In a large mixing bowl, combine the salt with 11/2 cups of the bread flour and the herb mixture; set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, butter and sugar until lukewarm. Remove from the heat and add yeast. Stir and let stand 5 minutes to make sure the yeast is active—it will be foamy and brown. With a mixer at low speed, gradually beat the liquid into the dry ingredients. Turn up to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping the bowl. Beat in the eggs and about 1/2 cup of the bread flour to make a thick batter; continue beating for 2 minutes. Stir in enough bread flour to make a soft dough. The amount of flour needed can vary depending on the heat and humidity of the day. Usually 5 cups is about right. If you are unsure, use 41/2 cups and add more while you are kneading if the dough is sticky.
If you are using a stand mixer, you can continue beating the dough for approximately 5-7 minutes. If not, turn the dough onto a lightly-floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, approximately 10 minutes.
Shape the dough into a ball and turn into a large greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, approximately 45–65 minutes. See TIP. Punch down the dough, transfer to a lightly-floured board and cut in half; cover one half while working with the other. Cut each half into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls. Place about 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes. Once you have completed the first sheet of 12 rolls and covered it and moved it to a warm rising place start with the other half.
Preheat oven to 400°. Once the rolls have risen, brush the tops with the melted butter. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
NOTE: Decrease herb amount by half if using dried herbs. Dena’s family’s favorite herb mixture is chopped thyme and rosemary.
TIP: To get a good rise, put boiling water into an appropriately-sized pan and place the bowl or baking dish on top, cover and let rise. This is a great tip when you’re short on time or if the inside temperature is a little chilly. Also, these rolls can be shaped into whatever shape you want. You would just need to adjust your baking time.
Prep. time: around 2 hours with rising time
Baking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 24 rolls
Servings 24; Serving Size 1 roll (47g); Calories 140; Calories from fat 35; Total fat 4g; Cholesterol 25mg; Sodium 180mg; Carbohydrate 22g; Dietary Fiber <1g.