I'm a 16 year old who bakes and cooks for my little family of three. I never had done bread, but I know I have talent when baking, so this was my first bread recipe I ever tried! I was confused at first when it came to doing the yeast, and then when it was time to let the dough rise, it looked like it hardly changed. But, to my surprise, it was WONDERFUL! When it cooked, it rose a great amount and turned out just the way I wanted. Sweet, soft, and not too dense at all! But, the 30 minutes was not enough, there was a small doughy part when we finally sliced it (which might been because of the loaf pan but that's an easy fix.) So, all-in-all great recipe!!
I had a terrible time getting the dough to rise, even after 2 hours. I have been making bread by hand for a long time, and rarely have I had this problem. My yeast is fresh- I make bread 4 times a week- I know that's not the cause. Even taking in consideration butter instead of oil, it should have doubled in bulk after two hours in a warm spot. Finally I kneaded in more yeast, and that gave it a little oomph to get working, but not nearly enough where I could say it was doubled in size. This leads to a dense loaf, which is okay, but not really what I desired. I wanted to like this recipe, I wanted it to work, but I just couldn't get it to do that. So I'm giving it two stars, I'm sorry.
This turned out very good...I made mine into one loaf of cinnamon/sugar bread and 8 large sandwich rolls. The rolls are pretty good (I think they'll be better when actually made into sandwiches) and the cinnamon/sugar bread is outstanding. I took half the dough after the first rise, rolled it out into a rectangle, sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar, and rolled it up -- similar to if you were making cinnamon rolls, except I didn't roll the dough out that thin. Then I put the rolled up dough log in a loaf pan, brushed it with an eggwash and baked it. After it was done baking and cooled a bit, I made a glaze out of butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract, and drizzled it over the top of the loaf. It's exactly like a cinnamon swirl bread I used to get at a very good bakery in my hometown, which I haven't had in years so it was a very delicious treat with our dinner tonight.