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  • 2 cups warm (105ºF to 115ºF) water
  • 2 packages (¼ ounce each) active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar or honey
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus additional oil for brushing
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Pour the water into a large bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let stand until the yeast softens, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar or honey, eggs, 3 tablespoons oil, and salt and stir to dissolve the yeast. Gradually stir in enough of the flour to make a soft dough (you may have to use your hands to work in the last additions). Work the dough in the bowl to make a smooth mass.

Lightly brush the top of the dough with additional oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Brush two 9- to 10-inch round cake pans with some of the melted butter; reserve the remaining butter. Punch down the dough. Cut the dough into 24 pieces or 12 for larger rolls. Form each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Arrange 12 balls of dough, smooth sides up, in each pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until puffy and almost doubled in volume, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 400ºF. If necessary, reheat the reserved butter to melt. Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter. Bake until the rolls are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Let stand 5 minutes. Unmold and break the rolls apart. Serve hot or warm.

makes 2 dozen

Adapted from Art Smith, Back to the Table