Here is a site with some good info: Troubleshooting Bread Baking Problems
One thing about your recipe is that while it is proofing the 2nd time (the 2nd rise) it is not supported on the sides so it will not just poof UP - part of it's poof is spreading out, so it will not rise like a loaf of bread baked in a pan. It might have turned out just as it was supposed to - just not what you were expecting. I know I experienced the same thing the first time I tried to make Focaccia using, if I remember right, a recipe almost identical to the one you used. It was perfect - just didn't turn out like I was expecting.
Now, for the rolls ... they are really just little loaves. You can use the same recipe if you wish, and then shape them the way you want. How far apart you space them will affect how they rise during the 2nd proofing (if they are close together they will support each other on the sides and will rise up more than if they are spaced farther apart where they will spread more. Baking time will also be reduced - based on the size of your rolls.
Hope this helps. And don't be discouraged ... baking bread is a fun learning experience. Trust me - my first attempt on my own back in the early 70's was, well, let's just say they made wonderful door stops!