Add the water, yeast and honey to the bowl of your stand mixer and mix with a fork just until the yeast is moistened and the honey is dissolved.
Let sit for about 4-5 minutes.
Add the flour to the bowl of the stand mixer on top of the water and yeast mixture and then add the salt.
Turn the mixer on low speed and mix until a soft dough forms.
Continue mixing on medium-low speed and let the mixer knead the dough for about 4 minutes. The dough should have formed a soft ball and the sides of the bow should be clean. Only if the dough is too wet and sticking to the side of the bowl, add a tablespoon or two more flour as it kneads.
Shape the dough with your hands into a ball and place it back into the bowl (oil the bowl, if you wish). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 60 minutes in a warm, draft-free place.
Grease 2 loaf pans with butter or a high-quality non-stick baking spray.
After the dough rises, punch it down and turn it out onto a floured work surface and divide it in half.
Roll each piece of dough into a ball with your hands, eventually shaping it into an oblong round shape.
Place each piece of dough into one of the greased loaf pans and cover the pans with a clean kitchen towel.
Let them rise again in a warm, draft-free place for about 20 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whisk together the egg and water to make the egg wash (if using).
Brush the egg wash over the tops of the loaves and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25-35 minutes until the tops of the loaves are a deep golden brown colour.
After baking, remove from the pans and place the loaves on a wire rack to cool completely.
Slice after the loaves have cooled completely to room temperature and use to make your favourite sandwiches or serve alongside soups or stews.