In a large mixing bowl, proof the yeast by pouring in 1 cup of the warm water and the yeast. Allow to stand for a few minutes while the yeast gets bubbly and foamy looking.
Stir in the remaining water, salt, and sugar.
Add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.
Cover bowl and place in a cool, dark place. Allow dough to double in size. I let mine sit for about an hour.
Punch down the dough and divide equally into two prepared 8x4 loaf pans. Cover again and allow to rise again, doubling in size. I allowed another hour for this. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°
Uncover and place in preheated oven. Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden. If desired, brush tops with melted butter 5 minutes prior to finish.
Remove from oven and turn loaves out onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing.