10/15/14: As a result of reader feedback, this recipe has been amended as follows: 1/2 cup water has been omitted; the milk has been reduced from 2/3 cup to 1/2 cup; and the salt has been increased from 2 teaspoons to 2 1/2 teaspoons. In addition, the loaf pan size has been downsized to 9" x 5" (from 10" x 5"); and the oven temperature reduced from 375°F to 350°F.
1) Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl, and mix and knead — by hand, using a mixer, or in a bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a smooth, soft dough.
2) Put the dough into a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let it rise until doubled, about 60 to 75 minutes.
3) Gently deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide it in half.
4) Shape each half into a loaf, and place in lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pans. Alternatively, shape half into a loaf, and the other into 12 to 16 rolls, which can be placed into two 8" round pans, or into a 9" x 13" pan. Or, simply shape all of the dough into 24 to 32 rolls.
5) Cover the pan(s) and let the loaves/rolls rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
6) Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, or until its crust is a deep golden brown, and a digital thermometer inserted into the center registers about 190°F. Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.
7) Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out onto a rack to cool. Store completely cool bread or rolls well-wrapped, at room temperature, for several days; freeze for longer storage.
Yield: 2 loaves; or 1 loaf and 12 to 16 rolls; or 24 to 32 rolls.