Place the 2 cups water in the bowl of a stationary mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and sprinkle with the yeast. Allow to sit for about 15 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, the shortening and 5 cups of flour.
Mix until a dough starts to form. Add the salt and the remaining flour as needed until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Continue to knead with the dough hook for 10 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead by hand for a minute or two, until dough is smooth and elastic.
Return it to the mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm, draft-free corner to rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Punch the dough down, then divide it into four balls. Cover these with a clean dishtowel and let them rest for 15 minutes.
Form each ball into a 16-by-3-inch loaf. Place the loaves on baking sheets, cover them with a damp cloth and set aside to rise for 1-1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Gently place the fully risen loaves in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on racks.
2 cups warm (110 degrees) water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dry granulated yeast
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
6-1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon salt