In a large bowl, an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, or a food processor, combine the yeast, water, and 1 teaspoons of the sugar and let stand until bubbly-about 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, the butter, buttermilk, egg, salt, and 3/4 cup of the cornmeal; blend well. Stir in enough flour (start with about 2 cups) to make a soft dough.
On a lightly floured board or in the mixer or food processor, knead the dough until smooth and elastic-7 to 10 minutes by hand, 5 minutes in a mixer, or 40 seconds in the food processor. Add more flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking.
*At this point the dough can be stored.
Place in a 1-gallon food storage bag, push out all of the air, and secure with a twist tie, leaving room at the end for expansion. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. *.
Transfer to a large, lightly greased bowl, turn to coat with the grease, rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk-about 1 hour. Punch the dough down and roll it out 1/2 inch thick on a lightly floured surface.
Cut into eighteen 3-inch rounds and set 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Cover with dry towels and let rise untill almost doubled in bulk-35 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F.
Sprinkle the rolls lightly with the remaining 2 tbls. of cornmeal and bake until golden brown-17 to 20 minutes.
Serving later;. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Knead a few turns on a lightly floured board, then proceed starting with punching down the dough and rolling 1/2 inch thick on a lightly floured surface.