To make homemade brown-and-serve rolls, combine 3 cups of flour with two envelopes of rapid-rise yeast, 1/2 cup of sugar and 4 teaspoons of salt in a large bowl. Place 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups of milk and 1 1/2 cups of water.
Heat the butter mixture over medium heat until it's approximately 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the butter mixture into the flour, and beat it with an electric mixer for two minutes on medium speed. Add another 2 cups of flour, and beat the mixture for two minutes on high speed. Place the dough on a floured surface, and knead it for eight to 10 minutes until it's stretchy and smooth.
Allow the dough to rest, covered, for approximately 10 minutes before dividing it into four equal portions. Each portion makes approximately one dozen rolls. Shape the rolls as desired, cover them, and place them in a warm spot to rise for one hour. Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes at 275 F.
Store the cooled rolls in a resealable bag for one week in the refrigerator, or one month in the freezer. To serve the rolls, thaw them, and arrange them on a baking sheet. Bake the rolls for 10 to 12 minutes at 400 F. Optionally, add minced garlic or herbs to the flour mixture to flavor the brown-and-serve rolls.