The first time I had this bread my aunt had freshly baked it, and when I told her it was amazing she confided it's her favorite because, and I quote, "It's practically fool-proof! I'm not particularly great at bread, but this recipe just turns out every time!"
She had me at the taste, texture, and appearance, but when I begged for her recipe and she announced how even she couldn't mess it up unless she seriously tried, I was even more excited! It's been on constant rotation in our home, and tastes a lot like white bread from most of the fine bread bakeries. Trust me, if you've never been a baker before, this is a good recipe to fake it with!
In a small bowl or large measuring cup stir together:
1 TB yeast
1 TB sugar
1/2 cup warm water
Set aside and let the yeast start to work it's magic
In a Kitchenaide mixer mix:
2 TB's Butter
2 TB's Sugar
2 tsps Salt
2 cups VERY hot water
Mix until the butter is melted. Let it cool enough to add yeast without killing it- then add the yeast mixture, stir.
Add 5-6 cups of flour. Add half and let it mix with the paddle attachment, then when it's more solid switch to the dough hook and mix in the remaining flour. The dough should be soft and somewhat sticky...but not gooey.
Cover the bowl and set aside to rise 30 minutes in a warm, well-lit area.
Punch down and let rise 15 minutes
Punch down again and let rise 15 minutes
Punch down one more time and let rise 15 minutes
Divide dough in half and roll with rolling pin, each half on a floured board...about 1 inch depth. Air bubbles will go out to the edge. Toll them up (like a sloppy cinnamon roll) and place on a cookie sheet.
In a small bowl mix:
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp of milk
Slit the tops then coat with the egg mixture.
Let rise a few minutes then bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees
Enjoy it and pat yourself on the back for making the easiest, best bread every time!