The BEST Italian Sub Rolls {Extra Soft}

Pillowy inside with the slightest bit of chew to the crust, these Italian sub rolls are good enough to eat on their own. Not only do they taste great, but they’re also easy to make with just a few simple ingredients.

Best of all, you can freeze them, so you always have fresh rolls on hand.

four rolls on cooling rack

Soft Italian Sub Rolls

The bread makes the sandwich, and these super soft rolls make any homemade sub all the more delicious.
Serving Size 8 rolls


  • 3 ½ cups bread flour
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil


  • Knead. Add all ingredients to a stand mixer, bread machine, or mixing bowl (if you are kneading by hand.). Knead until smooth and stretchy, and “windows” appear in the dough. The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky to the touch but should clear the sides and bottom of the bowl. Allow the cycle to finish.
    stretched out dough with translucent windows.
  • First Rise. Place in a warm place to rise for 1 hour, covered, until very puffy.
    dough in bowl before and after rising.
  • Rest. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and loosely shape into logs. (It is easiest to divide into half, then quarters, etc.). Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes. This will make them easier to shape.
    divided dough on cutting board
  • Shape. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust cornmeal on top. Gently shape into oval rolls by pulling down the bottoms of the dough to smooth out the tops. Pinch the ends so they are smooth, and no seams are visible from the tops.
  • Second rise. Brush with melted butter. Place the rolls on the baking sheet and cover with heavily greased plastic wrap. Place the baking sheet in a warm place for the rolls to rise, until they are very puffy, about 45 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 425° with a rimmed metal baking sheet on a lower rack.
    shaped rolls on baking sheet.
  • Bake with steam. When the oven is hot, pour 1 cup of water on the baking sheet to create steam. Immediately place the rolls inside. Bake for 15-19 minutes until golden brown. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Let cool completely before slicing for sandwiches. Eat within 2 days or freeze.
    finished sub rolls on cooling rack.



Rolls freeze VERY well! Simply let them cool and place in a freezer bag. They will stay fresh a few months and can be defrosted one at a time.
Make sure you use a metal baking sheet for the steam; glass will shatter.
I recommend SAF instant yeast for bread machine baking, and this basic bread machine, perfect for kneading.
Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 441mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg
ingredients on counter.

Here’s what you’ll need to make these delicious hoagie rolls.

  • bread flour (yes, it makes a difference!)
  • water
  • sugar
  • instant yeast
  • salt
  • vegetable oil
  • a stand mixer is helpful but not necessary
  • large bowl for rising
  • plastic wrap
  • rimmed metal baking sheet
italian hoagie rolls on rack.

🥫 Storage instructions

To freeze: Let the rolls cool completely and place them in a freezer bag. They will stay fresh up to three months, and you can defrost one at a time as needed.

For immediate use: Store in an airtight container, such as a zip-top bag, and eat within two days.

🔍 FAQs

What type of flour should I use?

Bread flour! It’s the secret to getting that perfect blend of soft and chewy. That being said, using all-purpose flour is not he end of the world. Reduce the water by about 20% to start, because it will absorb less moisture.

How do you shape the dough into an oval roll?

Don’t overthink this. Just shape it into an oval with seams at the bottom. After you do it yourself a few times, you’ll see there’s no real wrong way to do it.

Is it necessary to create steam in the oven when baking the rolls?

If the process feels weird to you, you can skip it. But I personally love how it makes them super fluffy and rise high.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Use bread flour for the best results.
  • Knead until the dough is smooth and stretchy and you can see “windows” in it. This may take longer than you think.
  • Don’t forget to brush the rolls with melted butter before baking. It’s a must for that golden-brown crust.
  • Use parchment paper and cornmeal on your baking sheet so the rolls don’t stick.
  • Let the finished rolls cool completely on a wire rack before slicing them open. They will finish baking as they cool.

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The BEST Italian Sub Rolls {Extra Soft}The BEST Italian Sub Rolls {Extra Soft}
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Recipe Rating


  1. 4 stars
    very good recipe. not exactly Italian sub rolls as I’m italian and these are different but very good. I make them small dinner rolls. also trying half of it to make cinnamon rolls. I only bake them about 10-12 minutes as the dinner rolls and they are perfect.

  2. what did you use on your baking tray when you put them in the oven? doesnt look like flour, more like corn flower?

  3. 5 stars
    great recipe!! i made a half batch to make sure i liked it, and i wish i had made a full batch!! great taste and so pillowy soft! i broiled for the last minute to get a crispier crust and they turned out perfect! I plan to make a full batch or double batch next time

  4. This is one seriously wonderful recipe! It never fails! I don’t keep bread flour in the house because I simply don’t have the space. So I take out 3tsp of flour and add 3tsp of vital wheat gluten. Works sooo well! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    I don’t think I’ll ever buy rolls again! This recipe is fabulous! I also form into Hamburg buns and hotdog buns.

  6. These sub rolls are absolutely perfect. I’ve made them twice now. Love them!!!
    I plan on always having some of these available to eat! The best sub rolls. Much better than the restaurant’s.
    Thank you so much for this recipe!!!

  7. So I’m pretty new to baking and I wanted to try this recipe out since it’s hard to get Italian rolls where I’m from. Mine came out pretty flat and wide. Did I let them rise for too long?