In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook combine the water, yeast, and honey.
Add salt, butter, and 3 cups flour to the bowl.
Continue to add in flour ¼ cup at a time until it forms a soft, sticky dough. You may not need to use all of the flour.
Knead on low for about 5 minutes, or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and is soft and smooth. If the dough is too sticky, add the flour 1 tablespoon at time until it feels slightly sticky when you pinch it but doesn't come off on your fingers.
Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm spot for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide it into two equally sized portions.
Gently pat each half into an 8×12 inch rectangle.
Starting at the short end, roll up the rectangle into a tight roll and pinch the seams to seal.
Tuck the ends of the roll slightly underneath and place each loaf into a greased 8×4 inch loaf pan seam side down.
Cover with a greased piece of plastic wrap and let rise for about 45 minutes in a warm and spot until doubled in size.
Toward the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 400 F and adjust oven rack to lower-middle position.
Bake loaves for 20-25 minutes, or until until golden brown. They should sound hollow when thumped.
Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Brush the loaves with melted butter, if desired.
Water: The water should feel warm but not overly hot. If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for the yeast. Water that's too hot will kill the yeast, and then your bread won't rise.
Yeast: You can use active dry yeast in place of instant yeast. Use an equal amount of active dry yeast, but let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes after step 1 or until it's foamy. If it doesn't foam, start over.
Flour: You may need to use a little more or less flour. The important thing is that your dough is soft and smooth. It should feel a little sticky when you pinch it, but it shouldn't come off on your fingers.
Melted butter: The melted butter helps to soften the crust and add flavor.