Serves: 20Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 5 hoursDifficulty: Medium
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water, divided
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
- Place 2 cups flour in a large bowl and set aside. Mix the yeast with 1⁄4 cup warm water in another bowl, stirring well. Add the sugar, salt, and remaining water to the yeast. Add the mixture to the flour in the bowl and stir well. Cut in the shortening, using a pastry blender or your hands. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as possible.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead 8 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary. Transfer the dough to a large well-greased bowl, turning to coat both sides. Cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm, draft-free area. Allow to rise until double in volume, about 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours.
- Punch the dough down and let rise a second time until almost doubled in bulk. Grease 2 loaf pans (9 by 5 inches).
- Punch dough down a second time and divide into 2 loaves. Shape loaves and place into prepared bread pans. Cover and let rise until almost doubled.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pans and allow to cool on a rack.