Friday, December 4, 2009

Italian Sandwich Rolls

Yesterday, I saw this Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich (which coincidentally comes from the same chef behind the bread recipe on this post) on Ezra Pound Cake. The sandwich looked so good that I decided right then and there to buy some rib-eye steak and cheese whiz.

I went to the store and bought the steak, but I decided against the cheese whiz and ended up getting Velveeta because I like that (processed) cheese more.
Getting ready to proof...

Instead of buying store-bought rolls, I made my own rolls because 1) I love making bread; 2) I knew it would make the sandwich taste much better and wholesome; and 3) I wanted to submit something to yeastspotting for next week. :D
Fresh and hot out of the oven!

This bread was very easy to make. I didn't have cake yeast, so I used bread-machine (instant) yeast...a whole 4.2 tsp of it!! As you can see, the bread rose considerably. The bread was fantastic and the sandwich even more so. I could only eat half of the sandwich even though it came from the smallest loaf of bread, and it took me 30 minutes to just eat that!

I separated the dough into four loaves, but the recipe seems to indicate that you can make one loaf from it. I think this dough was too huge for one loaf, even a long, skinny one. The dough was easy to handle and easy to roll/shape, though.
Italian Bread Recipe
by Emeril Lagasse on FoodNetwork
  • 2 cups water, lukewarm (about 110 degrees Farenheit)
  • 1 3/4 ounces cake yeast (1/3 cup) (I used 4.2 tsp of bread machine yeast)
  • 5 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt (I used kosher)
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten (for egg wash)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (I didn't use or have)

Place the warm water and yeast in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer and allow the yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes (optional for some types of yeast). Using a dough hook attachment, add the flour and sugar to the water and mix on low speed until a dough starts to form. Drizzle the oil and salt into the dough and beat on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes (or knead the dough by hand), or until a smooth, firm, elastic dough is formed.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and spray the dough with a thin coating of cooking spray (cooking spray not necessary if you roll the dough around the oil-lined bowl). Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to proof in a warm, draft-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size (and it will triple in size like it did for me, if you're not careful).

Remove the plastic wrap, punch down and flatten the rounded dough with the heel of your hand. Roll the dough up tightly, sealing the seam well after each roll. The dough should be elongated and oval-shaped, with tapered and rounded (not pointed) ends. (I cut up the dough into four pieces and then I rolled and shaped them. If you want smaller loaves, I suggest making 8 loaves out of this recipe.)

Preheat the oven lined with a pizza stone or a baking sheet (which I used) to 425 degrees F. If using a pizza stone, place the dough on a baker's peel heavily dusted with semolina flour, or cornmeal, or alternately on an inverted baking sheet (I first added melted butter to the bottom of the sheet and then the cornmeal for added flavor YUM!).

Allow the dough to proof, loosely covered with a damp towel (my towel was dry), for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size. Brush the dough with the egg white and sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top. Using a razor blade or sharp knife, score 3 (1/4-inch deep) slashes across the top of the dough at a 45 degree angle.

Spray the dough generously with water from a water bottle and place in the oven on the baking stone. Immediately close the oven and bake for 3 minutes. Open the oven door and spray the dough again with the water bottle. Close the oven door and bake for an additional 3 minutes before spraying the dough for a third time (the spraying of the dough will ensure a crisp golden brown crust). Bake the dough for 45 minutes (my bread baked in less time than indicated), or until a hollow thud is heard when the bread is whacked with the bowl of a wooden spoon. Allow the bread to cool slightly before serving.


  1. Your bread is gorgeous! I can just imagine how wonderful it smelled baking and how delicious the sandwich was! What are your plans for the others loaves?

  2. That crust! That colour! I just want to tear that loaf apart and dive into the soft, fluffy cloud.

  3. I totally agree with the two previous commenters. I am running out of adjectives to describe all of your wonderful photos and your equally delicious recipes. However, I can truly say that your loaves look tantalizingly delicious! As you know I don't eat meat, but I would love to make a veggie sandwich or some such with this fresh out of the oven bread. In your getting ready to proof photos, I can actually smell the yeast wafting about in your kitchen!

    You are lucky--you can cook and bake! Me, not so much! Thank you for having this talent and for sharing it with others!

  4. Your rolls are awesome! I'm still such a coward when it comes to yeast. I've had no luck so far and I've surely not made anything that looks as perfect as this.

  5. Great rolls. I bet they would make a wonderful sandwich!

  6. Those rolls look so scrumptious! I am going to bookmark this for sure. I saw that cheesesteak sandwich on Ezra Pound Cake as well and fell in love. Great pairing for these babies.

  7. I am so confused:( I agree with all previous comments however I followed steps exactly BUT my dough rose and flopped...I optimistically shaped it and even baked it...they did NOT rise good in the oven and were too dense!! I have always baked my family recipe Italian instinct is to try again Using only HALF the YEAST. Lovely photos...


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