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1 pkg. instant yeast granules
1 c. warm water
7 1/2 c. flour, unsifted (stir to aerate)
2 c. milk
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. raisins (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, make the sponge by stirring the yeast into the warm water until thoroughly dissolved. Add one cup of the flour and beat with a wooden spoon, about 1 minute, to make a light batter. Cover with a clean towel and let it rise for 1 hour in a place free of drafts, or until the sponge is bubbly and frothy.

Scald the milk. Cut up the butter and add it to the milk until melted. Add the sugar and salt, and stir to blend. Cool. Then mix the cooled milk mixture into the yeast batter. Stir in the raisins, if used. Transfer it into a large bread-mixing pan. Add the remaining 6 1/2 cups of flour, about a third at a time, and stir with a wooden spoon until the batter can be worked with the hands. Do not make as stiff as bread dough. Cover with foil and a towel and let rise for 2 hours or until almost double in bulk.

On a lightly floured board, roll out 3 round sections of dough to about 2 to 3 inches high to fit 3 well-greased (or oiled) round cake or pie pans. (Do not knead the dough.) Let the cakes rise for an hour or two, which depends on the day if it is warm or cool.


1/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
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