1 TBSP yeast or one individual package
1/3 cup lukewarm (NOT hot) water
1/2 cup milk
3 TBSP honey
3 TBSP butter, cut up
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold water
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
3-1/4 cups (altogether) unbleached white flour, or as needed
(these last 2 are added for a flavored bread, leave them out for regular white bread)
about 7 or 8 sun-dried tomato pieces, diced
about 7 or 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
You can make this with a mixer that has a dough hook or you can mix the whole thing by hand. I've done both. One is a workout, the other isn't. I'll try to give both instructions here. I've separated the ingredients above into the sections worked together.
Start with a really big bowl or the mixing bowl of your mixer. Add the lukewarm water and yeast. Stir to dissolve the yeast. It will start to foam. That's how you know it's still active. If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast.
Now, I use a 2 cup measuring cup for the next part. Measure the milk, honey, butter and salt into the measuring cup and microwave it for a minute or so. Watch carefully while heating milk: it tends to boil over suddenly. Take it out and stir to melt all the butter and mix up the honey. Now add the cold water (I use a few ice cubes with the water to measure up to 1/2 cup) to the milk mixture and stir to cool. As long as it's not hot, you can now add it to the yeast in the big bowl. If you are adding the tomatoes and basil, add them to the yeast/milk mixture in the bowl.
Sift 1-1/2 cups flour with the powdered milk. If you are mixing by hand, add this to the big bowl and beat with a whisk about 3 minutes. If using a mixer with a dough hook, mix on Speed 2 for about 3 minutes. Add the remaining flour and mix another 2 minutes. If dough is too sticky (doesn't start to pull away from the sides of the bowl) add a bit more flour, 1/4 cup or so. You need to be able to handle it. If you are mixing by hand, gradually add the remaining flour. You'll reach a point where you can't stir any more and need to turn it out onto a floured board (or countertop). Knead for about 5 minutes adding flour if needed until smooth.
Now you'll need a clean bowl twice as big as the dough ball. Oil the sides of the bowl.
Cover with a towel again and let it rise again in a warm place for about another hour until almost double in size. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and let it cool before you try to slice it.