Fresh, homemade sub rolls, made for packed deli submarine sandwiches, are an easy bake. Even if you call them hoagies, heroes, or grinders.
There are approximately two good things about New Jersey, and one of them is sub rolls. (The other one is Princeton Record Exchange.) Honestly, Harold and Kumar probably would have just given up and gotten subs from some ginker joint, like RU Hungry by the mall (bonus points if you know which one). Let's see how much authentic Central Jersey we can pack into one sentence, yes? Fortunately for you, you don't have to get on the Turnpike...or even the Parkway...to get perfect sub rolls, because you can make them all by yourself in wherever you may find yourself that is mercifully not New Jersey. Represent.
Sub rolls are made with very lightly enriched dough, meaning dough that has bit of fat in it (you can use butter or, for dairy-free, margarine; I used Earth Balance). Baked, sub rolls should be light and airy, with a slight crinkle when bitten into.
Shaping sub rolls
Sub rolls are best minimally handled. Shape the entire ball of dough into a thick boule (like an elongated artisan loaf shape) and cut it into long strips. Gently taper the ends of each strip to form a sub shape, and let them proof right on the baking sheet so you don't have to disturb them after their final proof.
Looking for more tri-state eats? Check out my Eating New York series.
Sub Rolls (parve)
- 3 ½– 4 cups bread flour
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp butter or margarine - cubed and softened
Activate the yeast:
- In a stand mixer bowl, combine ½ cup warm water, the sugar, and the yeast. Whisk to combine and leave standing until foamy, 5-7 minutes.
Mix the dough:
- To the stand mixer bowl, add 2 cups of the flour and remaining 1 cup water. Fit the bowl onto the stand mixer and attach the dough hook. Mix on the lowest speed for 4-5 minutes.
- Add in the salt and 1 cup of the remaining flour. Adjust the speed to 2 and add enough flour to form a wet but not sticky dough, mixing for 5-6 minutes. The dough should be slack: loose and relatively set, but not tacky or sticking to your fingers.
- With the mixer running at 2, add the butter/margarine one cube at a time, until all are incorporated.
Rise the dough:
- Leave the dough to rise in a covered, greased bowl until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Shape the rolls:
- Turn out the dough onto an unfloured surface. Stretch the dough into a long rectangle, then divide it into 8 pieces. Gently and minimally shape each small rectangle into a long bun with slightly tapered ends.
- Cover and leave to rise again, 30-45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C.
- While the rolls have risen, bake them, unglazed, for 20-22 minutes until light golden brown.