I have made bread using this recipe for many years and have always had great success with it. It takes a bit of time to prepare but I think it is well worth it!
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
2 cups milk diluted with 2 cups water
4 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons melted shortening
2 cups all-purpose flour
10 cups all-purpose flour
Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water; set aside. In a large saucepan, scald* the milk/water mixture. Add the sugar, salt and melted shortening; cool to lukewarm. Add 2 cups all-purpose flour and mix well; add the yeast mixture.
Add the remaining all-purpose flour, 1 cup at a time mixing well after each addition. Knead dough until smooth. Place in a large, well-greased bowl; grease top of dough and let stand, covered with a clean cloth, in a warm place** to rise for 1-1/2 hours. Remove from bowl to a lightly floured surface; knead 8 strokes; divide into 4 equal parts and let rest, covered with a clean cloth, for 10 minutes. Shape and put into well-greased loaf pans and let rise for 1 hour more.
Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20 to 30 minutes or until risen and golden brown. Grease or butter the tops, leave in the pans and wrap the pans and bread in a clean cloth until cooled. This will give the bread a soft crust. Remove from the pans and cool completely. Makes 4 loaves.
* To scald milk/water mixture, heat in a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, just until small bubbles form on the surface; immediately remove from the heat. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
** To create a warm place for the dough to rise, I heat my oven to 200 degrees F for about 5 to 10 minutes, then turn off the oven and place the covered dough inside.