Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Mix the yeast with 2/3 cup of the lukewarm water until dissolved. In a bowl, combine the butter, salt, sugar with 2/3 cup hot water until the butter is melted and the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add 2/3 cup cold water and stir to cool. Combine when lukewarm with the yeast.
Sift the flour into a bowl, make a well in the center, and pour in most of the lukewarm liquid. Mix to a loose dough, adding more lukewarm water or more flour if necessary. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, cover, and let it relax for 5 minutes. Knead for about 10 minutes longer, or until smooth, springy and elastic.
Transfer the dough to a large bowl. Cover the top tightly with plastic wrap, and allow it to rise in a warm area. When doubled in size, punch down, and knead again 2 to 3 minutes. Let it relax, covered for 10 minutes.
Shape the bread into loaves, braids, or rolls, and cover with a light dish towel. Let rise again for 20 to 30 minutes. Bake in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on size.