Sesame Seeded Sandwich Rolls
Here's a sandwich roll that just might eclipse the Italian hoagie roll for best in show. It's got some egg in it which, along with the sesame seeds, adds a savory undertone that can hold its own against almost any filling -- no matter how wild you want your sandwich to be. And, because I've streamlined the process for home baking, this one's considerably easier to make.
Now if you've ever been to Paesano's in South Philly, you'll understand what I mean by wild. Grilled meatloaf, suckling pig or spicy chicken with broccoli rabe? Yep, they've got it. These rolls were created with sandwiches like that in mind. See Sandwich Spectacular: Paesano's and Sesame Seeded Sandwich Rolls  for more on that.
Of course, if you want to make true east coast Italian hoagie rolls, my companion recipe will warm the cockles of a Philly boy's heart. Check that one out Here .
Cheers and happy baking!
Sesame Seeded Sandwich Rolls
Makes 8 rolls, 5 ounces each
½ cup water at 100°
2¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast
15 ounces (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour + 5 ounces (1 cup) high gluten flour
10 ounces (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour + 10 ounces (2 cups) bread flour
4 teaspoons of sugar
2½ teaspoons of salt
1/8 teaspoon of ascorbic acid, or Fruit Fresh (optional)
1 cup water at 100°
1/3 cup milk, scalded and cooled
Additional flour for bench work
2 Tablespoons of sesame seeds
2 pieces of parchment paper 11"x15"
6 quarry tiles or a large pizza stone (see note below)
Prepare yeast and milk: In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup warm water and a packet of instant yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes, until blooms of exploding yeast rise to the surface. Meanwhile, scald 1/3 cup of milk in a small pan by bringing it to a bare simmer over medium heat and then let cool.
Make the dough: In a large bread bowl, dry mix the flour, sugar, salt and Fruit Fresh. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture, 1 cup of warm water and the cooled milk. Mix it all together with the handle of a wooden spoon until the flour mixture and liquids are incorporated.
Lightly flour a work surface. Using a dough scraper or spatula, lift the raw dough out of the bowl onto it and knead for just a minute to lump dough together. Invert the bowl over the dough on the counter and leave to rest for 20 minutes or a half hour. This will make kneading much easier.
Kneading and first rise: Knead the dough for 7-10 minutes until smooth and supple, adding small amounts of flour to keep it from sticking to the counter and your hands.
Clean and dry the bowl and put the dough back into it; cover and let rise for 2 hours or more at room temperature, until dough doubles in size.
Egg addition and second rise: Separate 1 egg, reserving one egg white in a small bowl to be used later. Add the egg yolk and 1 whole egg to the risen dough, mixing in ½ cup of flour to counter the stickiness (yes, it's kinda sticky at first). Knead for a few minutes until the egg is well worked in. Clean and dry the bowl again if necessary. Put the dough back in and let it rise for a further 1½ hours at room temperature.
Shaping, coating and third rise: Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. For accuracy, use a scale; each piece will weigh just over 5 ounces. On a lightly floured work surface, shape each roll into a 9" long snake. For best results, stretch rolls gradually over a 10-minute period in order to avoid tears in the skin.
Whisk the reserved extra egg white with 1 teaspoon cold water. Lay the parchment paper out on the backs of two cookie sheets. Put the dough snakes onto the parchment paper, 4 to a sheet and brush the tops twice with egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Let rise in a warm humid place for 1 hour or more until doubled in size again.
Bake the rolls: In a conventional oven, fit quarry tiles or a pizza stone on the center rack and preheat oven to 425° for 30 minutes.
Slip risen rolls directly onto the quarry tiles or pizza stone on their parchment paper, cooking 4 at a time. Spray a few squirts of water on the hot oven walls for a nice bloom, quickly close the door and bake for 11 minutes until the rolls are lightly browned on the top. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes on a rack before diving in.
Repeat as necessary with the other rolls.
To make an awesome Chicken and Broccoli Rabe sandwich: Split a Sesame Seeded Sandwich Roll and layer with field greens, hot chicken breast, steamed broccoli rabe and mature cheddar. Happy noshing!
Quarry tile note: If you don't have quarry tiles or a pizza stone, don't worry; the rolls will be fine, just a bit flatter. Sprinkle cornmeal or semolina onto 2 cookie sheets and put the dough snakes onto it for their last rise. Coat as directed above and bake in the oven on cookie sheets. Quarry tiles are available here in Seattle at Tile for Less.
Here's a photo of a Sesame Seeded Sandwich Roll filled with Wild Greens, Chicken, Broccoli Rabe and Mature Cheddar. Go on, free your imagination!
Copyright 2011 by Don Hogeland and woodfiredkitchen.com