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Ah, tuna salad, egg salad, ham and cheese, pulled pork… Can't decide what kind of sandwich to have? Have them all - just make sure you've made them on these tiny soft rolls, just a couple of big bites each.
2 2/3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All- Purpose Flour
1/3 cup (1 5/8 ounces) cornmeal or 1/3 cup (2 1/4 ounces) semolina
2 teaspoons instant yeast OR 1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
1/4 cup (1 1/4 ounces) Baker's Special Dry Milk OR nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) potato flour OR 1/4 cup (1/2 ounce) dried potato flakes
1 cup (8 ounces) water
MAKING THE DOUGH: Using your hands, an electric mixer, a food processor or bread machine, mix and knead together all of the ingredients to form a smooth, soft dough. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature, in a covered bowl, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, till it's puffy and nearly doubled in bulk.
SHAPING THE ROLLS: Divide the dough into 24 more or less even pieces. If you have a scale, this is easy; just divide the dough in half, then each piece in half again, then again, so you have eight pieces. Divide each of those pieces into three pieces, making a total of 24. You can eyeball this (each piece will be about the size of a largish ping pong ball), but it's much easier if you have a scale; each piece will be about 1 1/8 ounces, or 32g.
Round each piece of dough into as smooth, symmetrical a ball as you can. A good way to do this is to first make the top of the dough as smooth as possible by pulling and stretching it downward all around the sides; this will result in a smooth top, and a tiny "topknot" at the bottom. Place the dough ball, topknot side down, on a clean surface (no flour, no oil). Cup your fingers into a claw-like cage (you'll look like someone imitating an angry cat), and using a quick, circular motion, roll the ball within this "cage" of your fingers, allowing your palm to gently touch the top. (Boy, is this ever easy to do, and hard to explain!) This will make the dough balls nice and round.
RISING: Place the rolls into a lightly greased 12-inch round pan; two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans; a 9 x 13-inch pan, or anything of similar size. The rolls should be no farther than 1 inch apart; you want them to touch as they bake, which will give them nice, soft sides. Cover the pan(s) with a proof cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the rolls to rise for about 1 hour; they'll be puffy, but not necessarily doubled in size.
BAKING: Bake the rolls in a preheated 350°F oven for 22 to 24 minutes, till they're golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and brush the tops with melted butter, if desired; this will give them a soft crust. Yield: 2 dozen 2" rolls.
Tip: For more substantial-sized "slider" buns (square or round), divide the dough into 12 pieces. If you have a scale, each piece will weigh about 2 3/8 ounces. Round the pieces into balls and place them into the lightly greased cups of a square muffin pan (or a standard muffin pan, for round buns). Allow the buns to rise, covered, for about 1 hour, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in size. Bake the buns for 22 to 24 minutes, until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and brush with melted butter, for a softer crust. By the way, we're very partial to using these rolls for pulled pork sandwiches.