|1½ cup||Warm (not hot) water|
|1 pack||Yeast, active dry, or|
|1||Cake compressed yeast|
|2 cups||Sifted enriched flour|
|5 cups||Sifted enriched flour|
To make sponge: Pour warm water and 2 T sugar into large bowl. (Cool to lukewarm for compressed yeast.) Sprinkle or crumble in yeast and stir until dissolved. Add flour and beat until smooth. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, until light and spongy, about 1 hour.
To make bread: Scald milk. Stir in 2 T sugar, salt, and shortening.
Cool to lukewarm. Stir sponge down. Stir in lukewarm milk mixture.
Stir in 5 cups flour. Turn dough out on lightly floured board. Kneed until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, brush with shortening. Cover, let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Punch down and turn out onto lightly floured board. Divide in half, let rest 15 to 20 minutes.
Shape into loaves. Place in greased bread pans, 9x5x3 inches. Cover.
Let rise in warm place, free from draft, until center is slightly higher than edge of pan, about one hour. Bake in hot oven (400 F) about 50 minutes. Makes 2 loaves.
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