Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. In mixing bowl combine yeast, 1 cup water, salt and shortening. Fold in stiffly beaten egg white. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Let dough rise twice until doubled, punch down and let rise again. Punch down and divide in 10-12 pieces. Form into slightly flattened balls and place on greased baking sheet.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and bake 20 minutes. To ensure a hard crust, place pan with boiling water in bottom of oven during baking. Serve warm with jam, or cold.