- 5 tsp instant or active dry yeast (2 pkgs)
- 1 cup (8 oz) warm water
- ½ cup (4 oz) sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 4 ½ – 5 cups (22 ½ – 25 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water (let stand until foamy if using active dry yeast â€“ about 5 minutes). Using a wooden spoon stir in the sugar, eggs, 4 ½ cups of flour to start, salt, and the butter. Mix together until a rough dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, working in only as much flour as needed, resist the urge to add more flour because it will result in a dry, tough bread. Knead the dough for about 7-10 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot until it doubles in bulk, about 1 ½-2 hours.
Shape bread into desired shape or shapes. Then cover the loaves with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let them rise in a warm spot for 45-60 minutes or until they roughly double in size.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees about 45 minutes before baking. Bake the loaves until they are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. This will vary depending on the shape and size of the bread you are baking. Let the loaf cool almost completely.