5 3/4 to 6 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
2 1/4 cups milk or buttermilk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter, margarine or shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
In a large mixing bowl combine 2 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast; set aside. In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, butter and salt just until warm (120 to 130 degrees F) and butter almost melts. Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (45 to 60 minutes).
Punch dough down. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile lightly grease two 8x4x2 loaf pans.
Shape dough halves into loaves by patting or rolling. To shape by patting, gently pat and pinch, tucking edges underneath. To shape by rolling, on a lightly floured surface roll each dough half into a 12x8 inch rectangle. Roll up each rectangle, starting from a short side. Seal seams with your fingertips.
Place shaped dough halves in prepared pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (30 to 40 minutes).
Bake in a 375 degree oven about 40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped (if necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent over browning). Immediately remove bread from pans. Cool on wire racks.
Pairs Well With
There is nothing better than fresh baked bread. This one is a keeper!!