For this classic recipe, I turned to a classic cookbook: The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. The original recipe calls for shortening, which I know many people like to avoid, so feel free to substitute unsalted butter in the rolls. I also cut the sugar and upped the salt from the original recipe to suit my personal tastes. —Yossy Arefi
envelope active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
warm water, at 110° F
non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening or unsalted butter
Whisk the yeast and water together. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the shortening, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the milk and egg. Add the foamy yeast mixture and stir to combine.
Add the flour and stir until a dough forms, then knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. The dough will be soft and will probably stick to the bottom of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350° F, melt the butter, and brush a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with butter. Divide the dough into 4 pieces.
On a floured surface, roll one dough piece into a roughly 12- by 6-inch rectangle. Brush the surface with melted butter and fold the dough over lengthwise. Cut the folded dough into 4 pieces. Lay the folded rolls in the prepared baking dish, slightly overlapping. Repeat with the remaining dough, then brush the rolls with butter. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for 30 more minutes.
Bake the rolls until golden brown and puffed, about 30 minutes. Brush the warm rolls with butter and sprinkle with the flaky salt. Serve warm.
Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at apt2bbakingco.blogspot.com & yossyarefi.com.