WARNING: This sandwich is going to harden your hubby's arteries. From the SHORTENING used in the WHITE buns to the massive amounts of BUTTER used to fry the CUBED STEAK, it's got nothing going for it in the health department. Here's the deal though. I promise you that if you read the recipe and look at the photos over at The Pioneer Woman, you will not be able to help yourself. You WILL make this. That's exactly what happened to me. Only I wasn't warned. You were.
I will tell you, however, that your hubby will forever look at you with longing and loving eyes if you make this for him. (I'm such a tease...lol)
For those of you who didn't heed the warning, let me give you a little background. I'm a huge fan of Lee Drummond and her website, The Pioneer Woman. I adore her entire site, but I'm most in awe of her cooking and photography skills. She's also endearing and extremely funny in her writing and I've spent hours and hours perusing her pages and admiring her talent. Her hubby, whom she's dubbed Marlboro Man, is a cowboy and she has devoted a special section to his favorite recipes. This is his favorite sandwich.
I won't post the recipe here because you simply have to watch her put it together. She's very detailed with directions and her numerous photos will make the entire process easy to follow and leave no room for error. What I am going to do however, is post the recipe I used to make these incredible soft white buns.
When I read Ree's recipe, I knew that I was not going to use a dense whole wheat bun. Nope, I was going for a soft white hoagie. King Arthur's website once again supplied a winning recipe. Here's my adaptation:
Soft Sandwich Rolls
2 1/2 teaspoons regular instant yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup potato flour
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
3 tablespoons shortening
In a large bowl, whisk together the yeast, sugar, salt, flour and potato flour. Add the water, milk and shortening and beat until smooth. Knead the dough on a lightly oiled surface till it's smooth and supple, or use the dough hook and your mixer. Add flour if you must, but the dough will continue to absorb liquid as you knead, so try to knead for 5 minutes or so before adding any additional flour. Remember, the more flour in the dough, the heavier and dryer the rolls will be.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set the dough aside to rise till doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
Divide the dough into eight pieces. Gently flatten each pieces into a 3" circle and roll up like a cigar, tucking ends under and sealing seam. Place the rolls on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drape the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap or a clean towel, and set them aside to rise till they're very puffy, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Bake the rolls in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 22 minutes, or until they're golden brown. Remove them from the oven, set them on a wire rack to cool, and spray them with butter-flavored pan spray, if desired (or brush them with melted butter or margarine). This will give the rolls a soft crust. When the rolls have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container.
Additional notes: I made four hoagie buns and four regular round buns out of this recipe because I wanted to have some white sandwich buns for grilled burgers this weekend.
Hubby said the buns took the sandwich "over the top." I thought so too. But I won't be making this sandwich again. It was one of those special treats and I think (hope) I've got it out of my system! Thanks Ree.