Ultra Fluffy Rolls vs. Garlicky Baked Home Fries: Which Will Win?

May 26, 2017

For our latest contest, we asked for your smartest, thriftiest, most head-turning tricks and techniques. And you delivered!

We got flavorful, face-changing condiments made entirely from pantry ingredients; ice cream cakes that require no churning, no baking, and no fancy equipment; vegan brownies moistened with tofu; tater tots where cauliflower stands in for potatoes...

You are a bunch of smarties. A-pluses all around! But we had to pick two finalists—and with the help of our community reviewers, we've narrowed down the contenders. These two are at the top of the class. (And now it's your turn to choose the winner by heading to the contest page and casting your vote.)

Even the raw dough looks delicious. Photo by Julia Gartland
Breakfast of champions. Photo by Julia Gartland

First up: Super Fluffy Rolls 3 Ways (Plain, Garlic, and Pretzel) from Jenya | BlueGalley. The dough's a dream to work with—like a well-zhuzhed comforter under your hands—but the real smarts of Jenya's technique lie in how she customizes the shaped rolls within one pan.

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Instead of brushing all twelve risen buns with egg wash, she only gives one-third of the pan that classic treatment: Half of the remaining rolls get a garlic-herb butter brush, and then the rest get a baking soda wash that makes them pretzel (that's a verb, right?) in the oven.

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Top Comment:
“Thank you Food52! I am so honored to be a finalist and that you love my multi-flavored rolls idea. They turn out perfect every time :)”
— Jenya |.

We can't wait to use Jenya's dough and technique to create more variations within the same baking dish: We're thinking cinnamon-sugar, curry butter, and Parmesan. (Of course, we're just as tempted to triple the recipe and make three pans, each with a separate theme...)

Our second finalist, also in the Starch Family, is Brittany's Better-Than-a-Restaurant Home Fries, which actually come from her husband—"it's one of the top five reasons I married him!" Now that's love for potatoes.

Instead of frying the potatoes (or heaven forbid par-boiling them, then frying them), Brittany (slash her husband) purées half an onion with neutral oil, paprika, salt, and a whole head of garlic. The potatoes get tossed in this slush, spread out on baking sheets, and baked.

You get potato cubes with crispy edges, soft insides, and garlicky intensity, through and through. We ate so many of these straight from the baking sheet, we weren't sure they'd make it onto the plate. But we're glad a few did—they're even better with ketchup (and Brittany recommends a three-part mix of ketchup, mustard, and horseradish cream).

Now it's time to vote! Head to the contest page to weigh in.

Share your favorite technique for rolls or home fries in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Jenya | BlueGalley
    Jenya | BlueGalley
  • mercy
  • Valerie Amrhein
    Valerie Amrhein
  • judy
  • Marit Grimstad
    Marit Grimstad
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


Jenya |. May 29, 2017
Thank you Food52! I am so honored to be a finalist and that you love my multi-flavored rolls idea. They turn out perfect every time :)
mercy May 29, 2017
i love the potatoes
Valerie A. May 27, 2017
My vote is for rhe potatoes. Very original idea...and delicious!
judy May 27, 2017
Well two genius recipes very different. How to choose....hmmmmI'll have to make them both. Thanks for the recipes folks.
Marit G. May 26, 2017
Very hard to vote, would like both to win!
Venessa W. May 26, 2017
Love the Rolls, also the No bake cake & No Churn Ice cream. Can't wait to try