American Sandwich Breadfrom America's Test Kitchen
1 cup milk, warm
1/3 cup water, warm
3 tbsp. + 1 tsp. unsalted butter, divided
3 tbsp. honey
3 3/4 cup bread flour, plus more for workspace
2 1/4 tsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 tsp. salt
1. In a large liquid measuring cup whisk together the milk, water, 3 tablespoons butter, and honey. Microwave or put into saucepan to heat until liquid is warm (115-120 degrees) and butter is melted.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix 3 1/2 cups flour, yeast, and salt together using the dough hook. Turn the mixer to low and slowly pour in the milk mixture. Mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute, scraping down the bowl as needed.
3. Increase the speed to medium-low and kneed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes. If after 4 minutes, more flour is needed, add remaining 1/4 cup, 1 tablespoon at a time. Dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl but not the sides.
4. Once dough is smooth and elastic, remove and knead by hand to form a smooth round ball. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and wrap with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5. Once dough has doubled in size, turn out onto a lightly floured workspace and press into a 7-inch square. Starting with the edge closest to you, roll it into a tight cylinder, tucking the ends in but maintaining the cylinder shape. Pinch the seam closed and place seam side down in a 9-inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 1/2-2 hours
6. Place an oven rack in the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush top of dough with 1 tsp. melted butter. Fill another loaf pan halfway with water and place on rack in oven. Place dough filled loaf pan next to water filled pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, until bread is golden and an instant-read thermometer measures at 200 degrees.
7. Let bread cool in pan for 30 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.