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Thursday, February 20, 2014

better than blimpie manwich subs plus table rolls

Parmesan sub loaf, 6 inches, filled with cold leftover roasted chicken, slices of sharp cheddar cheese, sliced tomato, lettuce, spinach, 1/2 a mashed avocado, a little raw honey and dijon mustard, caper mayonnaise (1/2 c mayo, pinch garlic powder, pinch onion powder, 2 Tbs brined capers, pinch dried oregano, tiny pinch Celtic sea salt, all together and pulsed smooth in the blender)

Manwich. Not sure why we call them that. Men have larger appetites than women, I suppose? Nothing quite beats a good manwich, though. Subway and Blimpie sandwich shops have it down. It's easy enough to find the fillings, but the trouble is the bread.

Okay, I'm not going to get into knocking the brand name companies. Would you like to be dubbed most awesomest of wives, moms, girlfriends, sisters, aunties? How about just enjoying a good old manwich, filled with a variety healthy and delicious things, all to yourself? Well, maybe not the whole thing. I dunno about you but the most I can manage on a hungry day is a 6 incher. Still, worth making...

The trick is the bread.

This recipe is a basic table rolls recipe that belongs originally to my husband's maternal grandma. I don't know where Grandma got it. I have (surprise, surprise) tweaked it a little, and I don't like bleached flour, or even unbleached flour if I can use whole grain or at least whole wheat. Well, this should produce a decent bread roll with whatever flour you choose. My directions here are for making this with a KitchenAid mixer and bread dough hook, because that is the easiest way to get kids involved with the process without a ton of mess all over the place. If you prefer by hand, go for it.

Mix lightly together in a mixer bowl:
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
5 c bagged whole wheat, or whole grain wheat, flour

4 Tb butter or olive oil

Mix together in a bowl or measuring jug and let sit 3 mins to froth:
2 c warm water 
1 Tb yeast 

With the mixer on low, slowly add the frothed wet to the dry. Mix with dough hook until the flour has fully absorbed the moisture and is sticky. Then, with the motor still running, add and additional 1 to 1 1/2 c flour until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl and is forming a smooth ball around the hook. Knead a further 5 minutes on low.

Rise 1 hour, covered with a damp cloth.

For table rolls, I divide the dough into half and half and half until I have 32 small balls of dough. Form smooth balls and place them evenly on 2 baking sheets, non stick or lined or greased and floured as per your preference. Let them rise 20 mins. These bake for 15 mins at 400 F.

Manwich loaves are a little different. Not very, but a little. Divide dough into 6 lumps. Turn edges under to form a smooth ball with each, and then roll between hands and a flat surface into long tubes. You can make these 12" subs if you like. Place 3 to a tray, non stick as above, and flatten them down. Bake 15-20 mins at 350 F.

Parmesan subs
: mist or brush loaves with olive oil and sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on the top.

Honey wheat subs:
add 1/3 cup honey to the dough when you add the yeasted water, and use 100% whole wheat flour.

Sesame nut subs: roll dough through a spread of sesame seeds and finely crushed walnuts when you shape the loaf.

Rye subs: use 1 c rye flour, the rest whole wheat but substitute 1/4 c wheat flour with carob powder. Add 3 Tbs honey. The dough should be a dark color with a nutty but not bitter flavor.

After baking, fill manwich subs with a variety of fillings. Get creative. Store bread in an airtight container for 3 days, or freeze in plastic bags and pull out as needed.

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