2 envelopes of active dry yeast
2 c. warm water
1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 c. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 Tbsp. salt
6 c. flour
375 degrees F
25 minutes (2 hours 25 minutes total time)
Combine yeast, water, and sugar and let stand for 5 mins. Beat in eggs, oil, and salt, 3 c. of the flour, and the rest of the sugar. Add the rest of the flour until a soft dough forms—it’ll be sticky, and that’s OK. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. Knead for 10 mins, adding more flour if the dough becomes too sticky to work with (it likely will).
Put kneaded dough in a large, oiled mixing bowl and cover with a tea towel for 1 hour. Flour your fist and punch the dough down. Divide dough in half, then continue to divide the dough in half until you have 8 pieces per half—16 pieces total. Shape the pieces into balls and place on large baking sheets (you can refrigerate some of the balls at this point if you don’t have enough baking sheets to handle 16 buns at once). Cover the dough and let rise again, 45 minutes to an hour. If you’re feeling cheesy, add some shredded cheddar to the tops of risen dough.
Bake in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes, making sure to move the oven rack to the lowest position before you get started. Remove from oven, brush the tops with olive oil, and after a few minutes remove the buns to a wire rack to cool completely.
If you’d prefer slices of bread from a loaf, you can roll half of the dough out onto a floured surface, creating a large rectangle shape. Starting at a short end, roll up the dough into a log. Tuck each end under the dough, then transfer to a well-oiled loaf pan. Repeat with the other half of dough. Cover loaves and let rise again, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes, making sure to move the oven rack to the lowest position. Remove from oven, brush the tops with olive oil, and after a few minutes remove the loaves to a wire rack.
Eat or freeze bread made from this recipe the same day. If any of the bread survives until the next day, definitely use it to make French toast for breakfast.