These are my tweaked version of the Golden Corral Copycat Rolls (which still aren’t as good as real Golden Corral’s).
You can use a kitchen aid mixer, as I have done many times in the past, but the best results are with hand made, because then you can really feel your dough and see if it really needs that extra 1/2 cup flour.
1 TBSP yeast
1/4 cup very warm water
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot milk
4 – 4 1/2 cups sifted flour
In a large bowl, stir the yeast into the very warm water. Take your 1/3 c. sugar and spill some in with your yeast, about a TBSP. Stir yeast mixture. Set aside.
Take your hot milk and put it in a medium bowl. (I use the 8 c. measuring cup for a doubled recipe, or the 4 c. measuring cup for a single batch, and it leaves plenty of room.) Stir in the rest of your sugar, and your salt, and butter. Stir until butter melts. If your milk isn’t hot enough, scoop the butter out and melt it in the microwave. Cool the milk mixture to where you can stick your finger in for awhile and not have it uncomfortably warm. In a small bowl, beat your egg. Add it to the milk mixture. (If the milk mixture isn’t quite cool enough, the egg will cool it down enough so it won’t kill your yeast.)
Add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture and stir. Beat 3 cups of sifted flour in, one cup at a time. Add another cup and start kneading in your bowl. You may or may not need the last 1/2 c. flour. After kneading the dough until soft, not sticky, put into a large, greased bowl. Turn over once to get both sides greased. Cover and set to rise until double, about 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours. (Be sure to not let them over rise, unless you have punched them first! I once ‘ruined’ a batch this way.. leaving them for a few hours. They just weren’t as light and fluffy as they should have been. )
Punch dough and knead a few times till all smooth again. Divide dough in half. Take each half and cut them in half. Take the quarters and cut each of them into three pieces. Now if you did this correctly, you should have twelve chunks of dough, roughly all the same size. Shape these into rolls and place in a greased 9×13″ pan. (I use 10-11×14-15″ pan. If I am doubling, sometimes I just use a jelly roll pan). Cover and let rise until doubled, 30-40 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes. If you want, butter the tops. (I wouldn’t recommend buttering it before cooking, because you might squash them.) Enjoy!
Add extra sugar for doughnut dough. Cut into circles with the middles cut out, or whatever shape you want them in. Let rise 30-40 minutes, then gently slip into hot oil, and deep fry until both sides are golden.