- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 packets active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
- 8 cups bread flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Oil or melted butter, for greasing
- Put the eggs in a large mixing bowl.
- Heat the milk and 4 tablespoons of the butter in a liquid measure in the microwave, or in a small pot on the stove, until the milk is warmed and the butter is melted. Remove from the heat, and if necessary set aside until cooled to no warmer than 110°F.
- Add the milk mixture and the sugar to the eggs, and whisk to combine. Stir in the yeast and let the mixture sit until it is foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Add 7 cups of the flour, and then the salt, to the yeast mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until incorporated. Add another 1/2 cup flour and begin kneading it into the dough with your hands by pulling the dough toward you in the bowl and pressing down. Continue in this manner until the flour is incorporated, about 5 minutes. If the dough isn’t pulling completely away from the bowl and is still sticking to the sides, knead in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and form it into a ball.
- Drizzle a bit of oil or melted butter in the same bowl and add the dough, turning it once to grease the top. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set it in a warm, draft-free place until the dough has increased by half (not doubled), 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead it several times. Divide the dough in half. Roll or stretch 1 portion of the dough into a 12 x 5-inch rectangle. Fold one long side in one third of the way, and press to seal it. Fold the other side one third of the way lengthwise and press to seal. Turn the shaped dough, seam side down, fold the ends under by 1 inch, and press to seal. Place the dough in the prepared loaf pan, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the loaves with a kitchen towel and return them to the warm, draft-free place. Allow them to rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1K hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake the loaves in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the tops are golden and the internal temperature reads 200°F when tested through the bottom with an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the loaves to wire racks and allow them to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.