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Mom's White Bread

In a small bowl, soften the active dry yeast in warm water or the cake yeast in lukewarm water.

In a large bowl, combine the scalded milk, sugar, salt and shortening. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm.

Stir 2 cups of flour into the milk mixture and beat it until it is lump-free. Add the softened yeast and mix until well combined. Add enough of the remaining flour, a cup at a time, to make a moderately stiff dough.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead it until it is smooth and satiny. This should take 8 to 10 minutes.

Shape the dough into a ball. Put the ball in a lightly greased bowl and turn it once to grease the surface. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours). Turn the dough out, punch it down and knead it into a ball. Put it back in the bowl, cover with a towel and let it rise again until it is double in size.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface, punch it down and knead it again. Cut the dough into two portions. Shape the portions into smooth balls, cover and let them rest for 10 minutes.

Shape the balls into loaves and place in two greased loaf pans. Cover with a towel and let rise until the loaves are double in size (about 1 hour).

Bake the loaves in a 400° F oven for 35 minutes or until the loaves are done. After 15 minutes, check to see if the tops are browning too fast. If they are, loosely cover the loaves with aluminum foil for the remaining 20 minutes.

Turn the loaves out onto a cooling rack or board. While they are still hot, lightly coat the tops with butter.