Stir together first 3 ingredients in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup; let yeast mixture stand 5 minutes.
Stir together flour, shortening, and salt in bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer. Add yeast mixture, and beat at medium speed with mixer, using dough hook attachment, 6 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 12 equal portions. Knead each portion 3 times. Shape each portion into a 6-inch log, and place on 2 lightly greased baking sheets (6 loaves per baking sheet).
Cover dough, and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 40 minutes (dough will not double in bulk). Cut a shallow slit, lengthwise, in top of each loaf.