In case anyone out there wants to make an easy, soft, white bread (Emily? It's never too late to start - and this would be an easy start...):
I got the recipe from here, if you want to see the original: http://www.recipezaar.com/Softest-Ever-Bread-Machine-Bread-107868
But, I'll go ahead and list the ingredients and tell you what I did:
1 c. warm water (110 degrees-ish... hot tap water, basically)
2 tbsp. sugar
1 pkg. yeast (1 tbsp.)
1/4 vegetable oil
3 c. bread flour
1 tsp. salt
For Bread Machine:
1. Place warm water, sugar, and yeast in machine pan.
2. Let yeast dissolve for 10 minutes.
3. Add oil, flour, and salt.
4. Set to Basic.
By Hand: (Move oven rack to low position; eventually you'll preheat to 350 degrees)
1. Mix sugar, yeast, and warm water in medium mixing bowl. Let dissolve for 10 minutes.
2. Add oil, flour, and salt. Stir until just blended.
3. On lightly floured surface, knead for 5-10 minutes, until dough feels smooth and springy with some blisters on the surface.
4. Place dough in large bowl greased with shortening, turning dough to grease all sides.
5. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 40-60 min. or until double.
6. Gently push fist into dough to deflate.
7. Return dough to floured surface, and use hands or rolling pin to shape dough into a 18 x 9 inch rectangle. Roll dough tightly, beginning at 9-inch side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal, and use side of hand to seal each end. Tuck ends under loaf.
8. Place loaf seam side down in 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 or 9 x 5 greased loaf pan.
9. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 35-50 minutes or until double.
10. Bake for 25-30 minutes (depending on how brown you like your crust).
11. Remove from pan immediately.
12. For soft top crust, brush with butter when just out of oven.