These flaky, buttery rolls can be used to make mini sandwiches with the leftovers. That is -- if any of these rolls are left! These can be made 1 week ahead of time and frozen. Just thaw and heat wrapped rolls in oven for 10 minutes.
1 cup warm water
2 envelopes dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cups whole milk, room temperature
1 large egg
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, cooled
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into thin slices
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1. Place warm water in large bowl. Sprinkle yeast and 1/4 teaspoon sugar over and stir to blend. Let stand until yeast dissolves and mixture is slightly foamy, about 8 minutes.
2. Whisk milk, 1 egg, salt and remaining 1/3 cup sugar into yeast mixture. Add melted butter and whisk until smooth. Add 1 cup flour and mix until smooth.
3. Combine 4 cups flour and 1 cup chilled butter in food processor or blender. Process until mixture resembles coarse meal. You can also do this with clean hands.
4. Add to yeast mixture and stir until dry ingredients are moistened.
5. Knead in bowl until smooth dough forms, adding more flour if dough is sticky, about 5 minutes.
6. Cover bowl with plastic. Chill dough overnight.
7. Butter twenty-four 1/3-cup nonstick muffin cups.
8. Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead briefly until smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes. Divide dough into 4 equal portions.
9. Place 1 dough portion on work surface; cover and chill remaining dough. Roll out 1 dough portion on floured surface to 13X11-inch rectangle and about 1/8-inch thick.
10. Cut rectangle lengthwise into 6 strips, each 2 inches wide. Stack strips atop one another, forming 6 layers and pressing slightly to adhere. Cut strips crosswise into 6 equal stacks, each about 2 inches long.
11.Place 1 dough stack, 1 cut side down, into each muffin cup. Dough will fan out slightly and fill cups as it rises.
12. Repeat with remaining chilled dough pieces.
13. Cover rolls with kitchen towel. Let rise in warm draft-free area until rolls are puffed and doubled in volume, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
14. Position 1 rack in center and 1 rack in top third of oven; preheat to 350F.
15. Brush rolls lightly with egg glaze. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
16. Bake until rolls are golden brown, switching top and bottom muffin pans halfway through baking, about 25 minutes total. Transfer pans to rack and cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.