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Yeast rolls
How do they make those soft, very light yeast rolls served in restaurants (Ponderosa). What do they put in them to make them rise so light and airy?
Here are two copycat recipes from Uncle Phaedrus, the ace internet recipe finder. Following one for another road house. Just notice that the dough has shortening/butter, milk and sugar, usually egg, and the dough is made very soft and rather sticky.

Ryan's Yeast Rolls
4 tablespoons margarine
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 large eggs
4 packages (1/4 oz. size) active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1-1/4 cups milk
Cream margarine and shortening with sugar until light. Add
eggs slowly, blending well between each addition. Dissolve
yeast in lukewarm water (110 --be sure that water is not too hot).
Sift together flour and salt. Add half of flour and half of milk
to the shortening-sugar mixture. Add dissolved yeast. Add remainder
of milk and flour to make a soft dough. Cover dough; let rest for
10 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead
for 8 to 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl large enough to hold dough
when doubled in size, turning once to grease the surface. Cover;
let rise in a warm place (90 F) until double in size (about 2 hours).
Fold dough over from 4 sides to knead lightly. Let rise again until
double in size. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and
shape as desired.
To Make Cloverleaf Rolls:
1. Shape dough into small balls. Three balls should half-fill a
greased muffin pan. Brush with melted margarine or butter.
2. Let rise in warm place (90 F) until double in size (about 25
to 30 minutes). Do not let rolls "over-rise".
3. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven until both the top and bottom
of rolls are golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and brush top of rolls with melted margarine

Golden Corral Rolls:

1 envelope Active dry yeast
1/4 cup Very warm water
1/3 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Butter or margarine
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Scalding hot milk
1 Egg, lightly beaten
4 1/2 cups Sifted all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Melted butter or margarine, for brushing rolls
Sprinkle the yeast over very warm water in a large bowl
(Very warm water should feel comfortably warm when dropped on wrist.)
Stir until yeast dissolves. Add sugar, the 1/4 cup butter or margarine
and salt to hot milk and stir until the sugar dissolves and butter or
margarine is melted. Cool mixture to 105 to 115 degrees. Add milk
mixture to yeast, then beat in egg.
Beat in 4 cups of the flour, 1 cup at a time, to form a soft dough.
Use some of the remaining 1/2 cup of the flour to dust a pastry cloth.
Knead the dough lightly for 5 minutes, working in the remaining flour
(use it for flouring the pastry cloth and your hands). Place dough in
a warm buttered bowl; turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in a
warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. Punch
dough down and knead 4 to 5 minutes on a lightly floured pastry cloth.
Dough will be sticky, but use as little flour as possible for flouring
your hands and the pastry cloth, otherwise the rolls will not be as
feathery light as they should be. Pinch off small chunks of dough and
shape into round rolls about 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 inches in diameter. Place
in neat rows, not quite touching, in a well-buttered 13 x 9 x 2 inch
pan. Cover rolls and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk,
30 to 40 minutes. Brush tops of rolls with melted butter or margarine,
then bake in a 375 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until nicely
browned. Serve warm with plenty of butter. This recipe yields about
2 dozen rolls.

Logan's Roadhouse Buttery Dinner Rolls
12 large rolls
time to make 38 min
20 min prep

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 1/4 cups water (105-115 degrees)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
8 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons butter flavor shortening

Place 2 cups flour in a large mixing bowl. Add yeast, salt, sugar and dry milk. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine water and egg and stir to blend.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour water mixture into well.
Mix by hand, beating 150 strokes and frequently scraping bottom and sides of bowl.
Add 1/2 the melted butter and beat to incorporate. Add remaining flour, about 1/3 cup at a time, beating to incorporate each addition.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Set dough in a warm, draft-free place such as oven with pan of hottest tap water on rack below. Allow batter to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Coat cups, bottoms and sides of a 12-cup muffin pan (or two small round pans) with butter-flavored vegetable shortening.
Punch down batter (batter will be extremely soft and sticky). Drop by hand or spoonful into prepared muffin pan cups to make 12 rolls (if in pan, each roll is placed touching the next).
Brush dough with 1/2 remaining melted butter. Let rise, uncovered, in warm, draft-free place until almost doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.
In preheated 400-degree oven, bake rolls on middle rack 16-18 minutes.
Brush tops of cooked rolls with remaining melted butter. Serve immediately.