Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup warmed buttermilk and set aside for 10-15 minutes until yeast softens and begins to bubble.
Mix melted butter with 1 cup room temperature buttermilk.
Stir flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a mixing bowl. Pour both liquid ingredient mixtures into the flour mixture.
Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, work flour into liquids to form a soft dough.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and begin to knead. It might be a little sticky at first, but try not to add any more flour than you have to! Knead for about 8 minutes or until smooth, resilient, and no longer sticky.
Place dough back into the mixing bowl (coat with a little oil if desired) and cover. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2-2 hours.
After rising, gently punch down dough. Divide into 16 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and arrange in a 9x13 baking pan. (You might need another small pan, depending on how big your rolls are!)
Cover pan with plastic wrap. Let rise for 45 minute or so, until dough has almost doubled in size and is puffy in appearance. Try not to let the dough touch the plastic wrap--it will stick and then fall when you uncover for baking.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove plastic wrap from risen rolls. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden on top.
Let cool for 5 minutes in pan, then invert out of pan and allow to finish cooling on a cooling rack or plate.
This recipe was given to me by a long time friend, back in our "newly married-let's have a tea party" days. I've made it for baby showers, wedding showers, and plenty of breakfast and brunch occasions. I have included some flavor variations at the end, but the original cranberry white chocolate version is the one I'm sharing here.