1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons or 1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt or sea salt
1/3 cup canola oil
About 4 1/2 cups bread flour
Optional: egg white or milk for brushing on the loaf
1 tablespoon butter (melted)
Steps to Make It
In a large bowl, mix the warm water and yeast. Add the milk, sugar, salt, and oil and stir to combine.
Add in enough bread flour to make a dough that follows the spoon around the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for 8 minutes, adding more bread flour as needed until the dough is firm and smooth to the touch.
Place the dough in a medium greased bowl. Turn dough over in the bowl so that the top is also lightly greased. Cover with clean cloth and let rise in warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.
Punch down the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 5 minutes or until the bubbles are out of the bread. Shape the dough into a round loaf and place it in a greased 1 1/2-quart round casserole dish. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375 F. With a sharp knife or razor, slash the top of the bread. For a glossy top, brush an egg white on top of the loaf, or brush loaf with milk before baking to produce a dark, shiny crust.
Bake the bread for 45 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when the top is tapped. Remove the bread from the casserole dish and let cool on a rack. Brush loaves with butter immediately after baking to produce a soft crust.