BASIC WHITE BREAD
package active dry yeast
cups lukewarm water
Lard (the size of an egg); you can substitute shortening here if needed
Enough bread flour to make a soft dough (usually about 5 cups)
Grease pans and set aside. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in a 1/2 cup warm water. In a large bowl, combine the lard, sugar, salt and the remaining 2 cups of water. Add the yeast mixture to the bowl and stir until combined. Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until the dough is elastic and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl loosely with a damp cloth and let rise until double in size, about 1 1/2 hours in a warm, draft-free place. Punch the dough down and place on lightly floured surface. Cut the the dough into 2 equal portions. Punch down a little more and form each into a loaf. Place the dough into greased loaf pans. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise again until the dough is level with the loaf pan, about 40-50 minutes. Pierce each loaf several times with a fork. While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake the bread for 40-45 minutes. The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on top. After removing the bread from the over, brush with butter for a softer crust. Remove the bread from the pans and place on cooling rack. The bread freezes well and will keep for up to 6 months.