A great, super easy deli-style sandwich bread you can make at home
Around here, we love submarine, meatball and cheesesteak sandwiches, so each week I bake up a batch of Hoagie rolls. Over the years, I’ve mastered a recipe that makes a beautiful bread with a crunchy crust and a soft interior with just the right amount of chewiness, just like the ones you get at the deli or bakery.
Best of all, the recipe is super simple and very difficult to mess up, so you get great bread without much effort. You can also pizzazz it up a bit by adding Italian seasoning — which also makes it great as a base for cheesey garlic bread.
The real magic to this bread is the biga (old dough). My recipe for it is on the website here.
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1-½ cups warm water (~110 degrees)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp instant yeast*
- 2 Tbsp of biga at room temperature
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tsp butter
- 1 tsp of dried Italian seasoning (optional)
*I like to use instant yeast because you can add it directly to the flour. If you’re using dry active yeast, whisk together the warm water, yeast and sugar and let it stand for 10 minutes before adding to the flour.
- Add the flour, yeast, sugar and water to a mixing bowl and mix at low speed for 5 minutes.
- Add in the salt (and Italian seasoning if you’re making Italian rolls) and continue to mix for another 5-6 minutes at medium speed until the dough is slack (well mixed, but soft enough that it doesn’t hold its shape). If it starts to firm up, add a bit of water until it is slack again.
- Add in the butter and mix until it’s thoroughly incorporated into the dough.
- Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl, cover lightly with a cloth and set it in a warm place where the dough can rise until it’s doubled in size (usually about an hour).
- After the dough has doubled, divide it into 8 parts. On a lightly floured board, form them into sausage shaped loaves.
- Lightly grease or place parchment paper on a baking tray and transfer your loaves to it. Allow them to rise for another 45 minutes.
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees (make sure it’s at 375 for at least 15 minutes) and bake until the loaves are golden brown and sound slightly hollow when tapped (usually 15 – 20 minutes depending on your oven).
- Remove from oven and cool.
That’s it! Now you have chewy delicious sandwich rolls every bit as good as the deli’s!