1 (1/4 ounce) packet instant yeast (I used Red Star Platinum Yeast)
9 1/2 ounces (1 1/8 cups) milk
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed
2 eggs, room temperature*
In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the milk to 180ºF. Add the cubed butter and stir in, allowing to melt while the mixture cools to 120º-130ºF.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 4 1/4 ounces (1 cup, spoon and level) flour with sugar and salt. Just before adding milk mixture, whisk yeast into flour thoroughly.
Using the mixer's paddle attachment, turn the mixer on low speed. While mixing, slowly pour in the milk mixture. Once incorporated, continue to mix for two minutes on low speed. Add eggs and another 3 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup, spoon and level) flour. Beat on low to combine and continue to beat for another two minutes. Add remaining 5 1/4 ounces (1 1/4 cups, spoon and level) flour and mix in on low speed until the dough is smooth.
Wipe down sides of bowl and beater and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Leave dough to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, generously butter the bottom, corners, and sides of a 9 1/4" x 5" loaf pan and dust pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
Once dough has doubled, use a wooden spoon to stir the dough for about 30 turns or half a minute, knocking air out of the dough. Transfer dough to prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top surface. Cover with greased plastic wrap and leave to rise for another 30-40 minutes, until reaching the top of the pan, just slightly above the rim in the center at its highest point. Do not let edges of dough rise higher than the pan's rim. Towards the end of this time, preheat oven to 375ºF with an oven rack placed in the bottom-third position.
Just before baking, carefully peel plastic wrap off dough, being careful not to deflate in the process. Place pan in oven and bake bread for 35-40 minutes, covering loosely with foil after 20 minutes to prevent excess browning, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is golden. Turn dough out onto a wire rack to cool before slicing.
Store bread in an airtight, zip-top bag at room temperature, or in the refrigerator if storing for more than a couple days. This makes a good dinner bread but is also great served with butter, honey, and/or jam for breakfast.
*To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, place in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before using.