(Note: I proof my yeast by mixing 1 cup of the water [tepid only, ~ 80 degrees F], the sugar or honey, and the yeast in a bowl & setting aside to proof while getting the flour, etc., measured out.).
In a large bowl, stir 3 1/2 C flour, salt, and butter until well mixed. Add warm water (and proofed yeast). Beat on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. (may switch to dough hook about this time, OR just use the dough hook from the beginning.) Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in remaining flour, 1 C at a time, to make dough easy to handle.
Knead 10 minutes with dough hook on mixer or by turning out on lightly floured surface & kneading by hand. Dough should be smooth & springy. Grease a large bowl, place dough in & turn so all sides are greased. Cover, loosely, with a damp towel and let rise in warm place until doubled in size.
Grease bottoms & sides of two loaf pans.
When dough has doubled in size, gently push fist in to deflate. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, flatten each half, with hands or rolling pin, into a 9 x 18 inch rectangle. Roll dough tightly, beginning at 9 inch side. Pinch edge of roll to seal, and then ends to seal. Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place 35 - 50 minutes, or until dough has doubled in size.
Place oven racks in low position so tops of pans will be in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
Bake 25 - 30 minutes. (Bread is done at 200* F. I check with a probe thermometer).
Remove from pans to wire rack & brush tops with the last 2 T of butter.
Cool before slicing.