Making your own hoagie rolls can be an incredibly fun baking project that will also leave you with some of the most delicious rolls for all your hoagies! Bonus: They are easier to make than you might think!
There is something about making bread at home that is just so satisfying. The whole process of kneading, forming, and smelling that beautiful bread in your home is so cathartic and relaxing. I don't make a ton of bread at home these days, but when I feel like really taking my time to do a longer baking project, bread is my go-to.
I wanted to share this hoagie roll recipe with you because it is one I really love for not just hoagies, but other delicious sandwiches. The interior of the bread is wonderfully soft and is perfect for soaking up sauces and dipping into soups.
Random fun fact about me: When I was younger, I used to love to cut a roll in half along the width and remove the interior so I could fill it with soup. The remaining bread would soak up the broth and leave me with the filling stuffing the bread, and I would eat my soup just like that.
Hoagie Rolls: The Yeast
Yes, you must use yeast in making hoagie rolls, but it is easier to use than you might think. Yeast bread is very forgiving and is fun for even a new baker. You can use all types of yeast, the two popular ones are quick rise and active dry (as opposed to fresh yeast). You can substitute 1:1 between the quick rise and active dry yeasts. The only real difference will be how long it takes for the bread to rise.
Hoagie Rolls: The Milk
You can use just about any milk available, but I only have experience using dairy milk when making hoagie rolls. You can use any milk percentage you want, but I usually use whole milk for my baking. It's important that you make sure your milk is warm, but not hot. You want to be able to comfortably stick your finger in the milk. This is to activate the yeast and it can ruin the yeast if the milk is too hot. About 100 degrees F to 110 degrees F is good. Think of it as a milk bath for the yeast.
Hoagie Rolls: The Flour
You can use all-purpose or bread flour when making this hoagie roll recipe. I prefer the bread flour because of the higher protein levels (which also means more gluten, an essential to making this hoagie roll recipe) I would not use cake flour or whole wheat flour. You can make whole wheat hoagie rolls, but it would require a different recipe. Unfortunately, I do not have any experience using gluten-free flour in yeast bread recipes. It is a different type of baking that I do not know too much about. I would not recommend using gluten-free flours for these hoagie rolls, but if you do try it, please let me know how it turns out!
Hoagie Rolls: The Shaping
It takes some time and practice getting really nicely shaped hoagie rolls with the best texture. It requires you to know what the dough should look and feel like. You can learn more about that in my guide to using yeast. You also need to be patient with shaping the rolls so they are in the right shape. A lot of my hoagie rolls ended up being very different in length and width for a little while before I got the hang of it. If yours don't look like perfectly shaped rolls, don't worry, you'll get there over time, and they are still delicious regardless of the shape!
Some tips for shaping hoagie rolls: Divide your dough into equal pieces. I like to use a kitchen scale for this, but it is okay if you eyeball it. Roll your dough into a ball shape. The best way to do this is roughly make a ball with your hands, then place the ball on a lightly floured surface and use your hand to make a sort of "cage" over the ball. From there, roll the ball on the surface gently, moving your hands in a circular motion.
Once it is in a nice ball, gently press your hand on the top of the ball and gently rock your hand forward and back. Keep going, as the ball starts to form a log and try to keep it as even as possible. You'll soon need to use both hands to do this. Once the roll is roughly 6-8 inches, gently add more pressure to the ends, to shape them and round out the ends.
Finished baking up your hoagie rolls? Now, head on over and learn how to build the perfect hoagie, plus get two hoagie recipes while you're there!
- 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast active dry or quick*
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 cups 500g whole milk, warm
- 5 ½ cups 710g bread flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 3 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cool
- 2 - 3 tablesoons fine cornmeal
- ¼ cup 60g water
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Mix together the yeast, sugar, and milk together in a stand mixer. Allow it to rest until the top gets foamy. About 5 minutes.
- Add in the flour, salt, and melted butter. Mix slowly until the ingredients are just fully combined - about 2 minutes.
- Use the dough hook on medium-high speed until the dough pulls away and slaps against the sides of the bowl - about 6 - 8 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and top with plastic wrap. Leave it in a warm, dry area until it is double or triple its size - about 45 mins to 1 ½ hours.
- Line 1 - 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly coat the parchment paper with cornmeal.
- Lightly flour a flat surface and place the dough onto the surface.
- Equally divide the dough into 8 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball, then into the shape of a roll.
- Place the dough evenly on the baking sheets.
- Cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 30 - 60 minutes.
- While the rolls rise, preheat the oven to 350°F and add the water, plus cornstarch to a small saucepan.
- Stir and cook on medium until the mixture is thickened. Set aside until cooled.
- Remove the plastic wrap, and brush the cornstarch mixture over the bread. Cut a line down the length of the rolls. Bake for 25 minutes (or until a nice golden brown), turning halfway.