Wow wow. These yeast rolls are the bestest. So soft, like store-bought potato rolls. And they stay soft for a couple of days. No need to rewarm. Adapted from a recipe for buttery rolls in mycookinggallery.blogspot.com in which blogger says it comes from a recipe submitted in all recipes.com by Debbie Leonard. However, please note that I have difficulties finding Debbie Leonard's original recipe in allrecipes.com. I have not made any changes to the ingredients; however, my instructions are different and more detailed. 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, store-bought-like, rolls. —Regine
warm milk (70 to 80 degrees F, or warm a bit in microwave and test with fingers, better for milk to be cooler or lukewarm than too hot as the heat can kill the yeast)
Unsalted butter, softened (4oz or 8 tbsp or 112.5 grams)
Sugar (4 tbsp)
Large Eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons
bread flour (I like King Arthur unbleached bread flour)
2 1/4 teaspoons
Active dry yeast (i.e., one bag 1/4 oz Red Star active dry yeast)
In big bowl of stand-alone mixer, pour milk, then softened butter, eggs, sugar, salt, flour, and yeast. Start mixing by hand so that flour does not splash all over once you start using the mixer, then use the dough hook to mix dough until all ingredients are well incorporated. Maybe 3 minutes or so. Turn off mixer and let rest for 10 minutes, then turn on mixer again and continue to knead dough until it is smooth and soft and passes the windowpane test. Maybe 5 or so minutes. For the windowpane test, take a small piece of the dough (about 1-2 tbsp worth) and stretch it with fingers from both your hands to see if the dough will stretch into a thin translucent membrane and without breaking. Refer to http://www.thekitchn.com/bakers-techniques-how-to-do-th-70784 for a visual illustration.
Form into a ball and place in a container that has been greased a bit (I use a tiny bit of oil which I spread all over container with my hands or a clean piece of paper towel). Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled. The amount of time it takes to rise will depend on the temperature of the room...I myself like to boil 1-2 cups of water in the microwave and then place the dough next to the water. Close microwave (and unplug to prevent any accident). It took me about 4 hours for the dough to rise (that day it was about 30 degrees - January 2015). Punch down. At this point original recipe says to shape the dough into rolls (instructions in next paragraph). You can proceed to do that if you want. But what I myself like to do is to do a second rise in same bowl after dough has been punched down, in the refrigerator overnight. The following day when you are ready to bake, 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.
Shape into 24 balls and place in a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan (I used a pyrex), in rows of 6x4. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until balls have doubled. It took me a couple of hours. Bake at 375 degrees F for 16-18 minutes or until golden brown. Once out, brush rolls with melted (preferably salted) butter (1 tbsp melted butter should be enough). You can eat right away but I prefer to wait about 30 minutes. The rolls will stay soft even the day after. Store in same baking pan covered with plastic wrap.
Note: I baked my rolls for 16 minutes but I think I could bake them for 2 additional minutes. But you can also use a thermometer to verify doneness. I read that for enriched rolls like this one, internal temperature should be 185F to 190F.