Delicious Homemade Sub & Kaiser Roll Recipe
Why is it braided?
As I mentioned, I've gone through about 40 pounds of flour trying to get consistent bread. The recipe is awesome but getting the size and shape has been the bane of my bread-making existence. I woke up in the middle of the night with a eureka moment and couldn't wait to try a braid and...
I don't have a baker's couche and I wasn't about to fabricate one. If you have one definitely use it!
Whether you call it a hoagie, sub, torpedo, grinder or hero sandwich - there is nothing like a sandwich made on homemade bread, especially when it's still warm from the oven and oh, so soft!
I had been on a quest to make a consistent bread for my deli sandwiches and subs. When I say this recipe, the steps, and pictures are the results from experimenting with about 40 pounds of flour in two weeks I am not exaggerating. Hopefully my experiences will save you the time, effort and ingredients for perfect bread every time.
This is a great recipe for kaiser rolls too!
If I can do it then so can you!
Nice to have...
...to make bread that looks like this.
Rate the braided bread recipe
What you need
- Large mixing bowl
- Large bowl (for resting/rising bread)
- Sharp knife
- Whisk or Fork
- Clean hand towel
- Food scale (nice, but optional)
- Enough flat pans to bake your bread
don't use cookie sheets with no edges
this could be on the ingredients list but you're really using it as a tool
- 2 packets or 4½ tsp. chilled active yeast, dry
- ½ cup + 1½ cup hot water, between 110° & 115° F
- 1 + 3 or 4 TBSP sugar
- ⅓ cup + a little more extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp iodized salt
- 4+ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups semolina
Let's get started!
Why chill the yeast?
I don't know exactly but here's my theory. Think of your cold yeast shivering and ready to break out.
Why the exact heat of the water?
Again, I have no idea but if it's not hot enough the yeast doesn't activate. Too hot and you kind of singe it. Like Goldilocks - you want it just right.
In your large mixing bowl combine:
- 2 packages (or 4½ tsp.) of chilled Active Dry Yeast
I prefer Fleischmann's because I trust the brand
- 1 TBSP sugar
- ½ cup hot water
** must be between 110° & 115° F **
Using your whisk or fork - mix the ingredients until the yeast & sugar have disolved.
Then let it sit & bubble for about 5 minutes.
While your yeast is doing it's thing start gathering your other ingredients.
As you can see, I have approximately 6 cups of all-purpose flour in a container with my 1 cup measuring cup nearby. The sugar and salt is measured out and I have my ⅓ cup of olive oil ready to pour.
In five minutes the water tends to lose its temperature so I refill it to keep the water between 110° & 115° F - and my ½ cup measuring cup is on the side.
Gather your ingredients
Combine your ingredients
After the five minutes add your remaining ingredients into the large bowl.
Let's recap so you don't have to scroll up:
- 2 tsp. of salt
- 3 or 4 TBSP of sugar
(it depends whether you like a sweeter bread. I personally use 5 TBSP. total for my recipe)
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
(you can use canola or vegetable oil as a replacement though there will be a slight variance to taste)
- begin with 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 2 cups of the semolina
Get your hand in there and start mixing. It is going to be pretty sticky but you want to combine those ingredients really well.
Add the last 2 cups of flour to your mix and get in there with both hands!
It is going to feel dry and crumbly. Don't give up on it. Keep mixing it in the bowl until most of the crumbs are combined. Once you are satisfied - remove it from the bowl onto a clean flat surface and start kneading it.
There is nothing like kneading bread to get rid of a little stress. Maybe that's why I've been so laid-back lately! haha! Anyway...
You are going to want to knead the dough for about 5 to 8 minutes to get a nice elastic feel to the dough.
Let it rise
- Lightly grease your other large bowl with a little olive oil then place the dough in it.
- Turn it a little and flip it over so there is a light coat of oil over the entire ball.
- Cover with a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm area. This is important! If it's not in a warm area the dough will not rise.
- Leave it alone for about an hour. You can see the difference between the before & after pic.
- Punch down the dough then flip it out of the bowl onto a clean, flat surface.
- Instead of flour I actually use a little olive oil to keep the dough slightly moist while working it into the braid for my bread.
Time to weigh in
I've found that cutting the dough with a sharp knife and weighing it to about a half pound makes a really nice sub-sized roll. (for kaiser rolls I weigh it between .25 to .35 pounds)
Once you've cut and weighed the dough you want to cut it into 3 equal pieces.
Then roll each piece with your hands until they are rope-like - about 12 to 15 inches long.
Take your three pieces and lay them side by side so you can begin the braid.
How to braid bread
Optional egg wash
An egg wash is optional but if you like a nice glaze on your bread with a slightly crispy texture try this.
- One egg
- 1 TBSP water
- Scramble well
- Apply by pastry brush before you let the dough rise a second time
A cheesecloth or paper towel works just as well if you don't have a pastry brush
How to get a kaiser roll shape
Prepping to bake
Take your pan and sprinkle the bottom with cornmeal.
Trust me. I've tried flour, oil, parchment paper and a combination of them all, but nothing works better than lining your pan with cornmeal to get a nice golden bottom without sticking or burning. Just grab a small handful of it and sprinkle it on the bottom of the pan. You don't have to cover the entire thing.
Place your braids about 2 inches apart, cover again and place the pan in a warm place.
Note: the poppy or sesame seeds will not stick to the bread unless you have an egg wash. Just saying.
- Egg wash
- Poppy or Sesame Seeds
Let the dough rise for 30 to 45 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350°
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the tops are golden.
Place finished bread on cooling rack or on a clean towel.