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*2 1/4 tsp. (1 package) active dry yeast
*2 cups warm water
*1 tblsp. sugar
*6 cups flour, approximately
*1 1/2 tsp. salt
*2 tblsp. softened butter
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, water, and sugar; let stand until bubbly, about 10 minutes.
2. Combine 2 cups flour and the salt, add the yeast mixture, and beat at low speed. Add the butter. Turn to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup flour and beat another 4 minutes.
3. Stir in another 2-3 cups flour, or enough to make a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and kneed for 8-10 minutes, adding just enough flour to make it workable, or until dough is smooth and elastic.
4. Place dough in a large buttered or oiled bowl, turning dough so all sides are greased. Cover with a clean towel and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
5. Punch down and knead again, then tear dough in half to make two balls of dough. Cover both with a clean towel and let stand for 20 minutes. Place dough into 2 loaf pans and cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
6. Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes or until bread is done. Remove from oven and turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Immediately brush tops with melted butter if desired.