There is no canonical way to manage this setup. However, I take the view that root access should only be used when abosoutely required.
Due to this, I set the /var/www/html directory to a normal user, e.g. webmaster. This way routine access for web related files does not require root access.
Directories requiring write access by apache will either need world write permissions, be owned by apache, or setup group access.
There is a good review of using using sticky groups here: