You can use instant yeast and skip the proofing step.
Recipe: Given to me by Sarah R: Mollie Katzen’s recipe from Enchanted Broccoli Forest
~1 ¼ cup warm water
~¼ cup honey
~2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast (1 packet)
~2 tbs melted butter
~4-5 cups unbleached flour, divided. (up to ½ cup can be whole wheat flour)
~1 ½ tsp. salt
~1 egg for wash
Proof the yeast in the warm water with the honey. (if you have instant yeast, you can skip this step)
Add to stand mixer bowl with the egg, 2 cups of flour, butter, and salt. Mix with the dough hook. Once well mixed, turn the speed down to ‘2’. Add 2-3 more cups flour in 1/2 cup increments and mix until the dough on the sides of the bowl get pulled into the middle and there’s one lovely lump of dough. Let machine knead the dough for a few minutes
Remove the dough hook, cover with a cloth, and let it nap for a few hours or until double. It can be left several hours
Take out the dough and divide in half onto a nicely floured counter. Divide in half again.
Cut those into 3-4 pieces, depending on how big you want the rolls to be. 3 will result in 12 large hamburger sized rolls, and 4 will be more dinner roll size. I did 12 rolls today.
Roll into long logs and tie in a knot
Here is a good video if you need a visual.
Cover and let rise 45-60 minutes. No more than 1 hour.
Beat an egg, and brush it on them right before baking. If they rise too long in their knotted state, they’ll deflate when brushed with egg or even when moved, and they won’t recover; they’ll look wrinkly after baking, but of course still taste wonderful.
Bake for about 28-33 minutes at 375 degrees.