Week 23: Po-Boy Rolls

NEW ORLEANS: This unique bread, like a cross between a baguette and a hot dog bun, is also known as New Orleans French bread, and is what makes the famous Po Boy one of the best sandwiches in the world. You can get po-boys outside of New Orleans, but it won’t be the same if it’s not made with this one-of-a-kind bread.

This version is adapted from Leidenheimer’s Bakery founded in 1896 by German immigrants. Which helps explain why New Orleans French bread is actually more similar to the German rolls, brötchen. Here’s a great article on how the few remaining bakeries that supply these rolls are having to really work to meet the demand! Now fewer than ever, New Orleans po-boy bread bakers have a lot riding on their loaves

  • 1 cup warm (110 degrees) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  1. Place the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Add the 1/2 teaspoon sugar and the yeast.
  3. Allow to sit for about 15 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling. If it doesn’t bubble, you need new yeast!
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter (shortening is more traditional)
  • 400 grams bread flour (reserve 1/4 cup)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  1. Add the flour (minus the 1/4 cup), the 1 teaspoon sugar, butter and salt to the water.
  2. Mix with the dough hook until a dough starts to form, and it comes away from the sides. (If it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour, but no more than the 1/4 cup.)
  3. Continue to knead on low speed, for 10 minutes, so it’s smooth and elastic.
  4. Turn the dough out, knead it a little to form into a ball, then place into an oiled bowl, turning to coat, and cover with plastic wrap.
  5. Let rise until doubled in size, about one hour.
  6. Punch the dough down, turn out onto the countertop, and divide it into two balls.
  7. Cover these with a tea towel and let rest 15 minutes.
  8. Form each ball into a roughly 16″ x 3″ loaves, and place on a baking sheet.
  9. Cover with a damp tea towel and let rise about 1 hour.
  10. After 30 minutes, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  11. Bake loaves about 30 minutes, until golden brown.

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