Stir water, salt, and sugar well to thoroughly dissolve, and then add yeast, flour and shortening.
Work to a smooth dough and then knead for ten minutes. Then place in a well-greased bowl, turning the dough over to thoroughly coat. This prevents a crust from forming on the dough. Cover the bowl and set aside to raise for three and one-half hours.
Now lay over the dough by pulling in toward the centre, the sides and ends of the dough until it forms a compact mass. Turn over the dough, cover and let rise for one hour. Now place on the moulding board and proceed to form into loaves, using the same method as in the sponge dough.
When the dough is ready to mould into loaves, proceed; using method as given in sponge dough, finally rolling the loaf on the moulding board, making it pointed at the ends. Now place a clean cloth in a deep baking pan and sprinkle the cloth with cornmeal. Place the loaf of dough on the cloth and sprinkle it lightly with cornmeal. Now lift the cloth up close to the dough, making a cloth partition between each loaf.
Let the dough rise, about 45 minutes, and when ready to bake, lift dough carefully from the cloth and lay on a baking sheet and gash slightly with a sharp knife. Wash with an egg and water, wash and bake forty-five minutes in a hot oven, adding a small saucepan of boiling water to provide steam to keep the loaf moist while baking.