In a liquid measuring cup, add yeast to the lukewarm water; stir and let sit 5 minutes until a layer of bubbles appear. In a medium bowl, combine the yeast and water mixture with all other ingredients until a dough ball forms. Turn dough ball onto a generously floured surface and knead for a full 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and cover in a warm, non-drafty area. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (Alternatively, this can be done in a bread machine, by selecting the 'Dough Cycle'. The end of the cycle is the end of the first rise.)
Turn dough back out onto a floured surface and form a French Loaf, Boule, or a simple sandwich bread loaf. Slit the surface of the loaves by either splitting it down the middle, or slashing shallow slits along the length.
Let rise again, until doubled in size, another 30-60 minutes.
If desired, brush with beaten egg or egg white right before baking, for a golden, squeezably crackly crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.