The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sandwich Rolls

geeklady's picture

Sandwich Rolls

Hi!  I'm looking for several tasty sandwich roll recipes to try out.

I've decided we're just doing sandwich platters this year for my son's birthday party, but I don't want to buy the typically available, staling, gross rolls from the grocery store.  I'd rather make my own, they'll be tastier and probably cheaper.  But short of just making rolls out of my mom's basic french bread recipe, I'm not sure what to look for.

There'll be roast beef, turkey, ham, and sliced cheeses, plus some fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and pesto for anyone who doesn't want lots of meat.  I can make some ciabatta rolls for the latter, but what would go well with the lunch meats?  I need to start making and testing recipes, the party is in July!

Ford's picture

Here are two you might want to try -- both good, but I prefer the Kaisers.



Pâte Fermentée
2/3 cup (2.8 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (2.8 oz.) cup unbleached bread flour
1/4 tspn salt
1/4 tspn instant yeast
1/2 cup (4 oz.) chlorine-free water
71% hydration

Sift together the flours, salt, and yeast.  Mix in the water.  Let rest for about 30 minutes then knead until smooth and elastic.  Place in at greased bowl (or plastic bag) and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.  This may be kept for several days in the refrigerator or may be frozen for up to 3 months.

1 cup  (9 oz.) pâte fermentée (all of the above recipe, or 9 oz, of previous dough, or see recipe for pâte fermentée)
2 3/4 cups (11.7 oz.) unbleached bread flour
1 tspn  (0.2 oz) salt
1 tspn instant yeast
1 extra large, or jumbo egg  (2 oz.)
1 1/2 Tbs. (0.8 oz) melted shortening
3/4 cup (6 oz) Room Temp water
poppy or sesame seeds for topping (optional)
cornmeal for dusting (optional)
~71% hydration

Remove the pâte fermentée from the refrigerator and cut it into a dozen or so pieces.  Cover it with plastic wrap and let it warm up for about an hour.
Sift the flour, salt, and yeast into a mixing bowl.  Beat together the egg and melted shortening. To the flour mixture, add the water, the pâte fermentée, and the egg mixture stir or mix with dough hook of electric mixer until the ingredients form a ball.  Allow the ball to rest for 30 minutes.  (autolyse)
Remove dough to the counter and knead ten minutes until smooth and elastic, or knead in the mixer with the dough hook for about 6 minutes.  Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and let it rise for 2 hours.  During this period, degas it by folding the dough once or twice.

Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into eight to twelve pieces.  (for eight large rolls: 3.8 oz.; for twelve smaller ones: 2.5 oz.)  Let the rolls rest for ten minutes then flatten them.  Fold one edge to the middle.  Starting about halfway along that fold, fold another piece to the middle.  Continue this until you have five folds, then tuck the last fold under the first.  Press the center to seal.  Lightly spray each folded roll with water then press each on to a bed of seeds to be topping for the roll.  Let the rolls sit face down for half an hour to keep them sealed.  Turn the rolls over on to a greased baking sheet or a sheet of parchment paper.  Cover the rolls with plastic and allow to rise for a total of forty-five minutes to an hour or until doubled in bulk.  (Note: there are Kaiser roll stamps that can be used to cut the indentations into the roll, rather than using the described method.)

Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Place a pan of water below the baking shelf to generate steam. Mist the rolls with water and put them into the preheated oven.  Spray them twice in the first five minutes.  After ten minutes lower the oven temperature to 400°F.  Continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes until the rolls are golden brown and have an internal temperature of 200°F.
Transfer the rolls to a cooling rack and wait at least 30 minutes before serving them.

From  Peter Reinhart, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and also


4 1/2 to 5 1/2 (19 – 23 oz,) cup all-purpose flour, divided
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
2 tspn. (0.4 oz.) salt
1 pkg. dry yeast (2 1/4 tspn.)
3 Tbs. (1.5 oz.) softened butter
1 1/2 cup (12 oz.) hot water (120 - 130°F)
1 egg white
melted butter for brushing tops
1 Tbs. kosher salt rubbed with
1 Tbs. caraway seeds

Mix thoroughly 1 1/2 cup flour, sugar, salt, and dry yeast in large bowl.  Add softened butter.  Gradually add hot water while mixing then beat 2 minutes at medium speed with electric mixer.  Add egg white and another cup of flour to make thick batter.  Beat at high speed for 2 min.
Stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough.  Turn out onto a floured board.  Knead until smooth and elastic.  Place in a greased bowl and turn over so the top is greased.  Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F with a pan of boiling water on the shelf just above the burners.
Punch down risen dough and turn onto floured board.  Knead for a minute or so.  Divide into 2 oz pieces (about 16 pieces).  Form into balls; let stand covered for 15 minutes.  Roll balls; brush melted butter on top; press 1/2 inch dowel (handle of wooden spoon) almost to board, then again at right angles forming 4 equal segments.  Squeeze each creased roll back together again, and place buttered-surface down on greased baking sheet.  Repeat for each roll.  Cover and let rise in warm place for about 20 minutes.
Carefully turn each raised roll over.  Sprinkle or brush with water and then sprinkle each with some of the mixture of caraway seed and salt.  Allow to rise an additional 20 minutes or until doubled in bulk.  Spray with water and immediately bake at 375°F for about 30 minutes.
Cool on racks and store in dry place, not in refrigerator, or they will be soggy.



Happy baking,


geeklady's picture

I've tried a variation on these Kaisers, but without the Pate Fermentee.  I thought the improved flavor from the pate would be drowned by mustards and lunchmeats.  I used, I think, less flour (under 600g) and 2T butter instead of shortening and a regular 50g large egg.  I also added 2T of sugar for a better brown on the rolls.  My dad is raving about them and made me promise to teach mom.

The insides are very light and soft, but the crust is nothing special like I saw described in the blog post on Kaiser rolls I found here after poking around awhile.  Nice respectable crusts, a little hard, a little chewy, soften up after cooling, very much like my basic bread recipe.  I steamed them via the ice cubes in a hot cast iron skillet method, but I'm not convinced that did much.  Spraying in the oven while baking didn't change matters, crust was a little thinner.  Baking on a sheet instead of a hot baking stone made the crust less chewy, but also less brown in general.

I've been through... 4 batches of these now.  Mom says they're like the kaiser rolls she remembers from youth.  Maybe I should stop fussing with them and move on.

wally's picture

Have you not seen SylviaH's lovely sandwich rolls which adorn the middle panel at the top of TFL's home page?

If not, go here for a wonderful recipe that makes outstanding rolls!

Good luck-


SylviaH's picture

ha, ha, Larry, you beat me to it...I couldn't think of the word..'home page' that happens when you get to be my age!...thanks, Sylvia

wally's picture

so long as you can produce the beautiful array of baked goods you share with us!

geeklady's picture

Oh dear, those do look tasty.  I'm afraid I do 95% of my Fresh Loafing via the subscription emails, and completely missed them on the homepage.  I'm sorry I missed them.

I do have a question about Ms. Sylvia's rolls:  why the powdered milk in baked goods?  I have a croissant recipe that also calls for it that I haven't tried yet.  It's not something I buy unless we need it at the lab.  (Powdered non fat milk makes an excellent and inexpensive blocking buffer oddly enough.)

SylviaH's picture

You can use regular milk in place of the water adjusting a little for the hydration of the dough and omit the powdered milk.  I like the King Arthur brand powdered milk because it is specially formulated for baking.


SylviaH's picture

Photo posted on the center front page of The Fresh Loaf...just click on the photo!  You will get the recipe and more photos.

Enjoy, Sylvia  

qahtan's picture

I thought you meant different kinds of breads meaning flavours, as there are quite a few and they all look and taste great on a buffet table.

Apart from your different types of bread for rolls or loaf.



whole wheat


 etc, etc,             plus the  different shape always looks good.


punainenkettu's picture

I made some great Pepper Sandwich buns a few weeks ago. I'll try to get the details up today or tomorrow. They were great with grilled Portabello mushrooms and I think they would be a delight with roast beef! If you have The Italian Baker by Carol Field I used her recipe for Tomato rolls but instead of tomato substituted 1 cup of roasted red peppers (blitzed in fp) and 1 chopped ancho chile and 20 oz of dried onion flakes. It was great but adding that much pepper threw off the hydration and I had to adjust the flour. They turned out great!!!