I have been making lots of bread lately, and this is wonderful, soft, fluffy sandwich bread. The dough had the best texture of any I made so far. No bread machine required! Even though there is no machine, it's very easy for a first time bread maker to make. Prep time does not include rising. **I am sorry you didn't have success.. I have passed this on to lots of friends and they all had lots of success! I got the recipe from a video that is VERY helpful, I add an extra tbs honey. here is the link http://www.expertvillage.com/video/19818_bread-ingredients-measure.htm
- add yeast and a pinch of sugar (to feed the yeast) to warm water, let it sit 5-10 minutes until very foamy. water should be warm, but not hot, about 110 degrees.
- put proofed yeast into a large mixing bowl. add milk, honey, oil, and salt.
- add flour, start with 3 cups. mix with a sturdy spoon until smooth.
- add in more flour, one cup at a time until it gets to hard to stir.
- turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes adding more flour as needed. dough should be smooth, elastic and not too dry, but not sticking to your hands either.
- put dough in a greased bowl and turn it over to lightly grease it. cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel (you can use a damp paper towel and towel if you don't have plastic).
- sit it in a warm place (like on top of the fridge) for 1-1 1/2 hours until doubled in size.
- cut the dough in half as equal as you can. punch dough down, getting all the air out. form into a rectangle and roll up tight, tucking in the ends. it should look like a small loaf.
- place each loaf in a greased (I use shortening) loaf pan. cover again and let rise 45 minutes until about doubled in size.
- if you choose, brush with the egg for a nice glossy look (i prefer it).
- bake at 350 for 35 minutes on the middle rack (leave room, they will rise more in the oven!).
- the bread is done when it's golden and sounds hollow when you tap on it.
- remove immediately from the pans and cool on a cooling rack so the bottoms don't get soggy (check to make sure it's done by also tapping on the bottom-it should sound hollow also).
- cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.