7½cupsall-purpose flourplus additional if the dough is too "wet", and some for rolling the dough
1½sticks(¾ cup) unsalted buttermelted and cooled slightly plus additional soft butter to grease the bowl and coat the finished rolls
1tbspKosher saltplus additional for seasoning
Make the dough:
In a medium bowl, gently whisk together the yeast with the warm water. The temperature of the water should be somewhere between 110F and 120 F to allow the yeast to come to life. The water should feel like warm bath water. Alternatively, measure the temperature with a thermometer. Whisk in the sugar. The mixture should bubble and froth slightly as it sits. Allow it to sit a minute then, using a wooden spoon, stir in 1 cup of the flour. Set aside the bowl, near the stove.
Meanwhile in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the hook attachment, combine the melted butter and milk. On low speed, mix to blend. Add the eggs and mix to blend. Add the yeast mixture and blend. Add the 61/2 remaining cups of flour and the salt. Mix to blend, 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture forms a ball in the bowl. If the dough seems wet and sticks too much to the sides, add more flour in ¼ cup increments. Use some of the extra butter to grease the bottom and sides of a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, cover it with a towel and allow it to “rest” in a warm place, about 11/2 to 2 hours. The goal is to have the dough double in volume.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Lightly flour a flat, clean surface and turn the dough out onto it. Flour your hands and gently press the dough and mold it into a 16 by 8 inch rectangle. The dough should be between a ½ and ¾ of an inch in thickness. Flour a large knife and cut the dough lengthwise into 2 even rows. Cut each row into 12 pieces, making 24 individual strips of dough.
Take each piece and fold it unevenly in half so the top part overlaps slightly over the bottom half. Tuck the overhang underneath and place the roll, seam side down, on a baking sheet fitted with parchment paper. You want them to be in the same configuration as they are on the flat surface. Line the other ones up right next to the other on the tray. When completed, the strips should form 3 tightly packed rows of 8 rolls, each roll touching the other in its row. It helps if you imagine gently pulling the rolls apart after they have baked!
Place the tray in the center of the oven and bake, undisturbed, for 6 minutes. Rotate the tray halfway and bake for an additional 6-8 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove from the oven. Brush with soft butter. Sprinkle with a touch of salt and serve immediately. Note: they will continue to cook after coming out of the oven so transfer them to a platter do they don’t dry out or overcook sitting on the hot baking sheet. You can freeze the dough, formed and uncooked, and bake the rolls just before serving. I find the best results come from when I make and then bake and serve them immediately.