Dissolve yeast in 1/3 cup water (105-115 degrees). Mix well and let stand 5 minutes. Mix flour and salt. In large bowl combine the dissolved yeast and 1 1/4 cups water. Slowly add the flour mixture, stirring well, to form a stiff dough.
Turn out on floured surface and knead 10 to 15 minutes, adding flour as necessary, until smooth and elastic.
In greased bowl place dough and turn over once to coat the surface. Cover and let rise in warm place 1 to 2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch down. Toss the dough with flour until no longer sticky.
Divide dough into 2 parts and roll out by hand into loaves. Sprinkle greased baking sheet with cornmeal. Place 2 loaves on sheet and cover with parchment paper and a towel. Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours. With a razor blade make 3 diagonal slits in top of loaves. Beat egg white with water and brush top of loaves.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the bread in oven and place a small cake pan with 1" water inside on the rack under the bread. Bake 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 15 minutes. The loaves should sound hollow when tapped and be a rich brown. Cool on rack.
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