Schlotsky Rolls

½ cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 package dry yeast
¼ teaspoon baking soda dissolved in ½ tablespoon water
2½ cups flour
¾ cup lukewarm milk (or water)
½ teaspoon salt
Pam Cooking Spray
Cornmeal

  • In an 8-ounce measuring cup, stir together the first three ingredients and let the mixture stand until it bubbles to the top of the cup.
  • In a medium bowl, combine warm milk, salt and the soda-water mixture with 1 cup of the flour, beating with a wire whisk until smooth. Beat in yeast mixture, then remaining flour, switching to a sturdy spoon. Batter should be thick and sticky, but smooth, with all the flour dissolved.
  • Drop dough by spoonfuls evenly into 3 ovenproof 5-inch soup bowls that have been sprayed with Pam and dusted with cornmeal (shake out excess). Cover with waxed paper or plastic wrap that has been sprayed with Pam. Let dough rise for almost an hour.
  • Remove plastic wrap and discard. Spray tops of buns with Pam and bake on a center rack at 375° for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. As rolls cool in bowls on rack for 20 minutes, spray tops with a little more Pam to keep crust soft. Let cool one hour before slicing.

For Schlotsky Sandwiches: After rolls cool for one hour, slice them horizontally, spread them with garlic butter and Parmesan cheese, put Cheddar on one half and mozzarella on the other and place them under the broiler until cheese is melted.  Fill them with deli meats, lettuce, tomato, onion, chopped black olives, and mustard.

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