Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a large mixing bowl, stirring well; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add remaining warm water, sugar, salt, shortening, and 3 1/2 cups flour; beat well. Stir in raisins and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half, and shape each into a loaf. Place in 2 greased 9- x 5- x 3-inch loaf pans. Cover and repeat rising procedure 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans immediately; cool on wire racks. Brush tops with melted butter.
Oxmoor House Homestyle Recipes
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