In a glass measuring cup add warm water (105F-115F) and yeast. Stir until yeast is mixed into the water.
Boil water and cook about 3-4 small potatoes (I use Yukon gold potatoes usually). When a fork easily pierces the potato, remove pan from the stove, drain, and rice the potatoes. Measure out 1 cup of potatoes and set aside.
Add milk to a 2-quart pan. Scald milk and remove from heat and add 8 tablespoons of butter.
Let the butter and milk mixture cool down until it’s just warm to touch. Add beaten eggs, maple syrup, and salt. Stir. Add in the freshly riced potatoes and stir. Finally, add proofed yeast to the butter, milk, egg, maple syrup, potato mixture and stir (see notes).
In a large, stand mixer with the dough hook attached, add 3 cups of whole wheat flour and the butter mixture. Blend gently. Increase the speed of the mixer. Every 30 seconds stop the mixer and add whole wheat pastry flour one cup at a time. The dough should start forming a ball when about 2 ½ cups of whole wheat pastry flour have been added. Keep adding flour until a loose ball is formed. (I prefer to have the dough a little stickier at first since you can always add more flour when you knead the dough). Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and let the dough sit for a couple of minutes. In the meantime, prepare a surface to knead the dough sprinkling it lightly with whole wheat pastry flour.
Scoop the dough onto the lightly floured surface and knead it gently … about a half a dozen times. Knead in enough flour so the dough is not terribly sticky, but a little stickiness is okay.
Let the dough rest for another 5 minutes. Grease a large bowl with butter (the bowl should be big enough to hold the dough ball when doubled in size). Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a piece of greased waxed paper or greased plastic wrap. Then top with a kitchen towel that is damp with warm water. Place the dough in the refrigerator and store for at least two hours, although overnight works best.
When you remove the dough from the refrigerator, let it rest covered for 30 minutes. Punch down the dough in the bowl, and turn it out on to a lightly floured surface. After kneading 2-3 times, divide the dough into four equal portions. Knead each portion 2-3 more times to form a round disc. Let the four discs of dough rest for 5 minutes.
Roll out each disc of dough. Using a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut out the rolls. Each disc should yield about 10, 2-inch rolls. I prefer using a square biscuit cutter, but round ones work just as well. Place the rolls you want to bake immediately on a greased baking sheet and brush lightly with melted butter. (For freezing rolls, see the notes below.) Set your cut rolls aside and let rise until they're almost doubled in size. The amount of time this takes depends totally on the temperature of your dough and where it is set to rise.
Preheat your oven to 425F. Bake rolls for approximately 15 minutes or until nice and golden brown. Remove from oven and brush once more with butter. Serve warm and enjoy!