Sometimes You Just Need a Hoagie Roll Recipe

I have been baking bread for years, and the whole variability of this process is what tweaks my interest.

If you make a dough batch and split it, rise one half at room temperature it won’t taste the same as the other half that was risen in the refrigerator over night.  The longer rise will give you a more complex flavor which is great if that is what you want.

Brush the roll with egg wash and it will be shiny.  Leave it unbrushed and you get what I have here.

And if you’re making them at home and want the same results every time, you may want to just let that go to the professionals.  Part of the art of baking is the understanding that next time most likely will be different.

For example, in Philadelphia there is a company that makes The Definitive Hoagie Roll.  Amoroso’s Baking Company has made them for decades, and we all say it’s what makes the cheesesteak.  However it has a limited distribution.  And while you can get that same taste of an Authentic Philadelphia Italian Hoagie at Wawa, trust me,  it gets difficult to find those same rolls “in the wild”.

Now that I am in South Florida, I’m truly in The Wild.

I am not saying that this recipe is identical, I will say that it does have approximately the same texture and taste, but on a quick rise in the oven, the flavor is good but can be “muted”.

So if you want an Amoroso’s Roll your best bet is to go find them.

However these are a good start.    It is a really good base recipe to explore your own talents.

The next time I make this recipe, I will do a long, overnight rise in my 37F/2C refrigerator and see where I am at.  That would strengthen the flavor which is what you want in a Pizza Dough.

After all being a baker means a constant feedback and refinement of your process and your recipies.

And some people just want a commercial white bread that tastes just like it did when it came out of the white plastic bag with primary colored blobs on it in the 1950s and ever since.

Ick.

This recipe may not be a sainted clone from the old sod, but it is a damn good recipe and I will be using it for a while.   It is a Challenge.

Some notes:

This recipe as written has a vigorous rise if risen at room temperature.   It requires you to look after it, and if you blink it goes from “doubled in size” to this weird giant blob that deflates when the cookie sheet gets tapped.  After one hour rising at room temp, I watched over this batch and checked in on it every 15 minutes.  On a rainy day it took 1 hour 40 minutes to rise to what you see on the results.

This recipe was made as dough in the bread machine, through first rise.  It had a slow first rise.  Be patient, they will rise.

When making this recipe, add the oil to the bucket of the bread machine once the dough has come together to allow more gluten to form.  It improves the texture and unless you are one of the punishingly small number of people with celiac disease, it will be worth the effort.

Finally, place a metal oven safe bowl in the bottom of the oven when cooking these rolls.  It provides humidity that will make the crust a bit more soft.

If that is your thing, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp Yeast
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water at 80-105F 30-40C
  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour or Bread Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil – to be added separately from above

Process:

  1. To your bucket of the bread machine or the mixer add Yeast, Sugar, Salt. and Water.
  2. Mix your wet ingredients and then allow it to rest until it has begun to foam, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add the flour to the bucket of the bread machine and start on Dough Cycle.
  4. When the dough has taken up the majority of the flour, add the two tablespoons of olive oil.
  5. Allow the dough to come together and knead.
  6. The bread machine will run through its cycle and do first rise for you.
  7. If not using a bread machine, allow your dough to double in size for first rise.
  8. Form your rolls on a lined cookie sheet.  Mine were 90 Grams each.
  9. Place the dough in a room temperature oven with the light on to rise.
  10. Check the dough every 20 minutes, however my experience is that the dough doubles in 1 hour and 40 minutes in an oven with the light on on a room temperature rise.
  11. When Ready, remove the dough from the oven, and Preheat oven to 400F.
  12. Bake Rolls for 10 minutes and check for Golden Brown color.
  13. Mine were finished in 14 minutes.

Variation:

  • Use an egg wash or olive oil wash to the outside of the rolls for a more polished appearance.
  • Dust some rolls with Sesame Seeds, Parmesan, or spices.
  • For a cold rise, the rise time will be longer when they are formed and out of the refrigerator but the taste will be more complex.  Put the dough into the refrigerator overnight, and then bring it out to shape and rise in the morning.
  • Don’t forget to watch over your bread.  Every 20 minutes of rise time or so.

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