In a small bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture, milk salt, baking soda and 1 cup flour; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Batter should be thick and sticky but smooth, with all flour thoroughly dissolved.
Grease and dust six 5 inch ovenproof bowls with cornmeal. If bowls are not available, use large sized soup cans. Spoon batter evenly into bowls. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Let dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Place bowls or cans on baking sheets and brush the tops with oil. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from bowls. Let cool completely before slicing and filling.