Cook milk and 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat 3 to 5 minutes or until butter melts, stirring occasionally. Let cool to 115°.
Meanwhile, combine warm water and next 2 ingredients in a 1-cup liquid measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.
Beat milk mixture, rosemary, salt, pepper, and 2 eggs at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended. Beat in 2 cups cheese and yeast mixture. Gradually beat in 5 cups flour. Beat at medium speed 3 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes), adding remaining 1/2 cup flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 2 or 3 times. Divide dought into 18 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 2 1/2-inch oval. Place rolls 1 1/2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 400°. Brush beaten egg over tops of rolls; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter; brush over rolls.
2012 Christmas with Southern Living
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