Add the sugar, salt, and butter to the warm milk and keep stirring until combined. Then remove from heat.
While milk is coming to temperature, add yeast to warm water and stir to activate.
In a large bowl or stand mixer combine half the flour, eggs, yeast mixture, and room temperature milk mixture on low until smooth. This should take only a few minutes.
Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer. Should you have any of the flour remaining from this step, use that to flour your board for kneading.
Kneading & Proofing
Knead lightly into a ball and allow to rest on the floured board for 10 minutes. After which, come back and knead for approximately 10 minutes adding a dusting of flour as needed for stickiness.
Grab a large bowl and grease or oil the inside of the bowl. Place your ball of dough in the center and cover with plastic wrap. This will help to seel in the humidity and temperature as it proofs.*
Allow to rise, covered, for approximately 1 hour.**
Remove dough from bowl and turn onto lightly floured surface, kneading again for only 2 minutes. Return to bowl, recover, and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
Turn onto floured surface and shape into a ball. Cut the ball in half and shape into your loaves as they fit into your greased loaf pan.*** Cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough has filled the loaf pan and top is rounded.
Bake in a 400°F oven for 30-40 minutes. Bread should be golden brown on top and on the sides, as well as make a thunking sound when tapped in the top middle of the loaf. Allow to cool slightly in the loaf pan, then remove and allow to cool completely on a wired rack.
*I use Pam cooking spray to coat my bowl and the plastic cling wrap. Your dough will double in size and often to the max of the bowl and cling wrap. By spraying the cling wrap with Pam spray, you'll make for an easier time of removing the wrap from the dough. **Be sure to store your proofing bowl in a warm place. On top of the refrigerator, on the pre-heated stove, or near a heater in your kitchen. The warmth of the environment will help to proof the dough. ***When using a well loved cast iron loaf pan, I did not find myself needing to use any extra grease or oil. Bread popped right out when done.
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