In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the yeast with 1/2 cup of water and the sugar and set aside to activate, about five minutes.
In a bowl, sift together all the flours, salt, and baking soda.
Add the flours to the yeast mixture and mix by hand or in a stand mixer. Drizzle in the remaining water slowly. If you are working in a humid, damp atmosphere the way it was when I made the bread you may not need all the water, so don't add it all at once. Knead for 3-4 minutes until you have a smooth dough.
Add the oil and continue to knead until the oil is absorbed by the dough, another 3 minutes.
Shape the dough into a smooth ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning over once to coat the top with oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm place until the dough has doubled, about 2 hours.
Punch down the risen dough on the countertop and divide it into 12 equal pieces.
Shape each piece into a rectangle by pulling the sides and tucking underneath. You want the rolls to have a smooth top and sides.
Place each roll in a lightly oiled 9 X 13 inch baking dish. The rolls should not touch each other.
Brush the tops lightly with oil, cover with a kitchen towel and set aside for about 90 minutes or until the rolls have risen to about twice their original size and are joined at the sides.
Bake the rolls in a 370-degree oven for 23 minutes until the tops are golden and the rolls sound hollow when you knock the tops with your knuckles.
Remove to a rack to cool and when the rolls are cool enough to handle remove them from the baking dish and continue cooling on the rack.