Cocas de Patatas are ultra delicious, spongy and lightly textured rolls made with mashed potatoes and served with a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar. They are a specialty of Valldemossa, a village and municipality in Majorca (or Mallorca), the
largest island in the Balearic Islands archipelago, in Spain. They are usually served with a nice cup of hot chocolate. The recipe comes from "Hilmar" from her blog misrecetasfavoritas2.blogspot.com. I love her recipes. I have translated the recipe from Spanish into English. And, while I have not changed the ingredients other than providing with the amount of dried yeast to replace the fresh yeast asked for in the original recipe, and adding a bit of lemon zest; I have rewritten the instructions in a much more detailed manner. I have made these cocas at least 5 times in less than 2 months. Give them a try. They are so good. Also, please note that the cocas are made with lard which I think makes them even lighter than if they were made with butter or oil. Also, I strongly recommend you weigh the ingredients; however, I have attempted to list the amount in cups for those of you who may not own a baking scale. This recipe may require patience (not in the preparation of the dough itself but the time it takes to rise), but you will be well rewarded with the softest and lightest cocas de patatas. —Regine
bread flour (I like King Arthur Unbleached Bread flour; best to weigh flour but it is equivalent to about 3 ½ cup using the “spoon and level” method)
mashed potatoes (boíl potatoes, remove skin, mash and then weigh; about ¾ cup packed + 1 additional tbsp)
sugar (about 2/3 cup)
lard (about ½ cup packed minus 1 tsp)
large eggs, room temperature
grams table salt (a bit less than 1/2 tsp)
warm water (about 3 tbsp)
dried active yeast (one ¼ oz packet, equivalent to 2 ¼ tsp) or 15 grams fresh yeast (as in original recipe)
of one lemon (optional, but, come to think of it, I think I prefer it without)
In This Recipe
Boil about 2 potatoes until soft; remove skin and mash. Let cool. Measure required amount. Stir the fresh or dried yeast into the water and set aside. In mixing bowl of stand-alone mixer, add the mashed potatoes, eggs, lard, lemon zest, sugar, salt, flour and then the yeast. Start mixing with your hands, then using the dough hook of stand-alone mixer, mix the dough until all ingredients are well incorporated. Let rest for 10 minutes, then start again with the dough hook and knead until dough passes the windowpane test. May take 5 to 15 minutes. For the windowpane test, take a small piece of the dough about the size of a golf ball and stretch it with fingers from both your hands to see if the dough will stretch into a thin translucent membrane and without breaking. BE PATIENT. It is important to pass this test. D) Refer to http://www.thekitchn.com/bakers-techniques-how-to-do-th-70784 for a visual illustration.
Form a ball and place in a bowl that is greased with a tiny bit of oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest until dough has doubled in size. I like to boil 2 cups of water in microwave and then place the dough next to it. Unplug microwave to prevent any accidents and let dough rise in closed microwave until doubled. Last time it took me 3-4 hours (in my cold kitchen). Please note that the amount of time it takes to rise will depend on the temperature of the room.
Place dough again on counter, and punch to remove air. Mix a bit with hands and form into a ball. Let rest again until it has doubled. Use same microwave technique. Last time, it took me 1 ½ hour to 2 hours. But what you can do instead of doing the second rise as explained in above sentences, you can place the dough in the refrigerator overnight. The following day, take bowl out and let the dough continue to rise until it has doubled. You can use the same microwave technique. After it has doubled, punch down.
Form 20 balls. Place 10 each in 2 large baking sheets that are covered with parchment paper, and leave enough space between each bread. Brush a tiny bit of water on each bread to prevent it from drying, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rest until balls have doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 340 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes. The top will be golden. You may have to switch the baking sheets around about 5 minutes before breads are ready if you think that the breads on bottom shelf are not browning equally (but I find that you don’t really have to do that). Up to you.
Remove from oven and let cool completely on rack. Once at room temperature (but best to do this right before eating, and only on the rolls you will eat), sprinkle with a generous amount of powdered sugar. The cocas stay soft and fresh for several days.