Finally, success. I watched Mark Strausman on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqJLExaX0yc and saw how he shapes the fully--and I mean fully to the point where the dough is blistering and nearly collapsing (thanks to Stan for that point)--proofed rolls and then baked them convection (450, 25 degress lower than conventional oven temp, preheated oven), two baking sheets (no stone), reversing the sheets midway. I used a combination of the recipes in ITJB and Hamelman's Bread (except for the onions--I like them sauteed, no breadcrumbs, with a little poppy seed). Here you have them:
Thanks to everyone who had suggestions, and you'll be happy to know that this was relatively "a piece of cake" (er--bialy).