Makes 12 rolls
For the dough:
3 tbsp. dry yeast
1½ c. lukewarm water
2 tsp. salt
½ c. sugar
1½ c. shortening, melted (reserve 2 tbsp.)
5½ c. bread flour (reserve ½ for dusting)
2 eggs lightly beaten with 2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
Combine the yeast and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Allow to ferment for 10 minutes. Add the salt, sugar, and shortening and allow to ferment for another 10 minutes.
Sift the flour, and then add it to the fermented liquid. Mix for 10 minutes on low speed.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Brush the top of the dough with 2 tablespoons of melted shortening and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour, or until the dough doubles in size.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide into two halves. Roll each half into a thick cylinder, then slice each cylinder into 6 parts to form 12 total pieces of dough. To shape the rolls, cup your hand over a piece of dough and gently press into the work surface. With a circular motion, work the dough with your palm into a smooth cylinder and tie into a knot.
Place prepared dough on a greased sheet pan and let rise until almost double in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Brush each roll with egg wash, then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and place on a baking rack to cool.