Mix the sugar, 1/2 cup warm water and the yeast in a mixing bowl and set aside for about 10 minutes until the mixture starts to froth, indicating the yeast is alive and well.
Sift the flour and baking soda into the bowl. Knead on low speed in a stand mixer or by hand for about 3 minutes, trickling in enough warm water until you have a dough that's smooth but slightly sticky (I needed 3/4 to 1 cup of water).
Add the oil and continue to knead until the oil has been absorbed by the dough, about 1 more minute.
Now place in an oiled bowl, turning over once to coat all over with oil, cover with a kitchen towel, and set aside for 2 hours until the dough has risen.
Punch down the dough and divide into 8 balls
Shape them into a slightly rectangular shape by pulling at the sides of the dough and tucking under on all four sides.
Place the tolls in a rectangular 9 X 13 inch baking dish smeared with oil and lightly floured, or on a cookie sheet, close enough but not touching each other. Let the rolls rise for 30 minutes. They will join at the ends when they have risen, creating a slab that you break the baked rolls off from. (In India, laadi pav is sold in slabs by a vendor on a bicycle who makes his rounds each morning or evening. Laadi, unless my Marathi's really rusty, translates to slab in Marathi.)
Preheat the oven to 370 degrees. Brush the tops of the pavs with the soymilk-oil mixture which gives them a nice color on top.
Bake 22 minutes. Then turn off the oven and let the pav stand inside for another 4 miuntes before removing it from the oven and allowing it to cool for 10 minutes on a rack.