I grew up eating "Aunt Tootsie Rolls" made by my Aunt Clara, whom we affectionately referred to as Aunt Tootsie. This is my take on those rolls. Because of the butter, I think of them as kin to brioche. Brioche is made with cold butter, but this recipe uses melted butter and then the dough is chilled, which firms it up in the dough. My children and grandchildren require these rolls at any family dinner!
Makes 12 large rolls, recipe can be doubled!
1/2 cup milk, warm
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, barely melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 extra-large or 2 medium eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 package instant yeast
2-2 1/4 cups flour, plus more for rolling
One stick of salted butter
Place all ingredients, except for the flour, in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine until well blended. Slowly add the flour, about a half cup at a time, just until the dough is no longer sticking to the side of the bowl (dough will be very soft and sticky).
Grease a large mixing bowl and scrape the dough into it, turning it over to grease the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to two days.
When ready to shape and bake, melt remaining stick of butter. Flour the counter or a large wooden cutting board (my preference) and place the chilled dough on it. Shape the dough with floured hands into a round ball. Flatten and flour the dough into a disc then roll with a rolling pin into a (approximately) 14-inch circle, turning the dough over and lightly flouring as needed. Quickly brush the melted butter generously all over the dough. Using a floured pizza cutter or very long chef knife, cut the dough into 12 pie-shaped pieces, flouring the cutter between passes. (Easiest way to get evenly-sized pieces is to cut in half, then in quarters, then cut each quarter into thirds!)
Starting at the wide end, roll each piece of dough up, and bend into a crescent shape. Place on a greased or parchment-lined sheet pan, leaving at least 2 inches between the rolls to allow for rising. When all of the rolls are shaped, brush them all over with the remaining melted butter.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until they are double in size.
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees. The oven rack should be in the center or top third of the oven. Bake the rolls until they are a deep golden brown all over, 10-15 minutes or more, depending on your oven. (Keep your on eye on them, checking after 10 minutes.) Remove from the oven and transfer rolls to a cooling rack. Serve warm.
(These rolls can be made in advance, cooled completely, frozen, then thawed and warmed before serving. A great do-ahead for holiday meals!)