1) Combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough comes together.
2) If you're using a stand mixer, beat the dough with the flat beater till it clears the sides of the bowl and firms up a bit. Scrape the dough into the center of the bowl, if necessary; then switch to the dough hook, and knead for about 7 minutes, to make a smooth, somewhat sticky dough.
3) If you're using a bread machine, simply mix and knead the dough using your machine's dough cycle.
4) Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for 1 to 2 hours, till it's puffy and nearly doubled in bulk. If you're using a bread machine, simply let it complete its cycle in the machine.
5) Gently deflate the dough, transfer it to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8" log. Place it in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan.
6) Tent the pan with a shower cap or greased plastic wrap, and let the loaf rise till it's crowned 1" to 2" over the rim of the pan, 1 to 2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
7) Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, till an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads at least 190°F.
8) Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Run a stick of butter over the hot surface of the bread, if desired; this will make the crust soft, and add flavor.
Yield: one 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf.