4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
1 slightly beaten egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
In a large mixing bowl combine 1-1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast; set aside. In a medium saucepan heat and stir the milk, sugar, margarine or butter, and salt just until warm (120º to 130ºF) and margarine almost melts. Add to the flour mixture. Then add the 3 egg yolks. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 hour).
Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Then divide each half into 12 pieces. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grease baking sheets. To shape rolls, roll each piece into a 12- inch rope. Tie in a loose knot. Tuck top end under the roll. Then bring bottom end up and tuck it into center of roll. Place 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double (about 30 minutes).
Brush rolls with a mixture of one egg yolk and water. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Remove rolls from baking sheets and cool on a wire rack. Makes 24 rolls.
*Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare rolls as directed; cool completely. Place rolls in a single layer in a freezer container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Before serving, thaw at room temperature about 2 hours.