|Water||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)|
|Active dry yeast||1⁄2 Ounce (2 Envelopes)|
|Warm water||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Sifted all purpose flour||6 1⁄2 Cup (104 tbs)|
1. Combine water, butter or margarine, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Heat slowly until butter or margarine melts; cool to lukewarm.
2. Sprinkle yeast into very warm water in a large bowl. ("Very warm water" should feel comfortably warm when dropped on wrist.) Stir until yeast dissolves; then stir in butter mixture.
3. Beat in 4 cups of flour until smooth. Beat in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface: knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, using only as much flour as needed to keep dough from sticking.
5. Place in a greased large bowl; turn to coat all over with shortening; cover with a clean towel. Let rise in a warm place, away from drafts, 1 1/2 hours, or until double in bulk.
6. Punch dough down; turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead a few times; divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Cover with a towel, let rest 10 minutes.
7. On the floured surface, roll each ball into a 9-inch circle. Fold each circle almost in half. Top circular edge should be about 1 inch from bottom circular edge. Place on greased cooky sheet. With kitchen scissors, make about 6 gashes in the dough, cutting from the circular edge about 2/3 the way inward to the folded edge. Spread the fingers of dough apart so they will not touch each other while baking. Do the same with the remaining 2 balls of dough. Let rise again in warm place, away from drafts, 1 hour, or until double in bulk.
8. Bake in moderate oven (350°) 50 minutes, or until breads are golden, and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from cooky sheet to wire racks; cool completely.