1. Combine yeast and water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in sugar and next 3 ingredients. Whisk in 3 cups sifted flour, 1 cup at a time, until combined. Gradually stir in more flour to make a soft dough (about 3 to 3 1/2 cups). Using floured hands, shape dough into a smooth ball. Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
2. Punch dough down. Roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut dough into rounds with a 3-inch round cutter, rerolling scraps once. Lightly press each round into a 4-inch oval. Spread 1/4 tsp. softened butter on half of each oval. Fold unbuttered half over to form a half-moon shape; place 2 inches apart on 2 lightly greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
3. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake, in batches, 14 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack; brush with melted butter.