Add all of the ingredients, except for 1/4 cup of the flour, to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Do not allow the yeast and salt to touch.
3 cups all purpose flour, 1/2 cup potato flakes, 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast, 1 1/4 teaspoon salt, 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 cup warm water
Mix on low speed, then medium until everything is combined and smooth, adding the extra flour as needed. The dough should be tacky at this point.
You can either turn the speed up on the mixer and allow it to knead the dough for you, for 5-7 minutes, or turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it by hand for 5-7 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic now.
Optional: Conduct a “windowpane test” to ensure the gluten has developed by taking a small piece of dough and slowly stretching it out into a square. The dough should stretch very thin to the point of transparency without tearing easily.
Lightly coat the inside of the mixing bowl with oil or non-stick cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl, then flip it to coat both side. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until doubled in size. This usually takes about an hour.
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into 16 equal sized pieces. Keep the pieces covered with plastic wrap as you shape the dinner rolls.
Take out one piece of dough at a time. Place it on a table and using the palm of your hand, press down and roll it into a tight, smooth ball. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and keep covered with plastic. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Allow to proof in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
At this point you can brush on an egg wash and add seeds, seasonings or herbs. See the notes section below for more information.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly golden brown and the internal temperature has reached 190°F when taken in the center with a food thermometer.
Cool 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Serve warm with butter, if desired.