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Parker House Rolls

['1 cup milk', '2 tablespoons butter, softened', '1 tablespoon sugar', '3/4 teaspoon salt', '2 tablespoons warm (105° to 115°F) water', '1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast', '(1 large egg)', '3 1/3 to 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour', 'Melted butter']

Heat milk until warm (105°to 115°F). Add and stir butter, sugar, and salt until the sugar is dissolved.
Combine water and yeast in a large bowl and let stand until the yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
When the milk mixture has cooled to lukewarm, stir it into the yeast. Beat in egg, if desired.
Have the flour ready. Stir in part of the flour, then knead in the rest, using only enough to form a dough that can be handled easily. Place in an oiled bowl. Brush the top with melted butter.
Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
Roll the dough out into a 30-inch-long log and cut into 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten into a 2-inch round. Dip the handle of a knife or wooden spoon in flour and use it to make a deep crease across the middle of each roll. Fold the rolls over on the crease and press the edges together lightly. Place about 2 inches apart in rows on greased baking sheets. Let rise in a warm place until light, about 35 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool.

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