I talked to one of the old restaurants in the area that have been around for years and years and I used to go there way back when I was a kid...(40 years ago ;) ) and they had a small southern style buffet...that served that bread. I used to know the couple who ran it but they are both passed away now and the restaurant changed hands...several times. I took a chance and called them and asked about the bread.
The lady I spoke to was the current owner and she remembered the bread and gave me a recipe for it. But I wasn't sure about it because she was telling me how many rolls it made and how much bread it made. Here is what the recipe was:
4 cups flour, 2.5 c milk, .5 c sugar, 2 tsp salt, .5 c oil, 4 tsp yeast, 2 eggs
Heat milk, sugar, oil, salt to 110-115 degrees. Blend flour & yeast. Mix liquid & dry ingredients, add eggs and work the dough for about 10 minutes. Knead and cover in a greased bowl. Bake 350 - 375 depending on oven.
I double checked it with her and asked her if this bread had a heavy yeast flavor and was very dense. She said yes and that they did not make the pull apart bread anymore because it was not cost effective...lol So I don't know. I guess what I am going to do is try it and see for myself. But the oil part is what makes me wonder. I feel like the shortening is significant to the recipe for the texture and taste.
But who knows? lol I am not a baker and have no clue as to how to substitute ingredients. But will keep looking.
Thanks to all of you for checking in and letting me know what you think and what you may have discovered.