So last Wednesday I shared a tasty Italian Pork sandwich  and this week I’m sharing the recipe I found for the buns.

They were super easy and quite tasty too! Obviously you could use these for the Spiedies or just use them for regular sandwiches instead. I found a couple of recipes that looked quite tasty but the one I loved was on The Fresh Loaf. They have great bread recipes! I’m a big fan of their blog!

Next time I would shape mine longer and thinner.

Italian Hoagie Rolls

Course Bread & Muffins


  • 2 tsp dry yeast (+ 1 teaspoon for fast rise)
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • ½ cup water at 100°
  • 14 ounces (2 ¾ cups) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 6 ounces (1¼ cup) High Gluten flour
  • 2½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ascorbic acid, available as Fruit Fresh
  • 2/3 cup whey*
  • 2/3 cup water at 100°
  • ½ cup extra flour for bench work
  • 2 Tbsp of cornmeal or semolina to coat pans

Necessary for producing high-rising rolls

  • 2 heavyweight cookie sheets or jelly roll pans
  • 6 quarry tiles to line oven rack, or a pizza stone
  • A good spray bottle to create steam in your oven
  • A humid 80° environment


*To make whey:

  • 32 ounces of plain low-fat yogurt will yield 2/3 cup whey in about 2 hours. Line a strainer with paper towels or several layers of cheese cloth and set it over a pan or shallow bowl. Pour in the yogurt, cover lightly and set it to do its stuff in the refrigerator. The whey will drain from the yogurt and collect in the bowl. Measure carefully before adding.
  • Make the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, stir together yeast, sugar and ½ cup of warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes until foam forms on the mixture. Add 20 ounces of flour, salt, ascorbic acid, whey and water and mix to form a cohesive mass, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as necessary.

  • Knead for 10 minutes, using as little extra flour as possible to keep the dough from sticking to your counter and hands. Clean out the mixing bowl.

First rise:

  • You can start these rolls in the morning (using an extra teaspoon of yeast in the dough) and let rise, lightly covered, for 4 ½ hours at room temperature. In order to have the rolls ready for lunchtime, however, it's best to make your dough the evening before and let it rise, covered, in a 55° environment overnight. Set the dough at room temperature for an hour or two in the morning before continuing. By this time either method will yield dough that has roughly tripled in bulk.

Second rise:

  • Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Push the dough into a fat snake and fold it into thirds. Gently push the dough into a fat snake shape again, letting it rest for a few minutes as it resists. This method will elongate the gluten, yielding the best rolls. Fold in thirds, put back in the mixing bowl, cover lightly and let sit at room temperature (70°) for 1½ hours, until nearly doubled in bulk.

Shape the rolls:

  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape into a snake again, tucking the long outer edge over itself and squeezing in to the bottom seam by using your fingers. Your emphasis from here on out is to create a gluten cloak, a continuous skin on the top and sides of the rolls.
  • When the snake of dough is about 2 feet long, cut it in half. Form each half into an 18" snake and cut it into three equal pieces. You will now have 6 portions of dough, each weighing between 6 and 6½ ounces. Tuck into cigar shapes and let them rest for 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle cornmeal onto the cookie sheets or jellyroll pans and have them handy. Warm your 80° humid environment. (See Creating an 80° Environment at the bottom of Aunt Marie's Dinner Rolls.) Your environment should include a pan of hot water.
  • After your rolls have rested, flatten them somewhat to expel the largest gas bubbles, and then fold them gently into torpedoes of dough that are 9" long. Pull the gluten cloak over each roll evenly and tuck into one long seam. Put three rolls on each pan, seam-side down onto the cornmeal.

Third rise and preheat:

  • Let finished rolls rise for 1 hour to 1 hours 10 minutes in an 80° humid environment. Line the center rack in your oven with a pizza stone or quarry tiles and preheat the oven to 450° a half hour into this rise. Have a good spray bottle with water in it beside the oven.

Bake with steam:

  • Put a pan of the fully risen rolls directly on the quarry tiles or pizza stone and quickly spray the hot sides and bottom of the oven with 6 or 7 squirts of water. Clap the door shut to keep in the heat and the steam. Bake rolls for 10 minutes without opening the oven door. Turn oven off for 2 more minutes, and then remove rolls to a rack to cool. (As oven temperatures and spray bottles vary, your results may as well. Rolls are ready when the crust is medium brown.)
  • Repeat with the other pan of rolls.
  • When rolls have cooled, split them and pile on your favorite sandwich ingredients.

They take a while but the more I bake bread the more I realize that a long fermenting stage the tastier the bread. And really it’s just a whole lot of just letting it sit around! Don’t be afraid! Just plan ahead and try it!