We're going to start with mixing together the yeast and WARM water for these delicious rolls.
While the WARM water and yeast are dissolving, we're going to mix together the milk and butter in a glass measuring cup and pop it in the microwave for one minute to WARM the milk and melt the butter. In the meantime we're going to throw in (to the yeast mixture): the beaten egg, the sugar, the salt, and 1 cup of flour.
Now add the WARM milk / butter mixture into the yeast mixture. It can't be piping hot, so let it cool to warm before adding, otherwise you will kill the yeast. Give that a mix, and then add the second cup of flour (Switch to using a spatula to mix the dough now) Give that a mix, and add the third cup of flour and that will form a wet, sticky dough, but it should be dry enough to scrap out on to the cutting board to begin to knead.
On a floured board, we're going to plop down the dough and we're going to work that for about 6-7 minutes. We're only going to add flour in when the dough gets too sticky to knead. So make sure your hands are floured, and work that using the old kneading method - half turns and push it with your palm.
Knead that until you have a smooth and elastic, but still soft and slightly sticky dough. Don't work too much flour into the dough, only add it if it gets to sticky to work with. So knead it until it gets to this point - this is what I mean by elastic, see how it springs back. Form that into a nice smooth ball.
In a mixing bowl, add the vegetable oil, throw in the dough and make sure it's coated with oil so it doesn't dry out. Cover with a towel and let it rise, in a warn spot, until double in size. It should take about an hour to an hour and a half.
After it doubles, throw it on a lightly floured cutting board, and pat it down with your hands. Form it into a square shape. Then take a knife and cut it into 12 pieces (or how ever many dinner rolls you have scaled the recipe for). Then we're going to shape the rolls, which is very simple. Just take a piece of dough and roll it into a round shape in your palm.
Now, we're going to put them on the pan, kind of close, about 1 1/2" apart. As they rise and double in size, which will take about 30-45 minutes, they will sort of touch each other and that's what going to give them that great dinner roll shape.
We're going to bake these at 350 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. And that is one beautiful set of dinner rolls. They even have that traditional touching "pull-apart" quality which I think is pretty cool. And, since these are so easy, I don't buy these at the store anymore. It's just not how I “roll.” Anyway, give these a try. Enjoy!
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NOTE: Larger (scaled) versions of this recipe might require longer time in the microwave and for other steps in this recipe, please adjust your time accordingly.