Going to grandma's on a Sunday evening was a delicious tradition. As kids were were often cheeky enough to call grandma beforehand and ask timidy, "What are we havin', grandma?". She'd laugh and tell us the menu. She didn't have to tell us there would be rolls, because there were always rolls. It was the first smell that hit you when you walked in the door, and the last thing you grabbed before leaving, sneaking on more soft, tender crescent before hitting the road.
As we got older we were put in charge of taking the rolls out of the oven so the adults could stay at the table and talk. I remember the stick of butter, still resting in its wax wrapper next to the oven. If you took the rolls out, you were also in charge of buttering the tops, running that stick of butter back and forth as it melted in your hands.
2 1/2 c. milk
1 stick (1/2 c.) unsalted butter (plus more for brushing)
1/2 c. sugar
2 t. salt
4 lg. eggs
1/2 c. water
5 t. instant yeast (I use SAF; you could also use 2 pkgs. regular yeast)
1/3 c. dry milk
8-9 1/2 c. flour
2-3 T. dough enhancer (optional)
1. Scald the milk. Pour into mixing bowl and add butter, sugar, and salt to help cool the mixture.
2. When the milk mixture has cooled a little more, whisk in the eggs.
3. When the milk mixture reaches lukewarm, add the yeast. If using instant yeast, just throw in the yeast and the water together. (If you're using regular yeast, you'll want to use the water to proof the yeast.)
4. Add the dry milk and most of the flour. Knead in your mixer, adding more flour a little at a time as needed. (You can knead by hand, but it will be difficult as this is a soft dough. This is a sticky dough, but not excessively so. Keeping the dough on the soft side will result in a more tender roll. )
5. Dump into oiled bowl and let rise until doubled. You can also do a slow rise in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
6. When dough is ready to shap, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
7. Gently push down down and knead a couple of times. Portion and shape rolls. If you want big, softball-shaped rolls, do 3-oz balls of dough. Otherwise, 2 oz is fine.
8. Place rolls on parchment-lined half sheet pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on roll size and shape.
9. Brush rolls with melted butter and sprinkle with a little kosher salt, if desired.