If there's one thing we love in this house it's homemade bread and rolls. This was the first time I've ever made this recipe and it definitely won't be the last time. I got 15 absolutely perfect rolls from the batch. They're soft, fluffy light and soooooo very good! I can't even count how many Paul ate straight from the oven! Later on we decided to try them out as sandwich rolls.....They were fantastic!
I used my Kitchen Aid mixer to mix the dough up. The recipe starts by putting yeast in a bowl and adding warm water to it to soften. I like to proof my yeast before adding it to the other ingredients. The recipe has 1/4 cup of sugar, I took 2 teaspoons out of the 1/4 cup and added it to the yeast and warm water. Yeast loves sugar, it proofed perfectly. While the yeast is softening or proofing, heat your milk to scalding. What is scalding? The milk will be hot, but not boiling. Combine the sugar, butter and salt in a mixing bowl. Pour the scalding milk over all, stir to melt the butter. Cool to lukewarm. Your next step is to stir in the eggs and yeast so please make sure that you have let the mixture cool down enough so you don't have scrambled egg in you're dough. After the eggs and yeast are added it's time to incorporate the 4 1/2 cups of flour. I did use the whole 4 1/2 cups of flour, which gave me a very nice supple dough.
After using the Kitchen Aid to mix the dough I always knead by hand, you can use the dough hook if you want to. I like kneading by hand, I get a better feel of the consistency of the dough that way. I floured my board and started kneading. As I kneaded I kept flouring the board until I had a tacky dough, not sticky , just tacky. I love this consistency with all the bread dough I make.
You may be asking how do you know your dough is tacky? Tacky is when you lift your dough from the board and it holds onto it ever so slightly , just for a second as you lift it up.
It's time to oil your bowl, shape the dough into a ball ,put the bread dough in the bowl and turn it completely around to coat the dough all around. Cover with a towel and put this is a draft free location in your kitchen. I have a gas stove , the oven is always slightly warm, a great place for the dough to rise. Let's talk about the rise, this recipe has 3 rise times. Each will be about an hour. On the first rise, after your dough has risen up, punch it down, shape it back into a ball , put it back in the bowl and let it rise again.
After the second rise, cut and shape the dough into balls, I just eye ball this but you could use a scale if you wanted to make them all the exact size. Oil a jelly roll pan and place the balls on the pan without touching so they have room to rise. Cover with a towel and let them rise for the third time. They will rise up so they will be touching each other, preheat your oven and bake. I brushed the rolls with melted butter straight out of the oven. These are DELICIOUS , light and fluffy! I think that letting them rise 3 times has alot to do with how light and fluffy they are. You can make these and only do 2 rises, but I just had to see what they would be like with 3. We absolutely LOVE THEM!! Enjoy!