Prepare mashed potato as package label directs for ½ cup, omitting salt and butter. Pour warm water into a large bowl. (First rinse bowl in hot water) If possible, check temperature of hot water with thermometer. The temperature should be not less than 105F and no more than 115F. Water that is too hot will kill yeast, water that is too cold will slow down yeast action and rolls will not be as light. Sprinkle yeast over water; add sugar and salt, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely dissolved. Let stand a few minutes; the mixture will start to bubble slightly.
Add 2 eggs, the soft butter, warm mashed potato and 3 cups flour. With portable electric mixer at high speed, beat just until smooth. Add 2 cups flour, beating with wooden spoon until flour is incorporated in dough. Add remaining 1 ½ cups flour mixing with hands until the dough is smooth and stiff enough to leave side of bowl. (This takes the place of kneading to develop the gluten in the flour.) Brush top of dough with 1 T melted butter; cover with waxed paper and dishtowel. Let rise in refrigerator 2 hours, or until double in bulk. Remove from the refrigerator. Punch down with fist. Cover; refrigerate. Dough can be refrigerated from one to three days, but punch it down once a day.
About 2 hours before serving, remove dough from refrigerator; shape for crescents. Remove 1/3 of dough from refrigerator [I only do this kind of roll so I remove it all and make 6 circles.]. On lightly floured pastry board, divide dough in half. With rolling pin covered with flour roll each half into 10 inch circle. Brush with 1 T melted butter. Cut into 6 wedges. Starting at wide end, roll up each wedge toward the point. Place on greased cookie sheet about 2inches apart.
You can also do snails by removing again about a 1/3 of dough and on a lightly floured surface with palms, roll into a 12 inch rope. Dive into 12; roll each into a 12 inch strip. On a greased cookie sheet, pinch ends together and twist once into a figure 8 snail. Press one end of a strip to greased cooked sheet, wind strip around itself; tuck other end underneath. For fan, roll ½ of dough into 15 by 8 inch rectangle. Spread with butter. With sharp knife, cut dough lengthwise into 5 (1 ½ inch) strips. Stack strips; cut into 12. Place cut side up in greased 21/2 inch muffin cups.
To bake: Cover with a towel; let rise in warm place until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Brush with melted butter or with beaten egg and sprinkle sesame or poppy seeds on top. Bake 12 minute or until golden. Makes 36 rolls.