1. Pour the rice into a large mesh strainer and run cool water over it until all excess starch is removed and the water runs clear. Drain well.
2. Place the rice in a medium mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Let soak for 30 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
3. Place the rice, water, butter, salt and pepper in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat.
4. Bring the water to a boil, cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Cook for 18 to 20 minutes.
5. Check the rice for tenderness and fluff it with a fork .Replace the lid and cook as needed until done—2 to 5 minutes more.
6. Remove from the heat and serve immediately. If you wish to keep the rice warm for a while, wrap a clean towel around the lid and place over the saucepan. This will prevent condensation from turning the rice to mush.