Set oven at 375 degrees F. Soften yeast in warm water (110 degrees F). In large bowl, combine sugar, molasses, salt and shortening. Add hot water and stir until sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm.
Stir in rye flour; beat well. Add softened yeast and caraway seed or orange peel; mix well. Stir in enough all purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Knead on well floured surface until smooth and satiny (about 10 minutes).
Place dough in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2-2 hours. Punch down. Turn out on lightly floured surface; divide in two portions. Shape each into smooth ball. Cover; let rise 10 minutes.
Pat dough in two round loaves; place on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in size (1 1/2-2 hours). Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Place foil loosely over tops last 10 minutes, if necessary. For soft crust, brush with melted butter. Cool on rack. Makes 2 loaves.
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