Scald milk, add fat, sugar and salt. Cool until lukewarm.
Add 2 cups flour with yeast sprinkled on top. Mix; then add egg, if using.
Add enough flour to make a soft dough that can be handled. Place on a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat top. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Put in warm place and allow to rise until doubled in size; about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down and place on floured surface. Roll out and shape rolls. Put on a greased pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double in size.
Bake at 400º for 15 - 20 minutes.
Makes around 24 rolls, depending on size and shape. If rapid-rise yeast is used, rising time will be shorter.
Alternate instructions: If using a mixer that has kneading beaters, knead for 8 minutes. Cut the rolls out with a biscuit cutter and spread butter on top then fold over.
If using bread flour you won't need 5 cups of flour, put 1 cup in at a time after you put the first 2 cups in. You may use 3 cups of milk instead of 2 cups, and add flour accordingly.