Preheat the oven to the "proof" setting. If your oven does not have this setting, set it to the lowest temperature possible, around 160-175 degrees F. Move the oven rack to the lowest position the make room for a mixing bowl.
Warm the milk until it's just barely above body temperature. Pour the milk and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and sprinkle the dry active yeast over the top. Allow the yeast to "sponge" or foam for 5-10 minutes. (If the liquid ingredients are too hot they will kill the yeast, instead of activating it.)
Once the yeast is foamy, pour in the salt and lukewarm water. Using a bread hook attachment, turn the mixer on low and start adding the flour, one cup at a time. Let the mixer run for 6-8 minutes, kneading the dough. The dough will be very sticky.
Cover the mixing bowl with plastic and set it in the warm oven for 1 hour.
After an hour, flour your hands and punch down the dough. Fold it over a couple times in the bowl. (You can also "knead" the dough again with the mixer to avoid touching it. ) Cover again and place it back in the oven for another 30 minutes.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Flour a work surface with ample flour. Dump the dough onto the surface and cut into 12 equal pieces. Knead each piece and roll the edges under to create round mounds. Press the mounds flat with your hand, and set them on baking sheets. It's ok if the flattened dough has finger marks in it.
Place the baking sheets back in the proofing oven for 20 minutes. Then take them out and adjust the oven racks, one at the bottom and one in the center. Place a large baking dish of water on the lower rack to create steam. Then reset the oven temperature to 550 degrees F.
Once the oven is fully preheated, bake one sheet of rolls at a time for 6 minutes, then turn the oven on broil so the heat source is above. Broil for 1-2 minutes to create color on the rolls. Reset the oven to 550 degrees F, and repeat the process with the second sheet. Cool and enjoy!