Place evaporated milk, water, salt, sugar, eggs, butter, flour, and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. Select dough setting and press start. Check the dough (don't be afraid to open the lid). It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time).
When dough cycle has finished, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly oiled surface (I spray with vegetable spray).
Form dough into an oval, place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. Turn dough over (but do not punch down), cover, and let rise again 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size again.
Oven Rising: Sometimes I use my oven for the rising. Turn the oven on for a minute or so, then turn it off again. This will warm the oven and make it a great environment for rising bread. If you can't comfortably press your hand against the inside of the oven door, the oven is too hot. Let it stand open to cool a bit.
Cool or Refrigerator Rise: If I do not have the time to wait for the rise to finish or I know that I will be interrupted before the completed rise, I do a cool rise. A cool rise is when the dough is place in the refrigerator and left to rise slowly over night approximately 8 to 12 hours. I usually do this after the first rise and the dough has been shaped into a loaf.
Place dough on a lightly oiled surface and form dough either into two small loaves or one large load. Cover and place in a warm spot to rise, approximately 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
After dough has risen, slash the bread with a very sharp knife making three 1/2-inch deep diagonal slashes. Brush the top of the bread with cold water and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until nicely browned. A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your bread. The internal temperature should be between 200 and 210 degrees F.
This is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined: Thermapen Thermometer.
Remove from oven and place bread on a wire rack. Brush top of bread with Topping Mixture. Let cool.
Makes 2 small loaves or 1 1/2-pound loaf.
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar