Cherry & Tomato Basil Toast
This is a little bit of a non-recipe recipe, but it was so bright and summery, I had to share.
If I were to rank forms of food, I think that sandwiches would be in my top five. Pizza, pie and cookies would all be there too (I heart carbs; I am not sorry). I’m not sure what number five is. Let me think on that for a bit.
[5 minutes pass of me staring at computer]
Probably burritos. And if pizza and pie could be smooshed into the same theoretical category since pizzas are sort of “pizza pies” (right?), then I think soup would be next one in. Because that was a really important decision to make.
But seriously, who doesn’t love a good sandwich? When I was relatively new to Portland, I actually bemoaned the lack of easily-found sandwiches. I have since found Elephants Deli and a few other spots, and lost only small amounts of sleep over it.
There is never a time when they are inappropriate. They can be fancy or unfancy. But there just never is a time where you say “Sandwiches? Nah, not in the mood.”
Which is why we had no trouble devouring the six hoagie rolls that I made this Sunday, which happened to be the day after the day we made cheese steaks with store-bought rolls. Just to be clear, we did not eat six hoagie rolls on Sunday. We ate two, and ate the other four on Monday and Tuesday. Which is totally normal.
Important heads up: I hate it when recipes are not up front about the amount of time involved. This recipe will take approximately 5 hours from start to finish, but about 4.5 of that is inactive time.
You will need:
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 1/2 c. water at 110 degrees
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
5 1/2 c. flour
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 egg, separated
2 Tbsp. cold water
Basil and/or oregano, if desired – just a teaspoon of each
To start out, mix the yeast, warm water and sugar together gently in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or a large mixing bowl. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast has foamed up a bit.
Next, add three cups of flour to the bowl, along with the salt, egg yolk and olive oil. Start mixing (use a wooden spoon if you are going analog. Nothing wrong with that!). This will work in very quickly and the dough will be super sticky. Do not fear! Keep adding the flour one cup at a time until the dough looks and behaves kind of like play dough – smooth and not sticky. Oil a clean bowl, and put the dough into it and cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Allow to rise for about two hours.
After the first rise period, punch the dough down and take a look at it.
Is it still smooth and not sticky? If it has become sticky, you can add more flour to it until it is easy to work with. Divide the dough into six pieces and shape in long oval shapes. Place on a cookie sheet to rise for another hour and a half, again covered. They should double in size again.
Preheat the oven to 375 and mix the cold water and egg white to form an egg wash. (If you want to, now is the time to make pretty but gentle slashes in the dough with a serrated knife.) Use half of the egg wash to give the rolls an initial coat, and then bake for ten minutes. After the first ten minutes are up, give ’em another coat of egg wash and bake for another ten minutes. Allow to cool.
And then, eat so many sandwiches.
This recipe is lightly adapted from Our Best Bites.