Basic Yeast Bread
5 1/2 cups flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 3/4 cup warm milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
3 Tbsp butter or margarine
Measure the flour onto wax paper. Sprinkle the yeast into the warm water in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Add milk, sugar, salt, and butter. Then stir in 2 cups of the flour. Beat until well mixed. Add the rest of the flour gradually. Use enough flour to make a soft dough that pulls away in a mass from the sides of the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Round the dough into a ball and knead for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky. Let the dough rest on the board for 20 minutes, covered with a clean cloth. After 20 minutes, the dough will have expanded in size. Punch down the dough, divide it into halves, and with a rolling pin, roll each portion into a rectangle. Beginning with the top, peel the dough up and roll into a loaf. Seal the seam of the loaf with thumbs and turn the ends under the loaf.
Place the loaves seam side down in a greased loaf pan and cover with oiled wax paper. Place the loaves in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator, uncover, and let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature. Puncture any surface bubbles with an oiled toothpick.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until done. Remove the loaves from the pans immediately and brush the tops with margarine or butter. Cool on racks.