In a small saucepan, warm your milk on low-medium heat. Stir occasionally so that the milk doesn’t form a skin.
Once your milk is evenly heated, take it off the stove and add your 2 TBSP of butter and sugar. Use a thermometer to check when your mixture reaches 115F. If your mixture is not warm enough, return the saucepan to the heat and stir until it reaches 110F-115F.
Add your yeast and let it sit for 15 minutes. It will start to look like the top of cauliflower heads poking out of melted butter. (seriously)
Prepare your flour mixture in a large bowl or in your mixer and add salt.
After 15 minutes is up for your yeast mixture, add it to your flour mixture along with one egg. kneed in the bowl for 15 minutes, or have your stand mixer with a dough hook attachment do it for 15 minutes 🙂
Your dough should come together but still be sticky. It should unstick to the sides, and then become really smooth and just stick to the bottom of the bowl. Kind of like a huge wad of gum.
Scrape out the dough onto a floured surface, knead for 2 more minutes and form into a ball. Leave it to rise in a lightly oiled bowl covered with plastic/foil/towel in a warm area for 45 minutes.
Once the dough is done rising, pour the dough out on a floured surface and fold in your raisins, if using. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. I used a scale to ensure each portion was the same.
Shape them into balls by folding edges to the center and arrange them 4×2 in your loaf pan. Loosely cover them in plastic wrap and let them rise again, about 45 minutes.
Make your egg wash by beating one egg yolk with a tablespoon of milk. Set aside
Once dough is finished rising for the last time, generously brush on your egg wash and bake your loaf at 350F for 20-23 minutes (depending on your oven). I started checking in at 18 minutes. Remove from the oven when you have a golden brown shine on your rolls.