Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup water, oil, sugar, and yeast. Let sit until yeast is bubbly (about 8 to 10 minutes). Stir in beaten egg softened butter and salt.
With a stand mixer (or by hand), add flour, one cup at a time until you have a soft dough that isn’t sticky. Knead by hand 10 minutes, or 5 minutes with a stand mixer.
Divide dough into 18 even pieces, and shape into balls. Place in a greased pan (I use a cast iron) and cover with a kitchen towel.
Let rise 30 to 40 minutes in a warm place.
Lightly brush with room temperature milk and bake on the middle rack for 10-12 minutes or just until golden browned.