Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
2 cups whole milk (you can use 2% but not 1% or skim)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter (5-1/3 Tbsp)
2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 pkgs active dry yeast (or 4-1/2 tsp from jar)
2/3 cup warm water (105-115 degrees, hot tap water should be perfect)
8-9 cups all purpose flour (recipe called for this amount though I only used probably 5-6)
3 beaten eggs
butter for the top when just out of the oven and piping hot, just open a stick and cover the entire surface with the butter
Combine milk, 1/2 cup sugar, butter and salt in medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts. Remove from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm. Can cool in an ice bath to speed it up, it takes about 40-60 minutes. This is very important, if the mix is too hot it will kill the yeast.
While the milk mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1 Tbsp sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes until it blooms. If the yeast hasn't bubbled you will need to repeat this step - moving on with this inactive yeast won't make good rolls.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour and milk mixture. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of the bowl constantly. add the yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes. Add beaten eggs (do not add just whole eggs, beat them in a bowl first).
Stir in as much remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft - it will be coming away from the sides of the bowl but it will still stick to your finger when you touch it. I used my stand mixer and then it started coming off the sides I added another cup maybe and then stopped even though I had about 3 cups left over what the recipe called for. Don't worry about the dough being soft, it will firm up during the rising process. Part of what makes these rolls so good is that they are soft and light, if you add too much flour they will be heavy and dense.
Place the bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean towel, allow to rise for an hour. I put my oven on low and put mine on the stove towards the front, kind of lay the towel over the back vent burner to get the heat.
Punch down dough. Lightly flour your work surface and turn dough out onto the surface. Divide in half.
Spray two 9x13 pans with cooking spray. Roll first portion of dough into a rectangle and then cut it into 12 equal size portions - use a pizza cutter. Shape each piece and place into the pan. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Cover with a clean cloth, and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. When dough has 15-20 minutes to go preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
When done, remove from the oven. Rub a stick of butter over the tops of the rolls.
You can use this dough for cinnamon rolls. When your roll out the dough into rectangles instead of cutting up put on your butter, sugar and cinnamon and then roll up and slice, put in the pan and let it rise then cook.