2 cups plus 2 tablespoons milk
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
One 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fine salt
Vegetable oil, as needed
In a small saucepan, combine the milk, 3 tablespoons butter, and
sugar. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until the
butter has melted. Remove from the heat and cool to about 110
degrees F. Scatter the yeast over the surface of the liquid and set
aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt and set
aside. Pour the milk and yeast mixture into the bowl of flour and
mix until a soft, ragged mixture is formed. Transfer the flour
mixture to a well-floured work surface and knead by hand until a
soft, elastic dough is formed, about 10 minutes. Transfer the dough
to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and place in a
warm spot, until puffed and doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Transfer the dough to the work surface and, using your hands, gently
flatten into a disc. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Using
your hands, round each dough piece into a ball.
Butter a buttered 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the balls of
dough, seam side-down, in 3 rows of 4 each. Cover with a kitchen
towel and place in a warm spot until they've risen almost to the top
of the baking dish, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and liberally brush the
rolls with it. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove the
rolls from the oven and let cool slightly. Transfer the rolls to a
cooling rack to cool completely before serving.