6 to 7 cups Gold Medal Flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
2 ¼ cups very warm water
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
- Mix 3 ½ cups of the flour, the sugar, the salt, the shortening, and the yeast into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add warm water and mix on low speed for a minute or two with an electric mixer, frequently scrapping the sides. Then add 1 cup of flour at a time until dough is easy to handle. What I have found is that you will add 3 more cups of flour to attain this.
- Sprinkle flour onto the surface that you are going to knead the dough on and also on your hands. You will knead the dough for about 10 minutes (it will give you one heck of a workout for your arms).
- Grease a large bowl with shortening and place the dough in it. You will turn the dough to grease all of the sides.
- Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough stand for 60 minutes or till it doubles in size.
- Grease the bottoms and sides of two 9 X 5 loaf pans with shortening.
- After dough has doubled in size push your fists into the dough to deflate. Divide the dough into two equal parts. Flatten each of the parts with your fingers or a rolling pin into 9 x 18 inch rectangles. Now start rolling the dough tightly, starting with the 9 inch side. After each turn seal the edge with your thumbs or fingers. Once rolling is done pinch the the seam into the dough. Then each of the ends closed. Place the dough in the pans seam side down. Now brush the melted butter on the tops and sides of each loaf.
- Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 50 minutes.
- Move your oven racks down so to allow the tops of the pans to be in the center of your oven. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the dough has risen, place in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. I have found if you use ceramic loaf pans it will be around 28 minutes and if you use a metal loaf pan it is closer to the 25 minute time, you will want to start checking it thou around 22 minutes.
- Brush the tops of the loaves once again with melted butter. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Use a plastic spatula around all four side, gently lifting upward. With oven mitts turn the pans upside down to remove the loaves from the pans.