Gingerr, I’m away on holidays right now, so can’t consult my usual references to answer your questions in any detail. But re: softer bread, wonder if you’re talking about the crumb, the crust or both. Buttering the crust immediately after baking and storing in plastic bag after cooling would give you a softer crust. For softer crumb, you’d have to go with a different recipe.
Dinner rolls generally bake in about 20 minutes, but there’s no substitute for trial and error with a particular recipe and your own oven.
Can’t help you with a digital thermometer beyond what I said in an earlier post. I mentioned that I use a Cooper, but I don’t think that brand is available to you in the US. Besides it’s not all that great. Suggest you do a search of the forum and/or blog. There have been several discussions of good thermometers.
Thanks for your kind comments, Paul. Mastery is something I aspire to, but I don’t think I’ve reached it yet!