1/2 tsp. saffron strands
4 tbsp. hand-hot water
8 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. butter, diced
1 pinch salt
4 tsp. easy-blend dried yeast
2-1/2 cups milk, warmed
2 eggs, at room temperature, beaten
1 egg yolk, beaten, or milk, to glaze
Dissolve the saffron in the water and allow it to stand until the water takes on the strong color. In a large warm bowl mix together the flour, butter, salt, and yeast. Gradually add the saffron water and approximately three-quarters of the warmed milk and knead either by hand or machine until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave in a warm place to rise for approximately 1 hour or until the dough has risen appreciably.
Reheat the remaining milk and stir half of it into the eggs. Add the mixture to the dough and knead again briefly. (If the dough seems dryish at this point, the remaining milk may be added; otherwise, it may be retained to glaze the rolls.) Leave in a warm place another 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease a baking sheet and divide the dough into 16 to 18 small rolls; glaze and bake the rolls for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 425°F and bake for 5 minutes longer or until the rolls are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the base.