2 cups warm water (105-110 degrees)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
6 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cold water
Pour the water into a large mixing bowl; add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Stir in the yeast and let sit 5-6 minutes or until foamy. Meanwhile, get all other ingredients ready to use. Stir 1 cup of the flour into the yeast mixture and then add the salt. Stir in 4-1/2 cups of the flour, mixing constantly until the dough begins to hold together and pull away from the sides of the bowl. It is ready to knead.
Oil a large ceramic or glass bowl and set aside. Spread the remaining flour onto a wooden or cloth work surface. Turn dough out onto the floured surface and knead about 5 minutes; let the dfough rest 5 minutes. Continue kneading until dough is smooth, elastic and no longer sticky. Form the dough into a round ball and place upside-down in the oiled bowl; turn it over and make sure dough is oiled all over. Cover tightly with plastic wrap )grease the underside if the bowl is not very large); set aside to rise until doubled in size, from 1 to 2 hours.
Punch down the dough and turn it out onto the floured work suface and knead a little bit to get out all the air bubbles. Let the dough rest 5 minutes to relax the gluten.
Breaking off pieces of dough, form fat "snakes" about 1/2- to 3/4-inch in diameter and 6 or 7 inches long. For larger rolls (sub-roll size), divid dough into 4 to 6 pieces and form. Place rolls on a greased cookie sheet or shallow baking pan; cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rest at least 20 minutes or up to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Before baking, brush with cold water or egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds if desired. Bake 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack or, for a crunchier crust, leave in the oven with the door closed an additional 5 minutes.