This homemade hoagie roll will help you seriously step up your sandwich game. Plus, you can easily change the shape of this dough to be round for burgers or a smaller size for hot dogs.
Yeast: Dissolve 2 1/4 tsp of active dry yeast in a 1/3 cup warm water with a pinch of sugar and let sit for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture foams up and increases in volume just slightly. This ensures that the yeast is active and that the yeast will be easily incorporated into the dough.
Omit this step if using instant yeast and just add it as-is in step 2 where it calls for the yeast mixture.
Knead with a mixer: To a bowl of a stand mixer (if you'd like to make this dough in a bread maker see Note 1 at the bottom) add 3 1/2 cups flour, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp kosher salt, remaining warm water and the yeast mixture from step 1. Stir quickly with a spoon to bring all ingredients together. Then, attach a dough hook and knead for ~20 minutes on speed 3 (or low speed), or until the gluten is well developed.
TIP: You'll know the gluten is developed when the dough is tacky to touch. DO NOT overknead the dough or the gluten fibers will break and the dough won't have the strength of the gluten network to hold in the air bubbles as it rises. This will give you doughy hoagie rolls that don't rise well.
Next, add the room temperature butter and knead until fully incorporated (~2 minutes).
Knead by hand: add all ingredients, together with the yeast mixture except for the butter to a large bowl and stir with a spoon to slightly bring everything together. Then, knead with your hands for about 15-20 minutes or until the dough is tacky to touch and is very stretchy when pulling a small piece into a pane. Add room temperature butter and knead until it's fully incorporated.
Omit this step if you'd like to make the Quick Hoagie Rolls
Proof: Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to proof until doubled in size in a warm (not higher than 100F°), draft-free place (~45 min - 1 hour).
If you have a proofing option on your oven, use it.
Otherwise, you can preheat your oven to 200F for 2-3 minutes, then turn it off and place your bowl with the dough in there. Make sure the oven is not hotter than 100F° or the yeast in the dough will die and the dough will not rise.
Divide and shape:
Turn out the dough onto a floured or oiled surface. Divide it into 6-8 equal pieces (or 4 if you're looking to make them XL). Use a kitchen scale if you'd like the hoagie rolls to be exactly the same size. Shape all of them into neat and tight balls. Using a rolling pin roll each ball into a 6"x4" rectangle (for 6 -8 rolls). Now, roll into a tight 6-inch roll, pinching the ends to seal.
Set on a parchment-lined 16"x21" baking sheet seem side down spacing the rolls evenly. Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to proof until doubled in size (~30-45 min) in a warm place (you can do the oven trick again. Just remember to remove the proofed rolls from the oven when preheating the oven for baking).
Preheat the oven to 375F°.
Using a serrated knife score each roll about 1/4 inch deep, lengthwise. If you wish, you can brush the tops of the hoagies with an egg white lightly whisked with a small pinch of salt, or leave them as is.
Place in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the outside is golden in color. If the hoagie rolls are baked through, the internal temprature reading should be 200F°.
Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and cool for at least 20-30 minutes before cutting. , or until the hoagies are room temperature.
How to make the Hoagie Rolls dough in the bread maker:
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