Aside from the precision of ingredient amounts a scale provides, it can also serve as a quick tool to achieve an even division of dough. Just pinch off enough dough to equal the correct weight for each roll. After rolling the dough pieces into balls, freeze the portions you don't want to cook in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer to a zip-top plastic bag to keep in the freezer for up to two months. Thaw dough balls at room temperature and allow to rise to double their size before baking as directed in the recipe.
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 1/4 cups warm water (100° to 110°)
1 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
6 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/3 cups)
5 1/3 ounces bread flour (about 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons)
2 2/3 ounces cornmeal (about 9 tablespoons)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
How to Make It
Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add raisins and next 5 ingredients (through cornmeal), stirring until a stiff dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes; dough will feel sticky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Punch dough down. Divide dough into 16 (1 1/2-ounce) portions. Working with one dough portion at a time (cover remaining dough portions to prevent drying), roll each portion into a ball. Place dough balls on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until dough balls are doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Uncover dough. Gently brush egg evenly over dough. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until rolls are browned on bottom and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pan; cool on wire racks.