Preheat the oven to 180 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Place the milk in a small sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil. (You could also microwave the milk for 2-3 minutes to boil.) Pour the milk in the bowl of an electric mixer, then add 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter to the hot milk and stir until it melts. Add the sugar, 1 cup flour, and 1/2 cup ice cold water to the mixing bowl. Stir and touch the mixture for temperature. It should now be just slightly above room temperature as to not kill the yeast. Stir in the yeast and let it foam for 5 minutes.
Using the bread hook attachment, turn the mixer on low. Add 2 teaspoons salt, and the remaining 4 cups of flour. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and knead for 5 minutes. Then dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut it into 12 equal pieces.
Stretch each piece of dough out to about 6-7 inches, then tie into a loose knot. Place the knots on the baking sheets four inches apart. Then brush them well with water, so they don't dry out, and place them in the low-temperature oven to rise for 20 minutes.
Once the knots have expanded in the oven, remove them from the oven and raise the temperature to 375 degrees F. When the oven reaches 375, place the knots back in and bake for 15-20 minutes, until slightly golden.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1 cup butter and season with minced garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Once the knots are out of the oven, dunk them in the garlic butter and turn to coat. Place them back on the baking sheets and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. (Mine have a little parsley on them as well.) Serve warm!
NOTE: If you have double ovens, you can set one to 180 degrees F and one to 375 degrees F, for an even faster transition.