OK peeps. I now have a bunch of buttermilk lurking in my fridge. That raspberry cake didn't use enough of the carton. It should really be sold in smaller sizes like heavy cream.
I also still have a packet of rapid rise yeast hanging around. Yes, I could throw it away and feel no guilt. It's not like it's a meal. But since I am trying to educate myself, I decided to find a recipe that uses both buttermilk AND yeast. It's like the next step in bread making. The pull-aparts were first grade and this new recipe is like 7th grade. I'm in junior high, yo! So that apparently means I'll be using a bunch of annoying phrases...Know what I mean?
It's still not a complicated recipe but it does take quite a bit more time, extra concentration, and a few more steps, so you'll need to have a bit of spare time on your hands. Fortunately for you, I have documented the exact steps in the event that you actually try to make the rolls and need a point of reference. Just do it!
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (from a 1/4-oz package)
1/4 cup warm water (105–115°F)
1 tablespoon mild honey or sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading and dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1. Butter the muffin cups with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
2. Stir together the yeast, warm water, and honey in a large bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, start over with new yeast.)
3. Mix the flour, salt, buttermilk, and 6 tablespoons melted butter into the yeast mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a soft dough forms. Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead, dusting the surface and your hands with just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking, until the dough is elastic and smooth, 6 to 8 minutes. Form the dough into a ball.
4. Put the dough in an oiled large bowl and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a draft- free place at warm room temperature until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours (see photo below).
5. Punch down the dough (do not knead - see photo below), then halve. Roll out half of the dough on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 12-inch square (about 1/8 inch thick; keep remaining half covered with plastic wrap). Brush the dough with 1/2 tablespoon butter and cut into 6 equal strips (see photo below). Stack the strips, buttered sides up, and cut crosswise into 6 equal pieces (see photo below). Turn each piece on a side and put into a muffin cup (see photo below). Make more rolls with the remaining dough in the same manner. Separate the outer layers of each roll to fan outward. Cover the rolls with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and the dough fills the cups, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
6. Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the middle. Bake the rolls until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Brush the tops with remaining 2 tablespoons butter, then transfer the rolls to a rack and cool at least 20 minutes.
Note: The rolls are best the day they're made but can be frozen (cool completely, then wrap well) 1 month. Thaw, then reheat on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven until warmed through, 5 to 10 minutes.