The Fresh Loaf

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what makes the best roll for a sandwich - i need to make some

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

what makes the best roll for a sandwich - i need to make some

just throwing it out there - ive been asked to come up with a roll for a small salad bar a friend of mine runs. He currently gets ice soft white rolls from a bakery but i wanted to give hm something a little more. Any thoughts? Because its primarily vegetarian and the veggies and leaves are dressed the bread needs to be able to soak up juices without breaking up. As i love slow fermenting I was going to make up a poolish with 95% white flour, 5% rye and a little rye starter, leave it for 12 hours or so, then make up final dough, ferment, shape, brush with butter to give soft crusts and bake....

should give a nice chew, good flavour - with that added complexity to the white flour - and have enough body to withstand salad oils, leaves, veggies and other condiments....anyone any other ideas, or anyone made or eaten the perfect roll? 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Not crusty but soft. Probably enriched. No high protein flour used but can be multigrain.

My personal preference for a sandwich roll I would have at a restaurant would be one that bites off easily so all the sandwich fixin's don't squish out when you take a bite.

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

do you not want a little lift in the bread from the high protein - in Ireland we dont have all purpose like the states so its either plain or bread flour....i could try a mix...and yep i think a little wholegrain in there thats why i thought rye - it works really well in a white olive bread i do in much the same way i.e. poolish with a rye starter and final dough with instant yeast..the trick is the stuff inside....theyre looking for something a little different from the regular white roll, one thats all encrusted so it stays fresh longer and has more of a taste to it...they want a bit of earthiness....one of them wants sourdough but i dont think an irregular crumb is a good idea...a little taste for sure but the crumb needs to hold the middle together...

 

IceDemeter's picture
IceDemeter

I personally loathe crusty, crumbly rolls for my sandwiches - especially in a restaurant in the middle of a working day when I really, really don't want to deal with the crispy crust crumbs all over me.  It's really hard to look professional with a collection of crumbs decoration your cleavage...  I also do prefer something with a bit more "chew" and toothiness to the crumb than your typical enriched white roll, especially when I want it to stand up to some potentially sloppy fillings.

However - I have had it brought to my attention that my personal preferences aren't that popular, so having a couple of options seems like the best idea to me!

I'd tend towards one option being something like my husband's current favourite, which is a hybrid sourdough / poolish using a blend of kamut (khorasan), oat, and all purpose flour (that's Canadian, so likely closer to your strong flour).  While my version is highly enriched (milk and egg and cream cheese and a touch of maple syrup), it still has a nice chew to it and stands up well to sandwiches.  The nice thing with having a "soft" option is that it can be easily tweaked for seasonal variation (toss in some pumpkin or squash or beetroot or sweet potato --- or do a garlic potato version --- or whatever suits their menu at the time).

The other option would be more along the lines of what you were looking at, but seriously consider using the hybrid sourdough / poolish idea since it kind of gives you the best of both worlds.  Getting some oats or spelt in with the rye and plain flour would definitely help with softening the crumb, and you could even get some potato or tapioca or arrowroot starch in there to soften it even more. 

It really sounds like a grand opportunity for you to come up with your "signature" flavour profile, so have some fun experimenting and let us know what you come up with! 

Kudos on having your baking skills recognized - and I'm looking forward to trying whatever idea you come up with!

pmccool's picture
pmccool

An enriched white dough (challah, brioche, Portuguese Sweet Bread) made up into hamburger-roll or sub bun shapes.  Or a honey whole wheat with a trace of molasses for some extra color and flavor.  Individual 'focaccia' rolls or ciabattini (mini ciabatta).  A dark, soft rye roll with a hint of sweetness and a scattering of salt on top. Or...

Paul

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

all those sound great and im glad that everyone is one the same track. Having said that i never really thought about enriched bread....so i might do that...and spelt i love but its very expensive...a little rye and wholemeal might be the way to go as well as a sourdough/instant yeast mix with some plain flour...ill have to play over the weekend - i hope they like the ideas too....:)

IceDemeter's picture
IceDemeter

possibilities here, and realized that you might want to be careful about what enrichment you use to avoid animal products.  You mentioned it being primarily vegetarian, so the customers might expect the rolls to be vegan...

With that in mind, it precludes the use of any eggs or dairy (even for brushing the crust), and you'd have to avoid honey if wanting to add a sweetener.

Your mention of them wanting an "earthy" flavour, and obviously wanting to keep the costs reasonable, makes me think of using some ground flax seed or hemp seed as a healthy fat source that works like eggs (see LazyLoafer's sweet potato rolls), along with some kind of non-gluten cooked stuff (potatoes, rice, oats, quinoa - whatever is local and economical) to soften the crumb, and including some toasted bran and germ (oat or wheat or a combination) and dark chocolate malt for the rich flavour.  I'd consider using either a wee bit of toasted sesame oil to brush the crust or some almond "milk" (not much required, so shouldn't add too much to the cost).  Don't forget just how much a little bit of spices can add, too.  Beyond the usual "bread spices" used with rye, I really enjoy a bit of sage or rosemary or tarragon or ginger or basil or oregano --- or a random combination that just smells like it will go well with the rest of the recipe.

I also was thinking about shape, and if these are going to used mostly for sandwiches, then you might want to think about doing something like a tiny batard (along the lines of the traditional banh mi shape).  It's more practical than the usual round roll, and a bit distinctive. 

What a fun challenge you have on this --- with so many different things to play with!

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

i was coming home on the bus around half an hour ago pondering this infinite question and came to the same conclusion as you. I really need to make this vegan. That negates all dairy so in many ways thats good. cuts down the choices. what i was thinking of doing was keeping it simple. What they currently have is a bread roll, a nice one but a little one dimensional. However it allows the salads to sing. I was going to do my version of a traditional British bap, a soft floury roll made with a 50% poolish with 90/10 white/rye and some rye starter. If they like that as a simple roll i could always add seeds, flakes, bran, seeds, spices, etc.... im also going to give them a traditional breakfast focaccia from Liguria which is made with raisins and coarse sugar ontop (an alternative to go with coffee. I currently make a focaccia with a preferment and a rosemary crumb so might do that with the raisins to as its a great combination.... my issue is also facilities. My plan is to bake in their kitchen which is tiny with a small combi oven and a mixer at the bottom of the stairs so a preferment is perfect... 

limitations...i need to find more limitations :)

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I like the idea of potato buns,  vegetable oil as enrichment and either herbs or seeds for visual enjoyment. The herbs should go with both sweet and savory salad ingredients-tarragon,rosemary,basil.

Seeds-sesame,flax, are my votes.

A little sweetness,perhaps so the dough could be multipurpose by addition of fruit and sugar.

I still like a soft bun idea so there are no chewy or crisp bits falling all over.

Flour-keep costs down with AP, touch of rye or whole wheat. Perhaps a touch of a yellow flour for color-semolina,kamut. Spelt is more expensive.

How about turmeric for color? Great color,great ingredient.

 

My thoughts.

UnConundrum's picture
UnConundrum

I'd agree with the potato rolls.  To make them a little different try a cooked potato starter.  The high percentage of potatoes keeps them moist and a decent shelf life.

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

thats great ill try it out....ive made a potato sourdough but not rolls - the sourdough was delicious by the way...

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

thanks for that - tumeric is a good idea - we dont have AP here in ireland but i may do a mix of plain and bread flour - i definitely going with soft bun which a bap is...here in ireland we have whats called a Bla...its made in a specific area of the country and can only be made there....very soft, very delicious - from Waterford.... but a soft bun, moist with a bit of chew, that can hold a large carrot salad/bean salad without overwhelming it.......possibly a little sugar...

macette's picture
macette

I love these rolls , a lovely thin crispy crust with soft inside. I’m new to this so the science behind them you will have to check. But  perfect sandwich roll.

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

oh cool ill check them out now thanks

 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Use water to brush in the buns when they come out of the oven to kee them soft adn I would do dourdough too because it holds up better to dressings and it tastes better and people love it because they are rare an we want them to say wow. i would keep it simple with about 20% whole grains max , these are vegans and will love the thought of whole grains - spelt, rye and WW would be my choice,  but totally vegan.

Happy roll making