When we had just moved into our new home, a neighbor welcomed us with a fresh loaf of this delightful bread. I have all sorts of favorite bread recipes; but I have to admit that both my family and I really like this one the very best! Enjoy!
Combine warm water with sugar and sprinkle yeast on top. Set aside to proof in a warm place free of drafts.
Whisk together the flour, salt, and powdered milk. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups of warm water (between 110-115 degrees F) with 2 eggs, 3/4 cup of sugar and melted butter. Mix well.
In your Kitchen-Aid or stand mixer (with a dough hook) put about 3/4 of the flour mixture; and pour in the egg mixture. Beat for until combined; Mix and then add the yeast mixture. add the remaining flour mixture, Continue beating, adding small quantities of flour until a soft ball of dough forms, adding a small amount of flour at a time if necessary to help make dough easier to handle. If dough is still too sticky, turn it out on lightly floured surface and knead in enough flour to make the dough easier to handle. Add as little as possible. I had to had about another cup.
Place the dough in a prepared (vegetable oil spray or light oil or shortening). Turn upside down and cover with a clean cloth or loosely with plastic wrap; allow to rise in a warm place free of drafts for 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
Punch dough down and separate into prepared loaf pans. If using SAF yeast you do not really need a second rise; but if you are using the fast acting packets you will need about a 30-40 minute second rise. When loaves are ready, bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Better a little bit under done than overdone. Crust will be a golden, but light brown.
Remove bread from the pans immediately to cool on wire racks. Baste with butter while hot. After completely cooled, store in an airtight bag. Double bag for freezing.
Yield: 3 smaller (but not the really small) loaves, or 2 of the large loaves. This makes terrific dinner rolls as well.
For Sweet Rolls: Add 1 Tablespoon of vanilla and an extra 1/4 cup of granulated sugar to the egg mixture. Roll and shape for any rolls you desire, Cinnamon Swirl Bread, Cinnamon Rolls, Orange Zest Rolls, etc.