5 3/4 - 6 1/4 c. flour (I've been using bread flour lately)
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
2 1/4 c. milk or buttermilk (I use milk)
2 Tbl. sugar
1 Tbl. butter, margarine, or shortening (I use butter)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 1/2 c. of the flour and yeast; set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat and stir milk, sugar, butter and salt until warm (120 - 130-degrees) and butter almost melts.
3. Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixture (if using a stand mixer, use dough hook) on for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl. Beat on high for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in remaining flour - as much as you can.
4. Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface.
5. Knead dough until it's a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 - 8 minutes). Shape dough into a ball and place into a lightly greased bowl, turning to grease surface of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place (I usually put it in the oven with a bowl of hot water on the rack below) until double in size, 45 - 60 minutes.
6. Punch dough down, turn dough out on lightly floured surface, divide in half. Cover, let rest 10 minutes.
7. Grease two 8"x4"x2" loaf pans.
8. Shape each dough half into a loaf by patting or rolling.
-patting: gently pat or pinch dough into a loaf shape, tucking edges underneath
-rolling: roll dough into a 12"x8" rectangle
9. Tightly roll up, starting from a short side, sealing the seam with fingertips.
10. Placed dough halves in pans, seam sides down. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size, about 30 minutes.
11. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Back for 35 - 40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped.
12. Immediately remove bread from pans, cool completely on wire racks.
*To store in freezer, tightly wrap in plastic wrap, place in two gallon zip-lock bags. Breads are freezable for 3 months.