Steam. No, I don't have one of those fancy-schmancy steamers in my oven. But, a spray bottle filled with cool water gives these hoagie rolls and sandwich buns just the right chewiness in the crust. As soon as I put the rolls and buns in the oven, I sprayed them liberally and quickly closed the door. This built up enough steam to get the right texture.
Only six ingredients and, for the two of us, more than enough bread for a week. A larger family might not have the same issues but I had to freeze some of it.
Make sure you use your digital thermometer to make sure the water is the right temperature. Too hot, the yeast will die an agonizing death. Too cold, it will never make it out of the starting gate.
|When you see the phrase "proof the yeast" in a recipe, this is what it looks like when the yeast is ready.|
|Another bread term "until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl". It's not going to be spotless.|
|Six hoagie rolls after they've risen. I slashed them before rising to get them into the "groove".|
|Eight sandwich buns. Harry likes big buns. Seriously - have you seen my hips?|
|"Amish Bread" was a 25-year quest. I finally got it Wright enough that Mom loves it!|
The Muffuletta bread is crispy on the bottom with a nice solid crust that didn't get soggy from the olive salad but not too much bread OR hard crust.
|Beautiful, aren't they? In the back is the Muffuletta Bread|
|Chewy crust, firm texture that won't fall apart under juicy cheeseburgers, Phillies, or Meatball Subs!|
|No - seriously! Less than 30 minutes "hands-on" time.|
Multi-Purpose Sandwich Recipe:
1.5 tablespoons instant yeast
3 cups warm water (110-155 degrees)
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
8-9 cups bread flour
1) In the bowl of your mixer, place the yeast and 1/2 cup of the warm water along with one tablespoon of sugar. Allow to sit still for about 5 minutes until the top is foamy.
2) Add the rest of the water and sugar plus the salt and oil and about 4 cups of flour. Mix on low with the dough hook until the flour is incorporated.
3) Increase the speed to medium-low (I go to two) and gradually add enough flour until the dough starts to clean the side of the bowl. Continue to knead at the same speed for 5-6 minutes. Harry read yesterday that Alton Brown says 15 minutes. I'm working on my patience.
4) Lightly sprinkle your surface with flour - I mean just a couple of tablespoons. Give the dough a few turns of manual kneading and it should have the right "feel". Not too dry and not soppy-sticky - maybe a little tacky. Speaking of tacky, I always give my dough a smack kind of like football players slapping each other on the butt. Just for luck.
5) Place the dough in a large bowl with just a teaspoon of oil in the bottom. Turn the dough ball all around to coat it. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for about 45-60 minutes until it's double in size.
6) After the dough has risen, punch it down. That's right - make a fist and push it down and squish all the gasses out that built up over the last hour. Now it's time to shape the buns and Hoagie rolls.
7) I use a scale to measure all of my dough and even have a fancy-schmancy dough blade that I use to cut with. Divide the dough in half.
8) With one half of the dough, cut it into six equal pieces. Shape each into a log, keeping it on the long and thin side. Place the logs on a sprayed baking sheet. With a sharp knife, cut a diagonal slash across each log. Cover with a clean towel and let rise until doubled, about 30-40 minutes.
9) With the other half of the dough, divide it into eight equal pieces. Shape each roll into a kind of flat disc - something like a donut without a hole - but not too flat. Place them on a sprayed baking sheet, cover with a clean towel and they will rise to double in 30-40 minutes. Using the flat of your hand, gently press down on the buns so they don't rise too high to eat.
10) Bake the rolls and buns in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. To give the rolls a chewy crust, spray them with cool water as soon as you slide the pans into the oven.
11) Allow the buns to cool completely before sentencing them to a storage container. These freeze well for at least three weeks. That's all I know because that's how long I kept ours in the freezer before using them.