My husband had found a very good deal on a roast so I was bound and determined to make some killer french dips for the family. My last dips were not up to my standards so this called for going all out, homemade hoagie rolls baby.
I’m not a newbie to baking, I just don’t. Bread is my trigger and I can eat it all day, every day. My family jokes about buying a loaf of garlic bread for me and another loaf for the family. It’s barely a joke, so you can tell why I wouldn’t bake. Plus my standards are VERY HIGH. My Mom is an amazing baker. I’ve yet to bake bread I thought was good enough.
The funny thing is, this was my first attempt at hoagie rolls and it’s the first time I’ve made bread in around 11 years. I have great equipment because I did go through a period that I was trying really hard to come out with perfect bread. Hubby bought me the KitchenAid Professional Series stand mixer so I could do bread regularly without blowing up the motor. I’ve had guilt over the last few years every time I look at the thing on my counter because it’s main purpose has been to make killer mashed potatoes. lol But no more!
I’m on a mission to make some perfect breads. Not just any breads, but meal specific breads. So I’ll share recipes here and there while I attempt to find the perfect one and give you a little critique. And this way I can also give you what my family said about them. You’ll probably see a trend for the comments.
So I asked specifically how they worked for the dips and sogginess, etc.
Daughter (15) – “Their great, but next time they can definitely use more salt” (my helpful critic and resident saltaholic)
Son (13) – “Tastes good” (as he dives in for another, he’s growing a ton and not even close to picky)
Hubby – “How come they aren’t all nice and rounded like the picture?” (we watch way to much foodnetwork, yes he got smacked)
I had one just as a roll with my meal. I can’t eat red meat so french dips are out of the picture. But I did observe, without staring creepily. The rolls were crusty which is something we definitely like. I noticed that they held a lot of au jus without crumbling apart into a soggy mess. That is a major thing. Hate having most of the bread in the au jus cup. Plus I think my family used less napkins than ever while eating. That’s a pretty big test.
I totally agreed with my daughter about them needing more salt. One suggestion on the recipe was to brush the tops with a little butter and garlic salt and I can see that being a good idea. But for me they were just too dense. It was a good roll and a great start, but now I will be looking to find a roll that’s a little lighter. I also would like to mention that I could very well have over worked the dough and my yeast packet was expired. These things would contribute to a more dense bread. I’ll be making this recipe again just to see if it’s me. They are going to make great rolls for sandwiches and camping. In fact I may try and freeze some of the dough and then bake them in the camper. Wouldn’t all our friends be sick with jealousy smelling fresh baked bread? ooohhh evil!
I took the recipe from food.com and then halved it. See, this is why I’m not a great baker. I have issues sticking to any recipe without changing it. lol But below is exactly what I did.
- 1 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 1½ cups warm water, divided
- 1 Tbsp sugar, divided in half
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil + some to drizzle in bowl while rising
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 4 -4½ cups all-purpose flour
- Dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup warm water in your mixing bowl. Add ½ Tbsp sugar and let stand about 5 minutes.
- Add remaining water and sugar. Beat in oil, salt and 2 cups flour until smooth. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough. I found I needed the full 4½ cups on this first attempt.
- Turn onto a floured board so the dough won't stick to board. Knead until smooth and elastic for about 4-6 minutes.
- Place in a greased or oiled bowl turning so the oil lightly coats the dough.
- Cover and let rise 45 minutes in a non-drafty area.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured board, divide into 8 pieces.
- Shape into an oval.
- Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.
- With scissors or small knife, cut a ¼-inch slash across the top of each.
- Cover and let rise 20 minutes.
- Bake at 400° for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and crusty.
- Remove to wire racks to cool.
Never worry about what's for dinner again. I've got you covered with the meal plans in the Once a Week Cooking Club. Cook once, eat all week.
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