1. Lightly grease two muffins tins (24 muffin cups); set aside.
2. In a saucepan combine butter, sage and 2 tablespoons of the sugar over medium-high heat; stir just until butter is melted. Stir in buttermilk and heat just until warmed; do not let mixture come to a boil. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.
3. In a bowl, combine the yeast ad remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Stir in the warm water; set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes, until yeast froths and doubles in size. Add the yeast mixture to the buttermilk mixture; stir to combine.
4. In a separate large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the buttermilk-yeast mixture and stir to combine, forming a sticky dough. Loosely cover the bowl with a clean cloth; let stand in a warm place about 30 minutes, until dough has risen slightly. (At this point, the dough can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 day. Before proceeding with recipe, remove from refrigerator and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
6. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead several times, until dough is easy to work with. Pinch off pieces of dough and form into 1-inch balls. To shape cloverleaf rolls, nestle three 1-inch balls in each muffin cup. Loosely cover with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes, until doubled in size.
7. Uncover rolls, brush lightly with melted butter, then bake about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven. Serve warm.