Do you buy rolls at the store? Hamburger buns? Hot Dog buns? Sub sandwich rolls?
Do you get them from the bread isle or the bakery?
Once upon a time I went straight for the bread isle eventually deciding the bakery was the better choice. Yet last year when I switched my approach of food from “nutritional weights” to “ingredients” I was surprised to find, even the bread warm from my grocers ovens was laden with preservatives, color enhancers & some weird additive touted to “extend freshness”. It was discouraging. I felt duped. This wasn’t fresh bread, this was simply processed bread cooked fresh.
Regardless of which isle or department I obtained my bread from I regularly put my loaves in the freezer to further extend their freshness.
This started me thinking, if my bread stays fresh in the freezer why do I need bread with preservatives and additives and freshers mixed in? Why not just make all my bread fresh and freeze what I don’t plan on using right away.
Pretty smart right? I have my moments. (rolls eyes)
There was a hurdle however; actually taking the leap and learning HOW to make my own bread. Strictly referring to yeast breads, I started small with plain white loaves which you can read about in one of my very first posts here. Slowly I started working my way up to more complicated things like focaccia (recipe here) (which takes a little time but is extremely easy to make), sweet rolls (which were a wee bit more complex, but completely worth it), baguettes (which don’t have a link because I refuse to post about them until I have them perfected), pizza dough and now sandwich rolls.
In all truth and fairness the bread for the rolls is nothing more than the basic white loaf. There are other recipes out there but I’m just partial to the recipe by Le Cordon Bleu because it’s basic and the foundation for all breads (not too mention is in keeping with the legalized version of baguette bread dough in France – yes, baguette bread has laws in the country of love and food).
Making the rolls was all about shaping and adjusting cooking time. Come on I’ll show you how easy.
Start with the basic bread recipe, of course you can add any number of herbs and seasonings if you like as well. If you do so, I add them first to the flour and salt mixture before combining with the yeast and water.
After the dough has completed it’s first proofing take a pasty cutter and a scale and divide the dough in half; then each half in half and then again etc. You want to measure out about 3.5 oz section. If you don’t have a scale then imagine balls roughly 1/2 the size of a tennis ball.
Then roll each of these sections into balls.
Put them aside and cover them with a towel to prevent them from drying as your roll them. I start rolling them with one hand at first, using pressure in the middle of the ball, extending out to the edges. As the dough stretches you can use two hands, utilizing the the edge of your palms applying stronger pressure in the middle and easing up as you get to the ends. This helps to create uniform shape and prevent a fat middle with tappered ends.
Roll each one to about 7 inches long (they shrink a wee bit and you’ll end up with nice 6 inch rolls) & place them on a cookie sheet (I’m using a 12 x 15) that has been lightly buttered and dusted with cornmeal. Once they are all rolled, let them proof a second time for about 40 minutes.
Create an egg wash with one egg yolk and 3-4 tablespoons of water. Brush the rolls with egg wash and immediately sprinkle with sesame seeds (poppy seeds or other herbs would also be amazing).
Aren’t they so pretty!
Bake in an oven preheated to 385 for 30 minutes or until deliciously golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
While they’re cooling stand in your kitchen, close your eyes and just absorbe the smell of fresh baked bread filling your home. It truly is therapeutic.
These csme out scrumptious; soft and practically perfect in every way. I couldn’t resist making a sandwich right away although I could have been just as happy having one plain with butter;
maybe a little honey as well….hmmmmm
This is a ham, gruyere and wilted spinach sandwich with fresh grapes and I savored every bite. I don’t like to share. It’s just a fact, don’t take it personally. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you it just means nothing can come between me and warm bread. It’s a vice, we all have them, this is mine. It could be worse.
As a side note I did make some slider buns as well but can’t seem to find the picture – I think a photo gremlin ate them.
For slider buns I divided the bread into 1 1/2 oz section, rolled them into ball but the just left them to rise as is. I followed the rest of the step with the egg wash, sesame etc. Cook these on the same temperature but 20-25 minutes should do them up nicely.
Of course the whole point of making my own rolls was to have them fresh on hand whenever I wanted so after splurging on one warm and tasty roll from the over and after the remaining rolls had cooled completely I packaged them in sets of three in one of my favorite kitchen items; Ziplock airtight suction seal bags.
You pop your frozen goods in, zip the bag tight and then a handy little air pump placed over this little valve in the bag, sucks all the air out. Easy to reseal when opened and because these particular bags were just bread I can use them over and over and over again.
I parsed them into threes because there are three of us left in the house and it forces us to use portion control. 🙂
So there you are, I told you these were easy! You can make all your own bread now in big batches, freeze them up and never have to buy store bought bread again. You don’t even have to share them either. I promise I’ll let you have your own.
These rolls are perfect for subs, hot dogs, brats, meatball sandwiches; the possibilities are endless!
Pardon me but now I’m hungry and oddly, craving a greek sandwich. Why Greek I’m not sure, I fail to see the connection but it is what it is. I think I’ll go get lunch.
- 6 cups Unbleached bread flour
- 1 tablespoon instant, active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups warm water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- egg wash (1 egg yolk 3-4 tablespoons water)
- In a small bowl combine the sugar, yeast and a little of the warm water. Stir to dissolve completely and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let sit until foamy.
- Combine salt and flour and mix well with a dry whisk.
- In a large mixing bowl combine yeast, all of the water & ¾ flour. Mix on medium speed until incorporated.
- Slowly add remaining flour then mix on low speed until good gluten window forms (about 20 minutes or so). Should be no tearing of the dough and stretch nicely.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead gently for 5 minutes more.
- Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let proof in a warm place for 40 minutes or until double in size (I warm my oven slightly, turn off the heat and proof there).
- Carefully tip dough onto surface and stretch once, fold, stretch again and fold.
- Using a dough cutter, divide dough in ½ over and over creating 18 separate sections 3.5 oz each.
- Roll each section into a ball then using then roll each ball into a 6-7 inch long roll.
- Place each roll onto a lightly buttered baking sheet, dusted with corn meal.
- Cover rolls with a light towel and proof for a second time for about 30 minutes or more, until doubled.
- Brush each roll with egg wash of 1 egg yolk and 3-4 tablespoons of water.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake in oven preheated to 385 for 35 minutes.
- Cool on wire rack & freeze anything not used in 36 hours to retain freshness.