1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups bread flour
Stone-ground yellow cornmeal
In an 8 ounce measuring cup, stir together first 3 ingredients and let
mixture stand until it bubbles to top of cup. Dissolve baking soda in 1/2
tablespoons warm water.
In medium bowl, combine warm milk, salt and soda-water mixture with 1 cup
flour, beating with wire whisk until smooth. Beat in yeast mixture and
then remaining flour, switching to a sturdy spoon. Batter should be thick
and sticky but smooth, with all flour thoroughly dissolved.
Put dough in 2 small pie pans that have been sprayed with non-stick spray
and dusted with cornmeal. Cover with wax paper or plastic wrap that has
also been sprayed. Let rise about an hour.
Remove plastic wrap and discard. Spray tops of buns with non-stick spray
and bake on center rack at 375 degrees about 20 minutes or until golden
As rolls cool in containers on rack for 20 minutes, spray tops with more
non-stick spray to keep crust soft. Let cool 1 hour before slicing and
filling with sandwich meats and cheeses.
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