A popular recipe that comes, appropriately, from New Sweden, Maine, this light rye bread is especially moist. If three loaves are more than your family can use, just halve the recipe and make one large and one small loaf.
In a small bowl, combine the yeast with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and ½ cup warm water. Mix until foamy.
In a very large bowl, combine the hot and cold water with the milk. Let cool. Add the yeast mixture and stir well. Sift the rye flour, 3 cups of the white flour, the salt, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar into the bowl. Stir well. Add the shortening and molasses and stir. Stir in 4 cups or more of the white flour. Turn out onto a floured board and knead. Keep working in more flour; knead for 5 minutes or more until a good solid ball is formed.
Grease your hands, then place the ball of dough into a greased bowl. Cover. Let rise for 1-½ hours and punch down. Let rise for another 1-½ hours and punch down again.
Divide the dough into thirds. Put into three well-greased 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pans and let rise for another hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake for 50 minutes. Brush on melted butter or margarine while the loaves are still warm. Cool for 10 minutes on wire racks, then turn out of the pans to cool completely.