Six Inch or Footlong?
The submarine roll is also known as a sub, wedge, hoagie, hero and grinder to name but a few - what it basically is is a long soft bread roll. The sub sandwich originated in several different Italian American communities in the Northeastern United States from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries, with Portland, Maine claiming to be the birthplace of the 'Italian Sandwich'.
The use of the term 'submarine' or 'sub', after its resemblance to a submarine, is widespread though it is not clear who came up with the name. There are reports of it originating from New London, Connecticut (site of the US Navy's primary submarine base) during World War II and claims that an Italian immigrant, Dominic Conti, named the sandwich which he sold in his store after a recovered submarine, the Fenian Ram, he saw in the Paterson Museum, New Jersey, in 1928.
Naming rights and history aside these rolls could not be simpler to make, start by combining together your warm water, yeast, sugar, salt and olive oil in a bowl and leave to do its magic for about 5 minutes. Next you gradually add the flour until a soft dough is formed - a stand mixer with a dough hook makes light work of this. A quick hand knead and its time to leave the dough for its first proof. The use of plain flour and olive oil in the dough will help result in a roll that is super soft.
After the initial proof, divide the dough into 4 and shape into logs roughly 20-25cm in length, then it is time to leave them to proof again. Preheat your oven and bake for about 25 minutes. Once removed from the oven rub the tops with some butter and wrap in a tea towel to cool, this will allow the rolls to steam a little as they cool and help soften the crust.
Cut, stuff with your favourite filling and enjoy!