Prior to making the slits in the bread, I made sure my knife was super sharp and coated well with flour (that super wet dough is sticky and makes slicing difficult). I cut an X shape into each roll and went really deep. I cut about half way through the roll! There is so much moisture in this dough that the steam makes them poof up quite a bit while in the oven. Despite the slits being so deep, they had completely expanded and filled out 15 minutes into the cooking time. The rolls looked like little poof balls with four little points where the slits used to be.
Thanks to all of the readers for giving great suggestions and advice for this method! If you've got more, keep it coming! Redforever made a good point about the rising time. I had let my dough rise for almost an hour before but since I was using refrigerated dough, the first half of my rise time was probably used just to get the dough up to room temperature! So, if you're making your bread with refrigerated dough, you may want to let it rise longer. I did notice, however, that because the dough is so wet, it never really gets BIG during the rise. The big expansion comes in the oven. You can see the effect in this video.
Step By Step Photos
After taking the second half of my dough out of the fridge, I turned it out onto a super floured surface. I cut it into 6 equal pieces.
I shaped each piece into a nice little ball and placed them all on a baking sheet that I had sprayed with non-stick spray and sprinkled liberally with corn meal. I LOVE how the cornmeal tastes on the bottom of the rolls.
After they had risen sufficiently (about an hour, they warmed up faster than a single loaf) I used a VERY sharp knife to cut the slits in top.
This is 15 minutes into baking... see how the deep slits have already completely filled out?
And after about 30 minutes they were finished... with the most wonderful crispy/chewy crust in the world!!