Soft and tender buns, just the way you like them! ;)
olive oil, for coating
1egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)
sesame seeds or poppy seeds(optional)
Oil a large bowl with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together 3 cups of the flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast. Beat in the 1/4 cup water, milk and oil until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
With the mixer on low speed, add the additional flour one large spoonful at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Continue to knead for 5-7 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Place the dough in the oiled bowl, turning once to coat the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface and divide it into 9 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, then roll the balls into cylinders, about 4 1/2 inches in length. Slightly flatten each cylinder. Place each bun next to each other, on a lined baking sheet with the sides of the buns just barely touching. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, adjust rack to the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400?F. Just before baking, lightly brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle the sesame or poppy seeds (optional). Bake for about 20 minutes. (If the tops are browning too soon, loosely cover with foil for the rest of the baking time.) Remove buns from the baking sheet and cool completely on wire rack.
*To freeze: Freeze in a labeled freezer bag. For best freshness the next day, freeze any leftovers immediately then thaw in microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute.