Dissolve yeast in the 1/2 cup water. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, salt, water and shortening. Add the yeast mixture. Gradually add flour to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth. Place dough in a greased bowl; turn to grease the top. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise until doubled, about two hours.
Punch dough down; then divide in half and form loaves. Place in previously greased bread pans. Prick the tops with a fork. Let rise until higher than the pans (about two hours).
Bake in a 375 F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Butter the tops of the loaves. Place pans on their sides until bread loosens. Remove loaves and cool completely on racks.
From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens by Good & Pellman From: Sam Waring Date: