i get 2 cups of flour with the yeast in the bowl of my mixer, the remaining flour gets put in a separate bowl to mix in later. the milk, sugar, and butter go into a small pan on the stove. i heat them to 125 degrees.
after they are mixed together i use a wooden spoon to mix in most of the bowl of flour (i leave some out to dust my hands and pastry cloth during kneading). i don't use the bread hook because it's bent and will not mix the dough completely.
once the the flour is mixed in and i have a ball of dough, i turn it out onto the pastry cloth.
i butter up a bowl and put the bread in for the first rising. i put a towel over the bowl and place it in the microwave (don't turn it on) and let the bread rise for one hour.
after the first rising is over i punch down the dough and divide it into 2 loaves.
they come out a nice golden brown, hhhmmmm....homemade bread.
i do butter the tops when they come out of the oven. this helps stop the crust from getting to hard. when the pans are cool enough to handle i flip the bread out onto a rack and cool the rest of the way down. be careful i usually lose a loaf to the hungry bellies of my boys before it is completely cooled :)