- 2+1/4 cups Water
- 6 to 7 cups Bread Flour
- 1 TBSP Salt
- 3 TBSP Sugar
- 2 TBSP Shortening, softened
- 4+1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
- Heat water to 110°-115°F. Add yeast to the water in a large bowl. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes; stir. Blend in about ½ the flour with the sugar, salt, and shortening. Beat until smooth, about 100 strokes. Add more flour a little at a time until the dough cleans sides of bowl. Turn onto lightly floured board. Knead until smooth. Place in greased bowl smooth-side-down; turn over. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe. Meanwhile, grease two 5 x 9- or 4½ x 8½ - inch loaf pans.
- Punch down dough. Let rest 15 minutes. Turn onto board. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Round each into a ball. Put two into each pan. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after touching. Bake 35 to 45 minutes in a preheated 400°F oven. Remove from pans and cool on racks. Brush with butter for soft crusts.
- *You can substitute Instant (fast-rising) yeast in place of Active Dry Yeast. When using Instant Yeast, expect your dough to rise faster. Always let your dough rise until ripe. Traditional methods: use equal amounts; Bread Machine: use ½ tsp Instant Yeast OR ¾ tsp Active Dry Yeast per cup of flour in your recipe.