1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
2 1/4 c milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
1. In a large bowl, combine 2 1/2 c flour and the yeast; set aside.
2. In a saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, butter, and salt until warm and butter almost melts (120-130 degrees- i don't have a thermometer so I just tested it on my wrist and if it burn for a second but doesn't scold then it's good).
3. Add milk mixture to flour. Beat on low for 30 seconds, and then on high for 3 minutes (it helps to develop the gluten). Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
4.Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and kneed in flour until it makes a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes). Shape into a ball. Placed in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 45-60 minutes). I like to preheat my oven to 200 while I'm mixing the dough. When it preheats TURN IT OFF and put your dough in it. If you add a pan of boiling water to the bottom rack, it's the perfect environment to proof your dough.
5. Punch dough down, then turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Grease 2 loaf pans (8X4X2 inch).
6. Shape dough and put into pans. Cover and let rise again for another 30-40 minutes. (I repeat the oven process so it's perfect).
7. Take out the loaf pans, cover, and preheat the over to 375 degrees. Once preheated, bake about 40 minutes until it sounds hollow and is golden brown (if it gets too brown, cover with foil so it wont burn). Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on a wire rack).