Note: Thanks to reader feedback, this recipe has been amended as of May 1, 2015, as follows: the amount of cinnamon has been cut back, to reduce rising times; the salt has been increased, for flavor; and the recipe has been cut in half, to make one loaf.
1) Combine all of the ingredients, and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a smooth, soft dough.
2 Round the dough into a ball, and place it in a greased bowl (or let it remain in the bread machine), and let it rise for about 2 hours, or until it's noticeably puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk.
3) Gently deflate the risen dough, shape it into a log, and place it in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. Tent the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let the dough rise until it's crowned 1" to 1 1/2" over the rim of the pan, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
4) Uncover the risen loaf, brush it with milk or water, and sprinkle it with cinnamon-sugar, if desired, for extra flavor.
5) Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, until it's a deep golden brown and a digital thermometer inserted into the center registers at least 190°F. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil about 10 to 15 minutes before it's done baking.
6) Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Once it's completely cool, wrap well, and store at room temperature for up to 5 days. Freeze for longer storage.
Yield: 1 loaf.