Chicago Style Italian Roast Beef Sandwich on Homemade Italian Sandwich Rolls

A very simple and easy bread recipe. Anyone can make these rolls. They are crusty and chewy on the outside and soft inside. There is only five ingredients in this recipe, which makes it budget friendly. You can mix and knead by hand or use your stand mixer. The recipe makes 6 sandwich rolls perfect for sub style sandwiches or sloppy meat sandwiches. They hold up and stay together when dipping in au juice.

You can also make round sandwich rolls from this recipe for sloppy joes and barbeque sandwiches. You don’t have to worry about your sandwiches turning to mush. This is much less expensive then buying hard rolls from the bakery . After a practice or two, they will become very easy to make.

Crusty Sandwich Rolls

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • I package instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/3 cups all purpose flour or bread flour


In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and stir in sugar (food for the yeast). Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes until it has bubbled. Bakers call this a sponge.

Add 1 cup of flour and mix. A heavy stand mixer with a dough hook works. After mixed add salt. You don’t want to add salt in the beginning or it will interfere with the yeast. Salt controls the formation. Now add the rest of the flour slowly if mixing by hand. Or one cup at a time using dough hook. Reserve the last 1/3 cup for kneading. You don’t always need all the last 1/3 cup. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes. When using a dough hook the dough should pull away from the bowl when it has enough flour and is a little sticky. Then just let the mixer run for 5 minutes on medium speed to knead. This bread is very forgiving. You can’t mess it up.

Form a ball out of the dough and put in a oiled large bowl. Turn the dough over so it is completely covered with a think coat of oil. This will keep it from sticking. Cover with plastic wrap, foil or a damp towel. Put it in a warm place(oven with the light on) and let rise until double. About 1 1/2 hours. Keep an eye on it. ( It only took 30 minutes in my hot tropical kitchen in South Florida.)

When doubled punch down to deflate. Turn out on a floured board and dived the ball of dough into 6 equal pieces. Form 6 inch logs to make the rolls. Place on prepared cookie sheets that have been greased or parchment paper. Cover and let rise another 30 minutes.

Cut slits on top with a sharp knife or razor. Brush with a egg wash is optional. ( egg beat in a couple of tablespoons of water)

Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Place a pan of hot boiling water on the very bottom rack. Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes. Turning the trays around half way through so the rolls bake evenly.

Cool completely before cutting into them.

I wanted to follow up from my last post with an Italian roast beef sandwich. The recipe I used in the previous post was a traditional recipe from a very old recipe book. I found in a thrift store published as a fundraiser for a Catholic Church from the Chicago region.

To make Italian roast beef see recipe:

We always make these sandwiches with the left over Italian roast beef. Traditionally Chicago Italian roast beef sandwich is made from Italian roast beef and giardiniera. Or make the sandwich with pepperoncini (Italian hot peppers) and provolone cheese. I do canning, so I like to can my own giardiniera as you can see in the bottom picture. You can find both pepperoncini peppers and giardiniera at your local grocery store.

Slice and heat the meat in it’s gravy or au juice. Assemble the sandwich adding your favorite toppings. You can ladle some au juice on the bread before assembly if you wish or after. You can also serve the gravy in a small bowl to dip the sandwich in. Since the bread rolls above are chewy, they will hold together if you want to do both. The sloppier the better.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. The rolls look really good and easy to make. I especially like your MacKensie-Childs plate 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thank you. I have 2 of those plates I found at Goodwill about 4 years ago. They are salad size plates. They were not marked as to who made them. I just thought they would look nice in photographs with food. I started food blogging about 10 years ago and have collected some interesting odds and ends in dishes to use.


    2. trkingmomoe says:

      I looked up MacKensie-Childs. I found the pattern. I really got a bargain with the 2 salad plates at $0.99 each. Thanks for letting me know. I will take good care of them.


      1. Yes, their merchandise is very pricey but beautiful. I have a pillow and some candles at the moment and have looked at their trays, dinnerware and bakeware. Maybe sometime…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, these rolls do sound easy and perfect for a loaded messy sandwich!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thanks. I think I will make croutons out of the 2 that is left.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Belladonna says:

    Oh geesh!!!! that looks so good!


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