I used to like the big soft yeast rolls as well. I never could find recipe for them either, so I developed my own and created this one about 40 years ago. Do not short cut the number of beats....This will give your arm a workout. I use a strong wooden spoon. I never tried a Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook. That may be worth a try. I always mixed them by hand....four sets of 50 beats.
These are a big hit at my house and often requested by friends and family during holidays. I think you will enjoy them as well. This recipe makes 12 large rolls each about the size of a hamburger bun.
Jim’s Yeast Rolls
3 cups Bread Flour
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 1/4 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1 large egg slightly beaten
8 tablespoons butter melted (1 stick = 8 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons butter flavored vegetable shortening
Place 2 cups flour in a large mixing bowl. Add yeast, salt, sugar and dry milk. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine water and egg and stir to blend. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour water mixture into the well. Mix by hand, beating 150-200 strokes and frequently scraping bottom and sides of bowl. Add (4 tablespoons) of the melted butter and beat to incorporate. Add remaining flour, about 1/3 cup at a time, beating to incorporate each addition. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Set dough in a warm, draft free place. A good place in cold weather areas would be the as oven with a pan of the hottest tap water on the rack below.
Allow batter to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
You can use two methods to make rolls from this:
I use this one
….After the dough has raised, remove to a floured board. Dust hands and dough lightly with flour. Dough will be very sticky and moist at this point. Only add flour just so it can be easily handled. Punch down and knead until dough is smooth. Use dusting of flour as needed. Pinch a ball of dough off about the size of a tennis ball and shape into a roll and place on a greased baking sheet greased with the butter flavored shortening. The dough should be divided so that it makes about 12 rolls. Brush tops of each roll with remaining melted butter. Let rolls rise a second time (approximately 30-45 minutes) uncovered on stove top while oven is preheating. Bake in middle of 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Check at 15 minutes.
Here is the second one
….Coat cups, bottoms and sides of 12 cup muffin pan (or two small round pans) with shortening. Punch down batter (batter will be extremely soft and sticky). Drop by hand or spoonful into prepared muffin cups to make 12 rolls (or in pan touching the next). Brush dough with 1/2 remaining melted butter. Let rise uncovered in a warm draft free place until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes. In preheated 400 degree oven, bake rolls on middle rack for 16-18 minutes. Brush tops of baked rolls with remaining melted butter.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 ounces granulated sugar
2 ounces brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
Beat all of the above ingredients together until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.