Dissolve sugar in water and add yeast to proof. Rest one to two minutes.
Melt butter and, along with the salt, stir into yeast mixture.
Mix in flour, 1 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached (this dough should not be terribly stick to the touch, but should have plenty of "give" and not be too tough).
Knead until VERY well developed (important!). Your dough is finished when you can tear a small piece off, roll into a ball and stretch to form a nearly transparent "window" between your fingers without it tearing.
Cover with plastic wrap and let stand until doubled in bulk (approx 40 minutes).
Lightly dust a small amount of corn meal over well-greased pans, roll your dough into long, thin "logs" and place about 3" apart on the pans. Slash each loaf every inch and a half with a knife, brush with egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.