The process of making the rolls is quite simple.
4 1/4 cups (560g) all-purpose flour, more as needed
1 tbsp (14g) sugar
2 tsp (7g) instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp (8g) salt
1 1/2 cups (355g) warm water, 100-110 ºF
2 tbsp (28g) vegetable oil or olive oil
2 tsp (14g) barley malt syrup, optional
Plant milk for brushing tops of buns, optional
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer add the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the warm water, oil, and barley malt syrup if using. Mix the ingredients together until you've formed a shaggy dough.
To make by hand: Turn the dough out onto a clean counter. Knead by hand for 3 minutes. If needed, add a little extra flour (a tablespoon at a time), but expect the dough to start sticky and get less sticky, turning tackier, as you knead. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead an additional 4-5 minutes until you have a smooth and slightly tacky dough. The dough should be soft and a bit bouncy.
If using a stand mixer: Using the dough hook, knead the dough on low speed for 3 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then turn the stand mixer back on and knead an additional 3 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter and knead by hand for 1-2 minutes, making any final adjustments to add more flour if needed. The final dough should be soft, bouncy, smooth, and slightly tacky.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled large mixing bowl and turn to coat the dough in oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a lightly dampened towel and let rise for 1 hour. The dough should be 1 1/2 to 2x risen in volume.
Preheat the oven to 400 ºF.
Turn the dough out onto a clean counter and divide until 8 equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a ball, rolling the ball seam side down under your palm in small circles to create a taught skin around the ball of dough. Let rest for 5 minutes, then shape the balls into rolls.
Roll the ball under your hands to form a torpedo or football shape, 4-5" long. The edges will be slightly tapered with the centre remaining round. Press down the tops of the dough to flatten slightly, so they are about 3/4" tall.
Place the shaped rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet with 1 1/2-2" between each roll as they will expand in the oven. Lightly mist the tops of the rolls with oil then loosely cover with plastic wrap.
Let the dough rise for a second time while the oven preheats. After 20-30 minutes, the rolls will have swollen, as much as 50%. At this point, they are ready to bake.
Brush the tops of the rolls with some plant milk of your choice for a shinier finish. Then using a bread lame or a lightly oiled sharp knife, slash the bread either with one cut down the centre lengthwise or two parallel diagonal lines.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the loaves are a beautiful golden brown. Let cool completely before consuming.