Enjoy freshly baked rolls for special occasions or make them an everyday event. Prepare and partially bake; complete just before serving. Par-baked rolls may be refrigerated for a week or frozen for a month before the final bake.
In stand mixer bowl, add 2 1/2 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well. In saucepan or microwave-safe dish, heat milk and oil to 120-130°F. Add to flour mixture. Using a paddle attachment, blend on low speed for 30 seconds; beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
Switch to dough hook attachment. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 8 minutes.(NOTE: For hand mixing: following above steps, mix ingredients in large mixing bowl using a wooden spoon or dough whisk. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic.)
Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after poking dough with finger down to second knuckle, about 1 hour.
Prepare pans: Grease two 9x5-inch cake pans; set aside.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Divide into 4 equal parts. Divide each part into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Place 12 balls into each prepared pan, allowing 1/2-inch space between each ball. Cover; let rise in warm place until indentation remains after touching.
Preheat oven to 275°F.
Bake rolls for 50 minutes. Let sit 30 minutes in pans. Turn out of pans; cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Wrap in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Place in freezer bags. Store in freezer for up to 1 month.
Prepare for final bake: Take rolls out of freezer bag, remove foil and slightly open plastic wrap. Thaw on counter. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place rolls on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Serve warm.
Milk or water may be used in this recipe. Milk will give the rolls a softer crumb and crust.