I have never had bread turn out like this. This was a kitchen victory for me.
1/2 cup low-fat milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
5-6 cups all-purpose flour
Place milk, sugar, salt and butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm.
Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add lukewarm milk mixture and 4 1/2 cups flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 1 minute.
Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Knead on Speed 2 about 2 minutes longer, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.
Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf, (Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a 9x14 rectangle. Starting at short end, roll the dough tightly. Pinch to seal seam. Pinch the ends and turn them under. Place the dough, seam side down, in a loaf pan.)and place in a greased 8 1/2x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pans. Cover. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Bake at 400 degrees or until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.
Makes 32 servings (16 slices per loaf).