Activate the yeast. Add the yeast, milk, and 1 tablespoon sugar into a small bowl and mix well. Set to one side for 15 minutes until foamy.
Add dry ingredients and mix. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the flour, remaining sugar and salt. Quickly mix together.
Add wet ingredients (except the butter). Add the foaming yeast mixture, eggs and vanilla bean paste and mix on low for 5 minutes until the dough comes together.
Add butter and knead in mixer. Then add the butter gradually, whilst the mixer is running on medium and once incorporated, turn the mixer up and knead for ten minutes. The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl but have formed a ‘tornado’ around the dough hook.Tips for doing the windowpane test in step-by-step instructions in blog post.
Knead by hand. Tip the dough onto a lightly greased worktop and do the stretch and fold method. Pull each corner out and fold it back over itself into the centre.
Proof the dough. Turn the dough over so that the seams are underneath and place the dough ball in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 ½ hours.Note: if your environment is cold then place bowl in the oven with the light on only. The ambient air temperature created from the light is perfect for the dough to rise in.
Deflate the dough. Grease and line a 2lb loaf pan. Once doubled in size, gently punch down the dough and tip out onto a lightly floured benchtop. (There is no need to refrigerate the dough at this point as there is no special cutting/shaping needed later on) Using your hands, form dough into a rectangle.
Cut and shape the dough. Cut the dough into five equal pieces. With a rolling pin, roll out one piece of the dough into a flat rectangle.Starting from the short end, roll the dough up tightly into a log and place seam side down into a greased and lined 2lb loaf pan. Repeat this process with all the dough pieces and line them up sitting snugly next to each other in the loaf pan.
Second proof and bake. Cover the pan loosely with cling wrap (allow room for the dough to expand) and let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 mins or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F), then bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and rest for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or let cool completely, slice and toast. Best eaten day it is made.