Preparation / Directions:
* Use the lesser amount of water in the summer when it's hot and humid; use the full amount when the weather's been cool and dry, as in the fall and winter.
In a small saucepan, or in a microwave oven, combine the water, milk, margarine and sugar. Heat until lukewarm. Pour into a mixing bowl and add the yeast, 1 cup of flour, and salt. Beat mixture for 2 minutes. Gradually add remaining flour until you have a dough barely stiff enough to knead; it will be quite slack. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding flour or greasing your hands as necessary, until smooth and springy. Form dough into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl, and cover. Let rise until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down and transfer to lightly floured work surface. Divide dough in half, and form each half into a ball. Grease bread crocks and sprinkle lightly with semolina or cornmeal, if desired. Gently place one ball of dough in each crock. Let bread rise in crocks till loaves just clear the upper edge of the crock. Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned and bread tests done. Remove from oven and brush crust of each loaf with melted butter or margarine.** After a couple of minutes, remove bread from crocks and cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: two 5" to 6" loaves.
** An easy way to do this is to take a stick of butter or margarine directly from the refrigerator, unwrap one end, and run it along the surface of the bread, like you're coloring something with a big m