Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Honey Hoagie Rolls with a Twist - Perfect for Thanksgiving

Hoagie rolls for Thanksgiving? So, here's the deal. I was looking for some kind of bread for the holiday that would be great for soaking up the sauces and gravies of a big, festive meal, like Thanksgiving. Something that could double for snack time while watching a big game on TV. Here, in Israel we don't really celebrate Thanksgiving, but there are lots of games on TV. Only its usually soccer or basketball. Still, snack food is a must. And these sandwiches, an adaptation of a few recipes I have used for years fits the bill perfectly. They are soft and strong. Soak up whatever, and hold the fillings! Oh, in case you haven't noticed my 'healthy' trend lately, they are super healthy. I mean, bran and toasted wheat germ for goodness sake! This bread can be shaped as small rolls for a dinner, or larger for a hoagie-type roll, or even a loaf. I have made the hoagie roll. You can probably get about a dozen rolls, or maybe 4 hoagies. Or a loaf. Any way you look at it, though, it's just delicious!

Here's What You'll Need:
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water)
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup wheat bran (optional)
2 1/2 cups AP flour (or 2 cups AP flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
2 Tbs. honey (or dark brown sugar)
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. softened butter
3/4 cup warm water

Here's What You'll Need to Do:

1. Dissolve the yeast in the 1/4 cup warm water and place aside for about 10 minutes until nice and bubbly.

In the meantime...
2. Place the wheat germ in a dry frying pan and warm while tossing lightly in the pan. After a minute or two you will smell the toasty smell of the wheat germ. Remove from the heat and put aside.

3. In a large bowl, place the flour(s), bran (if using), toasted wheat germ, and salt and stir to combine. Then, add the yeast mixture, along with the softened butter, honey (or sugar), and the warm water.

4. Mix to form a shaggy dough, then knead vigorously to make a soft but very smooth dough. This will take 10 minutes by hand or around 5 minutes in a stand mixer.

5. Place in an oiled bowl to rise, covered, until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.

6. Being careful not to deflate too much, shape the dough into a loaf. If you are making rolls, then divide the dough into the number of pieces required, then roll them into shape. The rolls will deflate more that the loaf, don't worry.

7. Cover the rolls (or loaf) to rise a second time, this time about 45 minutes.

8. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for: 17 minutes (rolls) or 25-30 minutes (loaf). Brush with melted butter, if desired while still hot, then cool on a rack.
 Bon Appetit!

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