Sponge: Measure into a bowl. Mix water, sugar and yeast and stir until dissolved. Then add the flour and beat until smooth. Cover and let rise about 1 hour. Meanwhile, scald 2 cups milk. Add sugar, shortening and salt. 4 Tbsp. sugar 6 Tbsp. shortening (1/3 cup) 2 Tbsp. salt Cool to lukewarm. Add this liquid to the sponge mixture after it has doubled in bulk. Stir well to mix, then add remaining ingredients. Flour should be added until it is workable but sticky. (you will need a 5 pound bag of flour to make this bread.) Turn out on a well floured board and knead flour into the dough; It will remain on the tacky side, but this is best because the fruit will need the extra moisture. Knead about 15 miinutes. When the proper amount of flour has been kneaded in, you will have a dough about the size of a basketball. Divide this into two batches and place each in a well oiled bowl, cover and let rise until double in bulk. Punch down dough - form three loaves from each batch and place in bread pan and let rise til double in bulk. Each bowlful will make three average loaves. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. This bread is wonderful toasted and buttered - enjoy with a friend and a cup of coffee. Give a loaf as a gift to a friend. Can be frozen. Posted to Recipe Archive - 23 Mar 97 by ted by: firstname.lastname@example.org on Mar 23, 9
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