Potentially Perfect Rolls
I have yet to find the perfect roll recipe and experimenting sometimes means the rolls don't come out as well as a reliable recipe.
Personally I'm still searching for the recipe that I can consider perfect and this one has shown a lot of promise. Expect this to be updated as I get closer and closer to perfection. Since this is still a search and testing process, you should see the Reliably Remarkable Rolls guide for details that might not have been added here.
3 cup flour
1 cup water
5 table spoons sugar
3.5 teaspoon kosher salt
3 table spoon unsalted butter
2.5 teaspoon fast rising yeast (bread maker style, aka 1 packet, must be fresh!)
Melt butter (barely) in microwave in glass measuring cup.
Reserve 1 cup flour, dumping the other dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Add butter and water. Allow mixer to mix and knead, slowly adding reserved cup of flour at setting 3 or 4 for 15 min.
(This is a single rise process currently, but it might be possible to do a short first rise before forming into balls to get a better inner texture. It is also possible that it might be best to let the dough rest overnight in the refrigerator to gain elasticity.)
Form into rolls, depending on your preferences for the resulting rolls, you may want to make them about the size of ping pong balls. Alternatively, as large as golf balls and touching is what is shown in this picture. Place in a buttered or oiled pan with space between them varying on your desired results.
Allow to rise for about 20-60 minutes in a moist warm environment. I begin by heating the oven to its lowest setting then turn the oven off before starting anything else. While I do the other steps, I start a moderately large pot of water to boil, and once boiling put it in the oven. By the time I finish mixing and kneading, the oven has cooled to a yeast friendly temperature and the steam from the boiling water has filled the oven. With yeast that wasn't fresh, I've seen the rise time take up to four hours and it might have been better with even more. With fresh yeast, the 20 minute rise time might be sufficient, but the hour seemed to be getting to fully risen without overproofing.
The rolls should rise to dramatic size. This recipe only has the rolls rising one time, so keep an eye on them to prevent over-proofing.
Bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes, longer if necessary to get them to a golden brown, but be careful not to overcook them.
The perfect rolls should be golden brown, fluffy with relatively large holes inside, no gooey spots but still tender.