Blend warm water with yeast and allow mixture to rest for 5 minutes. Add HODGSON MILL BEST FOR BREAD WHITE FLOUR, 1-1/2 cups unbleached flour and salt. Mix to form a smooth dough. Turn onto a floured board and knead, adding flour to make dough smooth and satiny. This takes about 5 minutes.
Put dough into prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a wet towel. Allow to rise in a warm draft-free place for 1 hour. Dough will be almost doubled in bulk.
Knead dough down and divide into 2 balls. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Spray a baking sheet (or baguette pans) with no-stick cooking spray.
Shape each ball into a 16x8 inch rectangle. Roll up tightly from long side. Seal well, tapering ends. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cover, and allow to rise in a warm draft-free place for 1 hour. Dough will be nearly doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush with water. With a sharp knife, make 3 or 5 diagonal cuts, about ¼ inch deep, across the top of the loaves. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with poppy seeds, if desired. Bake for 30 minutes, until loaves are golden brown.
Garlic rounds: Preheat oven to broil. Heat ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil. Add 3 cloves garlic, minced, and sauté until deep brown. Cut day-old baguette into ½ inch rounds and place on ungreased baking sheet. Brush with garlic-flavored olive oil. Brush onto one side of bread rounds. Top with finely grated Parmesan cheese and finely chopped fresh basil. Broil until cheese is melted and browned.