to “mix stiff” the dough or “knead well” without the addition of wheat flour. Like a lot of recipes at the time some of the techniques, temperatures, measurements, and even ingredients required to make the dish were taken for granted. It was assumed that whoever was reading the recipe already knew their way around a kitchen and didn’t need every part spelled out in detail.

While this recipe won’t save you from using flour, it does make a huge quantity of rolls, thanks in part to the mashed potatoes. The other benefit of using potatoes in the dough, aside from extending the finished yield, is that the texture comes out very pillowy and light.

1930s potato dinner rolls
Via/ YouTube

But, we we have some burning questions about these potato rolls. How do these rolls taste? Do they stack up to wheat rolls? Watch the video below to find out how to make these buns and (most importantly) how these bad boys taste.