Mix together the warm water, brown sugar, and oil. Add the salt, yeast, and most of the flour, holding some back to add in if you need it. I usually need all of mine, but flour brands and baking environments are all different so use the amount of flour you need to form a tacky dough.
Knead the dough on a countertop for about 5 minutes – pushing and pulling and turning the dough until it smooths out. Oil the dough and place in a bowl, top with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise in a warm place, for about an hour or until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and flatten it out in a rectangle. Roll the dough tightly, pinching the end into the roll. (See my white bread recipe, linked in the notes, for a step by step photos of this process.)
Place the formed dough into a bread pan. (To make rolls, divide into 9 and roll into balls. Place them in a 9 x9 pan.) Cover with plastic and a towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until it rises above the side of the pan.
Heat oven to 400°F. Bake loaf for about 25 minutes. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes.
Brush the hot loaf with butter for a soft crust.