Start these about 3 hours before you intend to serve them. I like to use the leftovers (when there are any) to make little sandwiches. These rolls only keep about a day before turning hard.
1 ½ cups warm water
2 tsp yeast
1 TB sugar
4 cups unbleached white flour
½ cup dry milk powder
½ tsp salt
5 TB butter, softened
Pour 1 ½ cups warm water into a large bowl. Sprinkle 2 tsps yeast over the top. Then sprinkle 1 TB sugar over the yeast.
When the yeast has proofed (about 10 minutes), add four cups flour, ½ cup dry milk powder, ½ tsp salt, and 5 TB softened butter. Stir with a spoon or your hands until it’s combined, then knead until it’s smooth (about 10 minutes of kneading).
Butter the inside of the large bowl, butter the outside of your kneaded lump of dough, and then place the buttered dough inside the buttered bowl. Cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until it’s doubled in size.
Then pick up the dough, gently fold it in on itself on four sides (trying to preserve as much of the air bubbles inside it as possible), turn it folded side down, and butter the smooth top of the lump. Put the towel over it, and let it rise for another ½ hour.
Butter two muffin tins. Divide the dough into two lumps, leaving one in the bowl while you shape rolls with the other.
Divide that half-lump in half, then in half again, so you have four pieces. Divide one of those pieces into three pieces. Using your hands, gently roll each piece into a ball, trying to preserve the bubbles inside the dough. Place the ball in one of the spaces for a muffin. Repeat until you have 24 rolls.
Preheat the oven to 350̊ F. Leave the rolls in a warm place (I use the top of the range) to rise for about 20 minutes. Don’t let them rise too long, or they’ll collapse in the oven. These rolls rise about an extra 20% while they’re baking.
Bake the rolls for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.