If you’ve ever tasted an Italian sub (sandwich) from New England, you know the amazing flavor of a REAL Maine Italian.
The light bread that is soft on the inside, but not chewy and has light layers along the sides. It’s an extraordinary sandwich that compliments any filling crammed within it, but… if you venture out of New England chances are slim that you’ll be able to enjoy the taste… until Now.
To be fair, let me explain that in Maine we don’t refer to them as subs, they’re simply “Italians”, but as you head south towards Boston, New York and Jersey- they transform into “subs”.
Here’s a copycat recipe for New England Italian rolls, fresh from a ‘Maine-ah’ who’s moved south!
2 cups water, lukewarm (about 110 degrees F)
4 tsp Bread Machine Yeast (fast rising)
3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/4 cup Cake Flour
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
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 (optional for some types of yeast).
Using a dough hook attachment, add the flours and sugar to the water and mix on low speed until a dough starts to form.
Drizzle the oil and salt into the dough and beat on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes (or knead the dough by hand), or 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 (cooking spray not necessary if you roll the dough around the oil-lined bowl).
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 rounded dough with the heel of your hand. Roll the dough up tightly, sealing the seam well after each roll. Place the rolls with the sides touching slightly on a greased cookie sheet to rise again.
Allow the dough to proof, loosely covered with a damp towel for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
Lightly spritz the dough with water from a water bottle and then place the rolls in the oven. Immediately close the oven and bake for 3 minutes. Open the oven door and spray the dough again with the water bottle. Bake for about 30-35 minutes
How to Make an Italian:
Split the Italian roll (don’t completely cut through, all your fillings fall out and that’s not how we do it!) add sliced ham, sliced american cheese, diced onions, halved black olives, sliced dill pickles, sliced tomato, sliced green pepper, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil.