The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Italian Bread and Sandwich Rolls

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Sourdough Italian Bread and Sandwich Rolls

 


This bread is based on the Italian Bread formula in Peter Reinhart's “Bread Baker's Apprentice.” I substituted a biga naturale (sourdough starter) for the biga made with instant yeast in Reinhart's formula. I still added the instant yeast to the final dough to provide more predictable fermentation and proofing times.


Reinhart recommends this formula for hoagie rolls. I divided the dough to make 4 rolls scaled to 4 ounces each and shaped the remainder of the dough into one large bâtard.


I also employed the “stretch and knead in the bowl” technique during bulk fermentation, even though I used a KitchenAid mixer for mixing beforehand.




 


Intermediate starter (Biga naturale)


Active starter

3 oz.

Water

9 oz.

KAF Bread flour

12 oz.

 

Final Dough

Biga naturale (Note: save the remaining 6 oz. for another bread.)

18 oz.

KAF Bread flour

11.25 oz.

Salt

0.41 oz. (1-2/3 tsp)

Sugar

0.5 oz. (1 T)

Instant yeast

0.11 oz (1 tsp)

Diastatic barley malt powder

0.17 oz. (1 tsp)

Olive oil

0.5 oz (1 T)

Water at 80F

7 oz (¾ cup)

Sesame seeds for coating.

Semolina to dust the parchment paper.

 

 

Mix and ferment the biga.

Mix the biga naturale the evening before baking. Dissolve the starter in the water in a medium sized bowl, then add the flour and mix thoroughly to hydrate the flour and distribute the starter. Cover the bowl tightly and allow to ferment for 3-6 hours, until it doubles in volume. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the biga from the refrigerator and allow it to warm up for an hour or so. Alternately, mix the biga late at night and ferment at room temperature overnight.

 

Mix the dough

Mix the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and malt powder in a large bowl or the bowl of your mixer. Add the biga in pieces, olive oil and ¾ cups of tepid water and mix thoroughly. Adjust the dough consistency by adding small amounts of water or flour as necessary. The dough should be very slack at this point.

I mixed the dough with the dough hook in the KA mixer for 10 minutes then transferred it to an 8 cup/2 liter glass pitcher that had been lightly oiled.

 

Fermentation

I stretched and folded the dough in the pitcher with a rubber spatula then covered it tightly. I repeated the stretch and fold again 20 and 40 minutes later. I then left the dough to ferment until it was double the original volume (45-60 minutes more).

 

Divide and form

Divide into 2 pieces and pre-form as logs. Allow the dough to rest 5 minutes or more, then form into bâtards. To make rolls, divide into 4 ounce pieces and pre-shape into rounds, then shape into torpedos. If desired, spray or brush the loaves with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Prepare a couche – either a floured piece of baker's linen or parchment paper sprinkled with semolina.

Pre-heat the oven to 500F with a baking stone on the middle shelf. Make preparations for steaming the oven.

Place the loaves in the couche, cover with plastic or a towel and allow to proof until 1-1/2 times their original size (about 40 minutes).

 

Baking

Score the loaves and transfer them to the baking stone. Bake with steam, using your favorite method. After loading the loaves and steaming, turn the over down to 450F and bake until done (about 20 minutes for a bâtard, 15 mnutes for rolls.). If you want a thicker crust, use a lower temperature and bake for longer.

 

Cooling

Allow to cool before slicing, if you can.

Sourdough Italian Roll

Sourdough Italian Roll crumb

We had a couple of the rolls for lunch. They were very nice. The crust is chewy, not crunchy, and the crumb is also chewy. This is not your fluffy, cottony roll that seems standard in most sub shops and, unfortunately, most Italian delis.

I am pretty sure this is the roll I would choose for a meatball sandwich, oozing mozzarella and dripping marinara sauce. I don't think this roll would be the usual soggy mess after the first 20 seconds. However, in the interest of Science, I will volunteer to test this hypothesis. Of course, if additional volunteers were to pool their data with mine, we can be more confident of our conclusions.

David

Submitted to Yeast Spotting on Susan FNP's marvelous Wild Yeast blog

 

Comments

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Years ago when I was a teenager in Massachusetts I had a job a few evenings a week as a store clerk. Before every shift I would go to the pizza place next door and get a meatball sub oozing mozzarrella and dripping marinara sauce (and sometimes with grilled green peppers too). I haven't had one of those sandwiches in years but I will volunteer to be one of the testers of your hypothesis. Excellent rolls!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Susan.


I would never chance a meatball sub unless I could change clothes before going to my next obligation. You are either gutsier than I or much neater. (Probably both.) Hmmmm ... I once saw a program on public television about hotdogs, in which a Chicagoan demonstrated the proper posture to assume in eating a fully loaded dog. It involved leaning forward with spread legs and locked knees at an angle that seemed to defy gravity. There may be an equivalent ritual for eating meatball subs, but I never learned it.


The sub shop on Brookline Ave near Longwood where I sometimes stopped for lunch made a mean-looking meatball sub, but I never chanced it. I generally ate lunch in a seminar where the sub would have been an unappreciated distraction. ("Will his tie survive his lunch? Gimmee odds.")


Anyway, thanks for volunteering. This is going to be fun! We'll have to share meatball and sauce recipes.


David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I really miss good grinders. Growing up in Connecticut we had a very large Italian community. The Italian markets made the best grinders..meatball, hot or sweet sausage, capicolla, prosciutto...ahhh. I have yet to find a sandwich to compare here in Oregon. I'm still looking though.


So, I would be very happy to test out a hot sausage grinder, peppers, marinera and mozzerella any time on one of your awesome looking rolls.


Betty

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Betty.


We do have a good Italian Deli, and they have a wonderful selection of salumi and proscuito, both domestic and imported. I'd think Portland must have at least one good Italian market. 


David

TeaIV's picture
TeaIV

wow! that is really something. I love italian bread, and I will definitely try this with my new SD starter. thanks for the idea, and good job once again!


 


TeaIV

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Let us know how yours turns out.


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

One of my favorite breads!  Those little hoagies would make my favorite Italian Sausage and Roasted Peppers sandwich taste fantastic.  Very nice write-up with creative recipe!  Lovely crumb and great photos!


Sylvia


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Hi David, these are great looking crumbs!  I notice you have a very high % of starter vis-a-vis the final four you added.  It seems to me that the starter amount can vary from a very, very small amount to almost equal (or even larger than) the flour added to make up the final dough.  All roads lead to Rome.  It just shows that there are many ways to make great breads!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Reinhart's formula does call for a high percentage of Biga. I just substitued starter in the same proportion.


David

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Really, David, I'll have to withhold any comments until I see the picture of the meatball sandwich, oozing mozzarella and dripping marinara sauce. Only then will I be a believer!


--Pamela

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Really, Pamela, I think you need first-hand experience.


David

xaipete's picture
xaipete

You know I think you are right! I'd better get to work. I've got a batch of your famous San Jaoquin SD in the fridge for tomorrow's bake. Maybe after that.


--Pamela

TeaIV's picture
TeaIV

what a coincidence! I've decided to try my new starter with the San Jaoquin bread as well! after that, I'll make this bread.


TeaIV

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

;-)


Please let me know how your San Joaquin SD and SD Italian breads turn out.


Happy baking!


David

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I was refreshing my starter to make pain de campagne when I saw this post. Your Italian bread is beautiful inside and out. I decided to try this and was VERY happy with the results. A really delicious bread, we ate half a loaf already.


 


I doubled the recipe to make four batards. The only thing I did different is I used Barley Malt Syrup instead of the powder because that's what I had. Next time I'd mix it with the water first because it was hard to mix in. I don't have a mixer so I did stretch and folds and a couple of minutes kneading. My crumb is not as open as yours. The first two loaves overproofed a little because my grandkids were getting ready to go home just as the loaves were ready to go in the oven. By the time we said our goodbyes I knew the bread had gone too long. You can see which two they are. The second two had time to sit and ferment while the first two were baking and by the time I formed them they had lots of air bubbles. I formed carefully and only let them proof for a little more then 30 minutes. Absolutely delicious! After all the lean breads a litte bit of sugar and oil were very tasty. I like the lean breads for toast and this Italian will be a favorite sandwich bread. Thanks for the post.

Aprea's picture
Aprea

Hey David - Thank you!  I made this recipe for the rolls of italian sausage with marinara, and a side of pasta.  It fed 7 kids before a 4pm swim meet and I didn't hear one "I'm hungry" until 8pm that night when we got home.


I am making it again - this time for hamburger buns - it is the perfect crumb and flavor in my opinion for grilled meats.


I like to make the dough a couple days in advance and let it bulk ferment in the refrigerator.


Do you have any tricks for shaping hamburger buns without a special pan?  In the past, when I try to make hamburger buns they turn out too round - they poof up into balls almost - like a deflated globe with a coin size flat bottom - maybe I should try to proof them longer - what do you think?


 


 


 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Anna.


I'm happy you liked this bread. I love your benchmark - How long before the kids beg for more food.


I've never made a hamburger bun, per se. I've used other kinds of rolls as hamburger buns. What I've done for round rolls is either shape them as "mini-boules" or as kaiser rolls or as knotted rolls.


David

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Hi David,


Here's my meaball sub. Have you made yours yet?


As predicted, the rolls worked wonderfully for the sandwich.


http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2009/07/29/meatball-sub-sourdough-italian-roll/


xaipete's picture
xaipete

Nice looking sub. I love the addition of the roasted green peppers.


--Pamela

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Susan.


I'm glad I finished my virtuous cottage cheese and sliced tomato lunch before seeing your meatball sub! It looks fabulously delicious.


I had supressed my meatball sub craving ... but now you've gone and reminded me how much I want to make them!. I made about a gallon of tomato sauce (from our home grown Roma tomatos) last night, and my starter is getting activated to make sourdough Italian bread this weekend. I guess it's meant to be.


Thanks for sharing!


David


P.S. I just surfed to WildYeastBlog and back to look at your write-up there. Great minds, etc. The above-referenced tomato sauce was Marcela's "Tomato Sauce II." Your sauce is chunky, though. Which recipe did you use?

wally's picture
wally

David,


The hoagie rolls look spectacular!  The are begging for a marinara sauce and some sausage.


Larry

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I made another batch this afternoon, this time without seeds. They are for meatball subs tomorrow.


David

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Hi David


Recently tried Susan's (Wild Yeast) adaptation of the recipe you've posted here - didn't get as good a rise as you, but really nice bread. I made two loaves, rather than rolls, and had to adjust the oven temp down a bit to prevent too much browning, but of course my oven may run hot - and my overdone crust could be another's perfect brown.


Lasts well, and we especially enjoyed this bread toasted - and o my my, does it come into its own rubbed with a cut garlic clove, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and served up as bruschetta!


This one's a keeper for me - thank you!


 



Cheers
Ross

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Lovely crumb. The bruschetta sounds yummy.


Happy Thanksgiving!


David

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Thanks, David.


Sorry, I should have wished you and all Happy Thanksgiving, but we don't have anything like that where I come from, so wasn't mindful of it. I know how big the day is in the States though, so have a great day all you American folk.

M2's picture
M2

I wanted to give the sourdough Italian roll recipe a try, so I halved the recipe...after putting half of the starter in the bowl, I proceeded with the rest of the ingredients except that I forgot to half the rest.  Oh well.  Since I've messed up, I might as well make some changes to the procedures. 

After the inital mixing and the S&F, I put the dough in the fridge over night, and proceeded with the regular pre-shape, shape and final proof the next morning.  The rolls turned out to be nice (to my standard).  I understand that the starter gives the bread extra favour, but other than that, does it also contribute to the overall texture and overspring?

I baked the rolls for 15 mins at 450F.  I guess they could have stayed in the oven for another couple of minutes, but I was too eager to offer some to the electrician has finished the job and was about the leave.

Michelle