1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/3 - 1 1/2 cups warm water
1 envelope active dry yeast
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cups pine nuts or chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
Makes 12 rolls
Mix the sugar with 1/4 cup of the warm water in a glass measuring cup of bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast and set in a warm, draft-free place, for 10 minutes, until the yeast is foamy.
Combine the flour, salt and cheese in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix the honey with 1 cup of the remaining warm water and pour over the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are evely noistened, adding additional water if necessary. At this point, use your hands to work the dough into a ball. Remove the ball of dough from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Set the bowl in a warm, draft-free place and let the dough rise until boubled in size, about 11/2 hours.
Punch the dough down, flatten it out into a large rectangle and sprinkle with the nuts. Fold the bottom third of the doug up over the nuts, then the top third down over that. Knead for 3 minutes, to distribute the nuts throughout the dough.
Shape the dough into 12 small balls - don't make them perfectly round. Evenly space the rolls on a nonstick or lightly greased baking sheet. Cut an "X" into the top of each roll and brush with the olive oil. Set in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Bake the rolls for 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a rack until ready to serve.