Our Favorite Bread for Sub Sandwiches

In the summer, especially, I like to serve easy make-your-own-sandwiches for dinner. This week we’re making our first BLT’s with garden fresh tomatoes. Last week I laid out a variety of fixings for hoagie or submarine sandwiches. No one complains because they get to choose what they put on it. Whatever we are putting on the inside, the freshest, crustiest bread available makes the sandwich perfect.

Since I like to bake, starting a batch of Italian bread at lunchtime doesn’t take more than 15 minutes. Then I let it rise and bake it fresh for dinner. The small of amount of time is worth it for bread that looks like this and makes a sandwich taste like it’s from a bakery. This is a recipe my mother found years ago from Fleischmann’s Yeast.

Italian Bread

4 ½ to 5½ cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 pkgs. Fleischmann’s active dry yeast
1 tablespoon softened margarine
1 ¾ cup very warm tap water (about 120 degrees)
Cornmeal
Oil
1 egg white
1 tablespoon cold water

First, in a large bowl, thoroughly mix 1 ½ cups flour, sugar, salt and undissolved yeast. Add margarine.

Second, gradually add tap water to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add ¾ cup flour. Beat at high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour to make a stiff dough.

Third, turn out onto lightly floured board or counter and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, then a towel. Lest rise about 40 minutes.

Fourth, to make hoagie rolls, divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into an oblong 8 x 5 inches. Beginning at wide side, roll up tightly; pinch seams to seal. Taper ends.

Or to make loaves, divide dough in half, roll each half into an oblong 15 x 10 inches. Beginning at wide side, roll up tightly; pinch seams to seal. Taper ends by rolling gently back and forth.

Fifth, place on greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Brush dough with oil. Cover with a towel and let rise until almost double, about 30 minutes. When ready to bake, you may make 3 – 4 diagonal cuts on top of each with a sharp knife.

Finally, bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes for rolls and 20 minutes for loaves. Remove from oven and brush with egg white mixed with cold water. Return to oven; bake 5 – 10 minutes longer, until golden brown.

Makes 2 loaves or 6 hoagie- or sub-sized rolls.

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1 Comment

  1. Mozi Esme's Mommy
    Aug 16, 2008

    That bread looks wonderful! I’ve never tried making Italian before – and right now I’m stuck in the rut of only making bread that gets completed in my bread machine. I’ll have to get out of my rut!

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