The Bearded One wanted hot dogs for dinner. Uh, I do not like hot dogs much. It all goes back to a traumatic experience in my youth when my sister likened a hot dog to a…well, I will leave you without trauma. Continue to relish your hot dogs! (pun intended)
So, I proposed Sausage sandwiches with Onions and Peppers…an Italian favorite from the Pittsburgh area (The birthplace of The Bearded One). The idea received favorable response so I thawed the sausage and got out a jar of the Onion/Pepper sauce we had brought back from Pennsylvania some time ago. The easy way out!
But these sandwiches need a bun that can hold up to the filling! A nice hefty sandwich roll with a crust that will not disintegrate and a great taste. This one fit the bill nicely!
2 c water, lukewarm
4 1/2 t yeast
5 3/4 c bread flour (25.3 oz if you weigh your flour like I do)
1 T brown sugar
2 T olive oil
1 T kosher salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten (for egg wash) -optional
2 T sesame seeds (optional)
Place the warm water and yeast in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer and allow the yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes. Using a dough hook, add the flour and sugar to the water and mix on low speed until the dough starts to form. Drizzle the oil and the salt into the dough and beat on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes (or knead the dough by hand) until a smooth, firm, elastic dough is formed.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and spray the dough with a thin coating of cooking spray. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to proof in a warm, draft-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
Remove the plastic wrap, punch down and flatten the dough with the heel of your hand. For rolls, divide the dough into eighths, fold each section like into thirds like a letter to fit in an envelope, then fold again in half and seal the seam to form a long thin roll. Seal the ends of the dough, rolling further to form to even out the shape. Place the rolls on a parchment paper on a baker’s peel or an upside down baking sheet.
Preheat the oven to 425 F with a pizza stone or upside down baking sheet on the bottom shelf.
Allow the dough to proof, loosely covered with a towel, for 30 minutes. If you want, brush the rolls with egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Using a razor blade or sharp knife, score slashes across the top of the dough.
Spray the dough generously with water from a water bottle and place in the oven on the baking stone/baking sheet. Immediately close the oven and bake for 3 minutes. Spray the dough again and again quickly close the oven door. Repeat a third time after three minutes. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a hollow thud is heard when the roll is tapped with a knuckle. Allow the bread to cool slightly before serving.
Store extra rolls in a paper bag to retain crispness or freeze them if you are not going to use them in a day or two.