2 packages instant yeast
1 cup milk (or a little less evaporated milk, diluted with some water)
¾ cup water
2 tbsp butter, cut up, or Crisco
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
Have ready two 8 ½ by 4 ½-inch loaf pans. Spray them with Pam (or grease them with oil or butter) before putting the dough in.
Take 1 1/2 cups of the flour and place in mixer bowl with the yeast. Mix together briefly.
Place milk, water, sugar, salt and the pieces of butter or Crisco in a saucepan, stir, and heat until warm. Then pour into the bowl with the flour. Beat three minutes at med. speed. Lower speed to minimum, and add the rest of the flour, a little at a time, beating. (Or do the mixing by hand with a wooden spoon.) When it starts to come together, remove the dough to a board, add a little more flour and knead for about 10 minutes, till you have a soft, elastic ball of dough. Leave on the board, cover with an inverted bowl and let rest 20 minutes. Then knead lightly, flatten it, cut in half, and roll up each half from the short side. Place in the loaf pans. Put the loaves, covered with a dish towel, to rise in a warm place (I put them on top of my radiator) for about 1 hour. They should rise to about 1 inch above rim of pan.
Place in preheated 400F oven for 10 minutes. Lower temperature to 350F and bake another 40 minutes. Immediately remove from pans onto racks to cool.
Melt a little butter, then brush the top of each baked loaf and immediately cover with a cotton towel. Leave like that until completely cooled. This will make a softer crust.