Dissolve yeast in water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve.
Weight out the flour.
Make a batter of the water and yeast, together with 2 cups of the weighed-out flour. Beat for 10 minutes with either the bread paddle of the mixer or in a food processor(with the dough blade). It will pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
Add the salted water. Then, add the remaining flour and knead for 5 minutes, with the machine, or 15 minutes by hand. You may need to add more water to get a more elastic dough.
Place the dough in a greased, glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place into a warm (not hot!) oven to rise. Let it rise for 1-2 hours until doubled in size. Take out the day's aggressions by punching it down, and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down again (doesn't this feel good?) and mold into a loaf of your choosing, on top of a wooden cutting board. Sprinkle the loaf lightly with cornmeal and cover with a towel.
Preheat the oven to 450º . Important-Place a pan of hot water underneath the rack you the using to bake the bread.
When the loaf has doubled, place them upside down on a cookie sheet, and put them on the upper 1/3 of the oven to bake.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the bread is nicely brown. You can thump the bottom of the loaf and it will sound hollow.