Combine 3/4 cup flour, sugar, dry yeast and salt in a large mixer bowl and stir until blended.
Combine milk, water and butter in a small microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Microwave on HIGH in 15 second increments until very warm but not hot to the touch (120° to 130°F). Test the water temperature with an instant read thermometer, if you have one. Note: butter won’t melt completely.
Add wet ingredients to flour mixture.
Without a mixer: stir mixture with a wooden spoon until you can’t stir anymore, adding just enough flour (about 1 – 1 1/2 cups more) so the dough will come to a ball, getting your hands in there once you can’t stir anymore.
If using a mixer: Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/4 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in just enough of the remaining flour (1 to 1-1/4 cups) so that the dough will form into a ball.
Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic and springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cover with a towel; let rest for 10 minutes.
Cut dough into 36 equal pieces. (Do this by cutting the dough into 12 pieces and cutting each of them into three pieces.) Roll each piece into a ball.
Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place three balls of dough in each muffin cavity.
Cover with towel; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes .
Bake in preheated 375ºF oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan carefully and brush with additional melted butter, if desired. Serve warm.
You can double this recipe easily to make 24 rolls for a larger gathering.