Easy French Bread


1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 1/2 c. very warm water
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. soft shortening or oil
4 c. sifted flour
Melted butter


Sprinkle yeast into 1/2 cup water; stir until dissolved. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and salt in remaining 1 cup water. Add shortening and yeast mixture; mix well. Add flour and mix well. Work through dough with a spoon at 10 minute intervals for 5 consecutive times. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and divide in half. Shape into 2 balls. Let rest 10 minutes. Roll each ball into a 12 x 9 inch rectangle. Then roll firmly as for jelly roll, starting with the long side. Seal edge. Place rolls on baking sheet. Score top diagonally 6 times. Cover with a towel and let rise approximately 1 1/2 hours. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Brush with melted butter while warm.

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