This is a bread machine recipe (dough cycle only). If you don't have a bread machine, but you still really want to try these, let me know and I'll write out a hand-kneaded conversion recipe, too (but if no one needs it, I'm not going to waste my time with it). :)
Makes 16 (delicious) rolls
Estimated Total Time: around 2.5 hours (but they can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours - which will increase the total (active - not counting the refrigerated time) time to around 3.5-4 hours)
1 cup warm (100 -110 degree) water
2 Tbsp margarine, butter, or dairy-free butter-like spread, at room-temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
3 1/4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp bread machine or quick active dry yeast, at room temperature
2-3 Tbsp melted margarine, butter, or dairy-free butter-like spread (don't melt it until dinner rolls have only 1 minute left of baking time)
Place all ingredients in the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer (usually: water, egg, sugar, salt, margarine, flour, and then make a small "bowl" in the top of the flour to hold the yeast).
Use the "dough" cycle on the bread machine. Do not use a delay cycle.
When dough is finished (mine takes 1.5 hours in the machine), remove dough from the pan with floured hands, place it on a lightly floured surface, and cover it with a damp (with warm water) towel for 10 minutes.
Grease a large cookie sheet (I use crisco to grease it, but a spray grease, like PAM, also works, I believe). Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces (tear it in halves repeatedly until you end up with 16 equal pieces). Shape each piece into a ball (I've found you can get the prettiest rolls if you wrap the ends all under and pinch them on the bottom, then place the roll down so the pinched side is on the bottom and the top is smooth and pretty - they will bake and look exactly like how they do when you put them in the oven - they don't smooth out on their own). Place the balls around 1-2 inches apart on the greased cookie sheet (I usually put them about an inch from each other - so when they rise/bake, they bake into each other. This gives them softer sides. If you'd prefer them to have a "crust" on all sides (not just the top), place them 2" apart).
At this point, you can cover the rolls (on the cookie sheet) with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for up to 48 hours. When you're ready to use them, take them out of the fridge and let them rise in a warm place (covered) for 2 hours before baking. If you want them right away(ish), skip this step and continue:
Cover with the damp towel and let them rise in a warm place for 30 -40 minutes, or until an indentation remains when touched (I always put them on top of the dryer and turn it on - this also motivates me to actually remember to do laundry some days).
Preheat oven to 375. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. When they have 1 minute left of baking time, melt the 2-3 Tbsp of butter/margarine/butter substitute (depending on how much butter you like - I like a lot) in the microwave. As soon as you take the rolls out of the oven, brush the tops with the melted butter (use all of it - I usually go over them each about twice, making sure to get all the sides). Serve warm.
These are so buttery and delicious, they don't need any more butter spread in the middle, I've found. They also work great as sandwich buns for leftovers. Or just to eat plain when you want a snack.