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From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite…Why torpedo rolls? I’ve been searching for a recipe that would produce a roll similar to the one that is used to make a banh mi, or Vietnamese sandwich. In the course of that search I stumbled on this recipe. While this wouldn’t work as the base for a banh mi, I can happily report it does make a wonderful Italian-style submarine sandwich. The roll lacks the crackly crust associated its French or Italian counterparts, but it has a lovely soft interior that makes for a wonderful sandwich. These rolls are easy to do if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook. The machine really does all the work and no kneading is required. The dough is soft and very sticky and you may need to flour your hands to form the rolls. Resist the temptation to add too much flour to the dough as you mix it. I stop adding flour when the dough leaves the sides of the bowl and climbs the dough hook. You can select the shape you want to make. I’ve chosen torpedo rolls which are coincidentally named for their resemblance to torpedoes. I’ve also used the recipe to make sandwich rolls. To be truthful the recipe can also be used to make wonderful dinner rolls. For under $4 you can have 16 sandwich or torpedo rolls or 3 dozen dinner rolls that taste a bit like challah. My biggest problem is having the rolls ready when I want to use them. I usually make a double batch and freeze them for future use. I’ve cut back – way back – on the amount of sugar used in the original recipe. I know you’ll love these if you give them a try. Here’s the recipe.

Torpedo Rolls…from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite adapted from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/3 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (I use 1/3 cup)
1-1/2 cups water
6-1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Extra-virgin olive oil to brush on warm rolls

1) In the large bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle yeast over 1 cup of warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy. Add vegetable oil, egg, sugar and remaining 1-1/2 cups water and mix, using dough hook, until well combined. Add flour a cup at a time. Mix on medium-low speed until dough holds together, about 5 minutes. If it does not come together add water a tablespoon at a time until it does. Let dough rest in mixing bowl for 20 minutes to relax. Add salt and cinnamon and mix dough for 1 minute on low speed. Transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in volume, about 90 minutes.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets or cookie pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
3) Punch dough down. If it’s sticky, flour your hands. If making dinner rolls, pinch off and roll golf ball-size pieces of dough. If making sandwich or torpedo rolls, pinch off tennis ball-sized pieces or dough and shape them as you choose. Place rolls on prepared pans, leaving 2-inches of space between them. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit for about 20 minutes, or until rolls feel like soft marshmallows. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown. Remove from oven and brush very lightly with olive oil. Rolls may be served hot or at room temperature. Yield: 16 torpedo or 32 dinner rolls.

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