In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the warm water, yeast and sugar. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.
Add 1 cup of the flour, as well as the salt, whole milk and melted butter and beat for 2 minutes.
Add an additional 1 cup of flour and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until the dough begins to form a ball. (If the dough is still very sticky, add an additional 1/4 cup flour as needed.)
Lightly flour your work surface. Scrape the dough onto your work surface, and using the heel of your hand, knead it for 2 minutes then place the dough in a greased bowl and cover the bowl with a towel. Set the bowl in a dark, warm place for 30 minutes until it has doubled in size.
Grease an 8-inch round pan with cooking spray or butter.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces then roll each piece into a ball and arrange the balls in the prepared pan. Cover the pan with a towel then return it to a dark, warm place for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Uncover the rolls then bake them for 20 to 25 minutes until they are golden brown and cooked through.
Remove the rolls from the oven, brush them with additional melted butter and immediately sprinkle them with the sea salt (optional). Serve them warm.
If you want to prepare the rolls in advance, follow the directions up until you place the (unbaked) rolls in the baking pan then tightly cover the pan with plastic wrap. When ready to serve, remove the rolls from the freezer and place them in the fridge overnight then bring them to room temp to rise before baking them as directed.
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