1 Tablespoon yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 cups warm water, divided
6-7 cups flour
1 Tablespoon salt
4 Tablespoons butter, melted & cooled
1. In a large bowl, combine yeast and sugar. Add 1/2 cup of the water into a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon to blend. Allow the mixture to rest until creamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Add 3 cups of flour and half the remaining water; mixing together. Repeat with remaining water and another 3 cups of flour; mixing together. Add salt and melted butter and continue to mix, using your hands if necessary. Add additional cup of flour, little by little, as necessary. Once the dough has come together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface, do so and knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat completely, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
3. Punch the dough down and turn it out to a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half and work with one half at a time. Using your hands, pat the dough into a 9×12 rectangle. Roll the dough, starting with the short side. Pinch the seam and place in a buttered loaf pan, seam side down. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and allow loaves to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 375F before the second rise is completed. Remove the plastic and place the loaves in the oven. Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. If you have an instant thermometer, use it to test that the inside of the loaf reaches 200F. Remove from pans immediately and transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.
Yield: 2 Loaves
Source: Adapted from Baking With Julia