5 cups all purpose flour plus more for kneading
3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs (plus 1 extra egg to use as egg wash)
1 cup milk Carnation or whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled to 100F degrees
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange zest (fresh zest from about 2 large oranges)
2 teaspoons salt I use sea salt
2 packages plus 1 teaspoon instant yeast
Combine the melted butter, water and milk. Warm to 95 to 100 degrees.
In an electric mixer equipped with a dough hook, add all of the ingredients, including the warm liquid
Turn the mixer on low speed and mix until a dough starts to form. This generally takes about 3 to 4 minutes.
Once the dough starts to come together, turn the speed up to 4 (or medium).
Continue mixing for 5 to 6 minutes. The dough will still be soft and sticky.
Tranfer the sticky dough onto a generously floured clean work surface.
Knead the dough for 4 to 5 minutes until it is smooth. Shape the dough into a round.
Do not over add flour when kneading – you do NOT want to end up with too firm of a dough. The dough should be soft without sticking to the work surface (see tutorial video in summary)
Lightly grease an extra large mixing bowl with vegetable or olive oil. Transfer the dough into the bowl, coating it with some of the oil in the bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and then drape a clean kitchen towel over the bowl. Place the bowl in a warm spot, away from heat sources. Let the dough rise/proof/fermentation for 2 hours until doubled.
2 hours later, transfer the dough to a clean work surface.
Form a log about 16 inches long. Cut in half. Then cut each half into 8 pieces each. You should not have 16 pieces of dough.
Line a half sheetpan with parchment paper.
Shape each piece of dough into a smooth roll. Place the rolls on the lined sheetpan about 1 inches apart.
Once all the rolls are formed, cover them loosely with a kitchen towel. Place the pan in a warm location, away from heat source. Let the dough rise/proof for 45 minutes to 1 hour until doubled.
While the dough is in this final proof, preheat the oven 350F degrees. And prepare one egg for egg washing the dough.
One hour later, the rolls will be doubled in size. Use a pastry brush to brush each roll all over the top with the egg wash. Be generous without flooding the rolls with the wash.
Bake the rolls for 25 minutes. They will be a nice golden brown. Remove the rolls from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack.
Cool completely. Serve with a smear of butter and cheese, if desired. Enjoy.