February 04, 2007

Sub Rolls

1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast (often labeled as rapid rise or bread machine yeast)
1/2 cup water
a spray battle with water or some ice cubes

Either by hand, in a food processor or an electric mixer, mix flour salt and yeast together. Add water slowly and mix until the dough comes together and is slightly sticky. Knead the dough for 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface. The dough should feel smooth and be very easy to work with. If it feels stiff, sprinkle some water over it while you continue to kneed. Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm draft-free place (a "cold" oven is s good place) until it is doubled in size (about an hour).

After the dough has doubled, gently collapse it and cut it in half, form each half into a ball, and let rest covered in the bowl for 20 minutes. The bread can be baked on a cookie sheet or on a bread or pizza stone. If you are using a bread or pizza stone, sprinkle 2 pieces or parchment paper with corn meal. If using a cookie sheet, sprinkle some corn meal directly on the sheet. Carefully, so as not to push the bubbles out of the dough, roll each of the dough balls into an oblong shape (about 8 inches long) by gently rolling with your fingers from the middle out. Place each oblong onto the parchment paper (or cookie sheet if using) cover with the towel, and let rise for another hour. During this time, preheat the oven to 450.

Baking: Slide each dough oblong onto your pizza stone (or put the cookie sheet into the oven) and quickly spray the inside of the oven with water (or throw some ice cubes into the oven). The steam that this creates will improve the texture of the crust. After 5 minutes, turn the oven down to 400, give it a quick spritz and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Yields 2 sub rolls.

My thoughts:
It doesn't matter if you call them sub, hoagie, hero, or grinder rolls, it is always best to make your own. Since we are a family of two (well, four if you count the dogs but they don't get rolls) this recipe yields only 2 fairly long rolls. If you want smaller rolls, you could probably make 4 short rolls. If you want more, you could easily double the recipe.