Touch guides you in three ways as you make this bread: Knead the dough until it feels smooth and elastic; press it to see if it has risen enough; and then tap the baked loaf to determine if it has finished baking. Serve toasted with preserves, or use for sandwiches.
Cooking Light MARCH 2006
Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm milk in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 3 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
Roll dough into a 14 x 7-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll up rectangle tightly, starting with a short edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Place roll, seam side down, in an 8 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat surface of dough with cooking spray, and cover; let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Uncover loaf; drizzle surface of loaf with remaining 1 tablespoon butter, gently spreading with a pastry brush. Cut a (1/4-inch-deep) slit lengthwise down center of loaf using a sharp knife.
Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until the bread is browned on bottom and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on wire rack.
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