Having spent my younger years in New Jersey suburbs, I have vivid memories of going to the local Wawa with my family to pick up a hoagie sandwich. It was such a memorable event that I always looked forward to our next outing to this highly superior version of 7-Eleven.
The origin of this roll is contested, as far as I can tell, so I’m not planning on contesting it further; suffice it to say that it may or may not be named after Big Band songwriter Hoagland Howard “Hoagy” Carmichael.
This roll and its variants can be used to build any number of sandwiches: everything from hoagies, submarines, or grinders to Po’ Boys and — dare I say it — Bánh mì. Classic Italian meats are home here just as much as your traditional Philly Cheesesteak ingredients. Or simply enjoy cut along the width with fresh, lightly salted butter!
NOTE: This recipe is adjusted to be done by hand. If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, I’ll leave some modified directions you can follow at the end.
Ingredients: (Yield: 8 rolls)
- 600g (≈4.5cups) Bread flour
- 2 tsp Fine (sea) salt
- ¼ cup Vegetable oil
- 302mL Water @ 104°F
- 2.5 tsp Active dry yeast
- 2.5 Tbs Granulated sugar
- 1 Egg white
- 120mL Water
- Corn flour for dusting
- (Melted butter for basting)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread flour and salt.
- Add the vegetable oil directly to the flour and stir to incorporate.
- In a separate container, measure out 302mL of water heated to ≈104°F. Add active yeast and stir until dissolved. Add sugar next and stir until dissolved.
- Add yeast-water mix to the flour mix. Stir until incorporated; eventually, you will need to start using your hands to work the dough.
- Using a flat surface, work the dough into a large ball shape. Place in a greased bowl, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and let proof at room temperature for 1 hour (or until doubled in size).
- Degas dough ball by punching or any other less fun method.
- Separate dough into 8 even parts and form into 8 even balls
- Cover with a damp towel and let proof for another 10 minutes.
- Uncover dough balls and roll out flat to 7’’x4’’ discs. Lengthwise, roll discs tightly and pinch at the end to seal. Roll gently to smooth out the creases.
- Place rolls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet lightly dusted with corn flour. Cover with a second baking sheet and wrap in plastic. Let proof for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Whisk together an egg wash with egg white and 120mL of water.
- Uncover rolls. Using a sharp razor or paring knife, cut ¼’’ slits in the top of each roll.
- Use a brush or spray bottle to apply egg wash evenly to the rolls (don’t worry about using the entire mixture). Dust rolls lightly with corn flour.
- Place rolls in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
- NOTE: If baking at altitude (i.e., Denver), add ≈7-10 minutes of baking time or until rolls are golden-brown.
- Remove rolls from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Optional: brush rolls with melted butter while cooling.
Stand Mixer: If using a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment (or food processor with the blade attachment), replace vegetable oil with softened butter. Place the yeast-water in the mixing bowl, then add the flour (with salt) in batches. Mix until incorporated for 5 minutes. Add the softened butter to the dough and mix for another 5 minutes. Continue the above recipe from Step 5…