Warm the milk very slightly and let it reach lukewarm temperature.
Add the yeast and sugar and stir.
Let the yeast sit for 8-9 minutes until frothy.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, salt and the yeast-milk mixture.
Mix on low speed for a minute, or so, untill the dough just comes together.
Add the softened butter to the mixture and continue mixing, and add the water a little at a time untill the dough comes together and doesn't stick to the sides.
This is perhaps the most important stage, gluten formation. The dough has to be mixed just long enough for the gluten to develop. If you are kneading by hand, knead for at least 8 - 10 minutes. I used a stand mixer and let it mix for 5 minutes.
After kneading/mixing, test the dough by stretching it a little. if the dough doesn't tear and is translucent when stretched, the dough is ready to be proofed.
Let the dough sit in a bowl covered by a dish cloth for around 90 minutes, or until it doubles in size.
This step can be speeded up, by using an Instant Pot in the 'Yogurt' setting. If you are using an Instant Pot, lightly brush the steel pot with butter and place the dough inside. Cover with a glass lid, and hit the 'Yogurt' setting. After 50-60 minutes, take out the dough, which should have doubled in size.
After the dough has doubled in size, take out the dough and knead with your hands on a greased counter-top for 5-8 minutes.
Keep a rectangular baking dish ready by brushing it with softened butter.
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. I find it helpful to weigh the portions on a weighing scale so that they are almost equal in size.
Roll each portion into a ball and place all 12 rolled dough portions into the baking dish, leaving space between the portions.
Cover the tray with a dish cloth and let it sit for 40-45 minutes. This is the second proofing, just before the dough is baked.
Preheat your oven to 180C.
After 40-45 minutes, the dough would have risen and is ready for the oven
Brush the top of the dough with a little milk mixed with melted butter.
Bake the dough in the oven at 180C for 20-25 minutes until the top of the bread is golden brown.
Once done, take out the tray and brush the tops with some more melted butter and serve warm.