Overnight Rolls for Balsamic-Roasted Eggplant & Arugula Sandwiches
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Last week when a dear friend sent me the recipe for Ruth Reichl’s balsamic-roasted eggplant and arugula sandwiches, I immediately bought a baguette and set to work slicing, brushing, and roasting the various purple globes collecting on my counter. The result — an unfussy, completely delicious sandwich — sent me racing back to the store, but this time I skipped past the bakery. The local baguettes, I’m afraid, require gnawing with all one’s might.
If you have access to a great bakery, a fresh baguette, ciabatta roll, or focaccia would all work well here. If you don’t, consider making your own rolls. These are a simple variation of the peasant bread recipe — in essence the peasant bread is getting the Lahey treatment: the yeast has been cut way back and the rise extended to overnight (or about 12 hours).
Here’s a thought: if you take 5 minutes to mix the dough together this evening, you will be rewarded with the makings of a super-simple Friday night dinner, delicious vessels fit for flanking whatever your heart desires, but may I suggest balsamic-roasted eggplant and arugula? It’s so good.
This is what the dough looks like after a 12-hour rise:
Punch it down on a well-floured surface, and portion it out:
Shape the portions into rough balls and transfer to a baking sheet:
Bake for 20 minutes:
Once cool, the rolls can be halved and filled as you please.
Overnight Sandwich Rolls
- Total Time: 12 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 6
Here My Mother’s Peasant Bread recipe gets the Lahey treatment: yeast cut way back, rise extended for many hours (about 12). Sugar has also been omitted. The dough is super wet, so go big on the flour—seriously, don’t hold back. I have been making these for these balsamic-roasted eggplant and arugula sandwiches.
- 4 cups (512 g) unbleached all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup (32 g) for shaping
- 2 teaspoons (7 g) kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) instant yeast
- 2 cups (439 g) cold water (tap is fine)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the 4 cups flour, salt, and instant yeast. Add the water. Mix with a rubber spatula to form a wet, sticky dough ball. Cover bowl with a tea towel or bowl cover and leave to rise at room temperature overnight or for up to 12 hours.
- The following morning (or after about 12 hours), the dough will have risen and its surface will be covered with bubbles. Line a sheetpan with parchment paper or a Silpat. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Spread the 1/4 cup flour over a work surface. Dump the dough out onto the surface. Using as much flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the board and your knife or dough scraper, divide the dough into 6 roughly equal portions. Again, using as much flour as necessary on your hands and work surface, shape each portion into a rough ball. Use two hands to stretch each ball gently into a rectangle—doesn’t have to be perfect—and transfer to prepared sheetpan, spacing evenly. Let shaped rolls rise for 20 minutes.
- Transfer pan to the oven. Bake 15 minutes. Rotate pan. Bake 5 minutes more or until nicely golden. Transfer rolls to cooling rack to cool completely.
- Prep Time: 12 hours
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Bread
- Method: Yeast
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: overnight, rolls, sandwich
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
84 Comments on “Overnight Rolls for Balsamic-Roasted Eggplant & Arugula Sandwiches”
These look so good
I love you.
I love these. I make them with bread flour and they always taste amazing. Sometimes I add everything seasoning on top. These are great for sandwiches, but also as s a big roll to go with a dinner sized salad.
So great to hear this, Nicole 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks so much for writing. Love the everything bagel seasoning idea!
Ali, I love your posts. It makes my day when I have an e-mail that says you made something new. I’ll definitely be trying these sandwiches and rolls. Thanks so much for the suggestion. (btw, I’m growing arugula and eggplant in my garden! perfect timing, Ali)
Dana, you’re amazing! How do you do it? You move to Hawaii, start a garden, and are already harvesting?! We’re still crossing our fingers for our single crop of tomatoes 🙂
These look delicious, and I bet the slow fermentation added a lot of flavour! PS love your pictures! You just manage to make everything look so yum!
Thank you, Eva!! You are sweet. Love the name of your blog … sounds like my life 🙂
Such beautiful rolls! I have fresh yeast waiting in my freezer but haven’t yet come across a recipe that uses fresh… do you know the quantity of fresh yeast I should use for this recipe and is the method the same? Thanks 🙂
I have never used fresh yeast, but I just found this handy site, which will convert it for you: http://www.traditionaloven.com/conversions_of_measures/yeast_converter.html or this one: https://www.nigella.com/ask/different-kinds-of-yeast
So, if I want to make the dough one night, but don’t want to finish until the 2nd night, instead of the morning, where do I take the break? Can I?
Debby, this is a great question. The dough is definitely forgiving, but I worry that a 24-hr rise will be too long and that the dough, for lack of a better phrase, will poop out. One thing you could do is mix the dough and stick in the refrigerator to make the rise. This will probably let it rise at a slower pace, so when you are ready to portion out the rolls, the dough will still be in good shape … but let me try this first. Alternatively, you could mix the dough first thing in the morning, and let it rise on your counter all day — the dough might not have quite as many holes, but it will still be good. Hope that helps!
I am reading Ruth Reichl ” My Kitchen Year” and I love it. Thank you for posting this recipe , I will try it when I am in the mountains and need to make my own bread and rolls.
So fun, Gerlinde! Let me know if you make any discoveries in My Kitchen Year! I need to explore the book more. Enjoy the mountains!
Ali: Great idea! I’m roasting the eggplant as I write, and the dough is teed up for the
sandwich loaves to follow.
I didn’t look too closely, but the dough recipes seems to very similar to Lahey’s pizza
dough. I’ve been making recipes of the pizza dough for several years now–since you sent
it too us. I make 1 bag’s worth of 00 floor dough and form it into six balls, each good for one
12″ round crust. (We like our crusts thin so it works out for us. Seeing your pizza maybe I’d
use ~4 to the 1kg bag for them). They lurk there in the freezer until pizza time. My challenge
is to remember to allow enough defrosting time. I’ve had ~0k success with defrosting them
in the microwave, but that seems so gauche.
Do you think I can use the frozen dough for sandwiches? (that ‘s today’s plan, so I’ll delete
this comment if it doesn’t work.
all the best to you and your family,
/jay (amy’s dad)
Hi Jay! So great to hear from you. The peasant bread dough and Lahey dough are very similar — the peasant bread has a little bit more water proportionally, so the dough will be a little wetter and probably a little trickier to work with on the board, but I think it creates a roll that is a little airier, though the difference is probably negligible. I did actually use the Lahey dough (a half recipe) the first time around to make the rolls, and it worked well. So yes, I definitely think the frozen Lahey dough recipe can be used for sandwiches! I hear you on the microwave — somehow, one time, I ended up turning my frozen ball of dough into what looked like a black lump of coal and totally smoked out the kitchen … I guess I used the wrong setting. Anyway, I hope the frozen/thawed dough works out well for you! Let me know! I need to be better about freezing dough. It’s so nice to have on hand.
The rolls came out beautifully–a lovely chewy texture. Because I made them earlier in the day, I toasted them in the toaster before making the sandwiches, which added a very nice crispness. The combination of the arugula and the eggplant and the buttered rolls really is wonderful. Such an easy, quick, and elegant sandwich–a wonderful dinner in itself. I served them to my husband who’d come back starving from a late flight. A wonderful midnight dinner! Good luck with the Saveur nomination. So many of my weeknight (and weekend!) dinners come from your blog. Thank you.
So happy to hear this, Liz! And thank you for your kind words. xo
I have never had much success with making bread or pizza dough, though I always finds you encouraging others to try it! What kind of flour and yeast do you use?
I most often use King Arthur All-purpose flour and SAF instant yeast, which I order in bulk and store in the fridge. Instant yeast is nice because you can stir it right in with the flour. If you want two easy recipes to start, I suggest my mother’s peasant bread recipe and this Jim Lahey pizza dough recipe — let me know if you have any questions when you get going! I do love baking bread 🙂
Thank you! I’m going to give it another try?
Tried these over the weekend. Couldn’t have been easier and so yummy though I think I’ll divide into 12 next time (those are seriously BIG rolls at only six – great for sandwiches but maybe a tad too much for eating with soup). Wondering what you think about substituting 1/2 the white flour with white wheat or whole wheat flour instead. Would I need to increase the water any? Thanks!
So happy to hear this, Dana! I’ve actually been thinking the same thing even for the sandwich rolls — 8 portions might yield a better size. I think subbing half the flour with wheat flour is a great idea — I like King Arthur’s white whole wheat flour. I don’t think you’ll have to change the ratio of water, but if the batter feels stiff, just add more by the tablespoon until it feels right. Thanks for writing in!
Homemade are always best! I would love to eat them right now! Thank you for sharing!
I made this recipe last night… terrific… can I make these sandwhich rolls in Rye or whole wheat?
You should visit my website you might like it… for your kids…
Karen, your website is amazing!! I just registered so that I can download things for the kids to do — so great! Yes, you can definitely use rye or whole wheat flour. I would just substitute 1 cup of whole wheat flour or 1 cup of rye flour for the all-purpose, and you could add a tablespoon of caraway seeds. You could also add a tablespoon of honey or molasses into the water. Hope that helps! So happy you liked these, Karen, and great to hear from you!
Does humidity effect the rise?
Yes, it does. Have you tried this yet, or are you concerned about your humid environment? Let me know!
I’m glad you liked the site… It reflects the preschool curriculum I taught for twenty years. I think visual thinking and language is very important…
Well, It has been very humid here and hot… I thought the rolls were delicious ( and made great garlic bread the next day) but they were more dense than I expected…
I’ve done something terribly wrong with this recipe, and I’m not sure what it is. Although given my lack of baking skills, it has to be user error. I even weighed out the ingredients, let it rise overnight, but the result was a sort of sloppy, wet, runny dough, that did night make into balls. No form really. More like mud. Since I am not much of a baker, not sure what I did wrong, or how to fix it.
So sorry to hear you’re having trouble with this dough — it definitely is a wet dough. Do you still have it on hand? One thing you can do is gather the dough back into a ball and stick it in the refrigerator for a bit to help it firm up. Also, I made a video about shaping these rolls: https://www.facebook.com/alexandraskitchen/videos/1330258113675442/ If you still have the dough on hand, you can add more flour to it, too, to help it get to a more workable consistency. You can see in the video that I use a lot of flour on the board when shaping. Let me know how else I can help!
Alexandra, these rolls look so absolutely delicious and easy to make!!
If I make 8 instead of 6 portion will that change the baking time at all? I am dying to make these for for the Eggplant/Arugula Sandwiches and don’t want the sandwiches to be too big:-)
Thanks so much for posting them!!
I don’t think you’ll have to change the time! Bread is forgiving, this one in particular. Good luck! And let me know if you have any other questions.
Do these rolls freeze well?
I made these rolls yesterday and they are perfection! I’ve had so many disasters trying to bake bread that I had almost given up until this wonderful recipe. Your video was extremely helpful. Mine did not rise much, if at all, on the second rising so they were not as tall as yours but still great. This will probably be the only recipe I will ever use again. Thank you!
Marcelle, so happy to hear this! Thanks so much for writing in. So glad this worked out — you can use the dough to make pizza, focaccia, flatbreads, etc., too.
These look really good! I am going to give these a go this evening. I’m just wondering if you have any insight into rising and baking bread at altitude. I am at 3500 ft and often have failed attempts.
Hi Tia! Sorry for the delay here. I always direct people to King Arthur for high-altitude baking questions: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html because I unfortunately have no experience with it. Good luck!
Alexandra, I must tell you that I mixed the ingredients early one morning with the intention of baking it that evening. A family emergency occurred so I put the dough, fully risen, in the refrigerator that night. It stayed in the fridge for three days before I had time to bake it and it turned out beautifully. I was certain I would have to throw it away but it was great. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!!!
Wow! Marcelle, it’s amazing to hear all of this! I’m sorry about the family emergency 🙁 but it sounds as though you made a nice discovery in the process. I bet the rolls were even airy and lighter due to the extra time in the fridge. Thanks for writing in!
I’ve used this recipe serveral times and I love it. I use a Bain Marie when cooking and it works well, I would like the inside of the rolls to be ‘airyer’ any advice on that? Thank you!
Hi Amy! So sorry for the delay here. One suggestion: instead of letting the rolls sit for only 20 minutes, let them sit for an hour or until they are especially puffed and light. Then bake them. Let me know if this works, and if it doesn’t, I’ll keep brainstorming.
Thank you for all your great posts…. do you have any input on a comparison between these Overnight Sandwich Rolls, and the ones your Faux Ciabetta from April 2013?
Hi! Have you made the faux ciabatta? I think this dough is a little easier to work with, but I think the faux ciabatta, if you are not frustrated by super wet doughs, had a lighter, nicer, airier texture. Hope that helps!
The Faux Ciabetta needs semolina flour, which I didn’t have in the house. So I made these first – and this is a very wet dough! Both recipes use the same proportion of flour to water…
I’ll pick up semolina and do a taste comparison. Thank you
Hey Alexandra, I tried this receipe but something went wrong. I used all the ingredients, preheat the oveeven but the rolls are not baked. Can it be the cause the flour? Thanks.
Hi Cristian! Possibly! What kind of flour are you using?
Hi there! I baked these yesterday and although I’m not much of a bread expert I was pleased with the texture and wend result of these rolls… although I only mixed them up with enough time to rise 8 hours for first rise. Anyways, I didn’t get much color on the tops of the bread like yours.. they were an unattractive pale/grey color.. what did I do wrong?? I do feel the bake was right In and they were moist and done on the inside..
Hi! What type of flour are you using? What rack did you bake them on?
This has become a staple in our house. Easiest, most delicious rolls ever! They look great too. We eat them warm with good butter and apricot jam. Yummm!
Wonderful to hear this, Hanneke!
These rolls had wonderful flavor but the crust was brick hard. The inside was chewy. I followed the directions to a tee and let them rise 10 hours. After 20 minutes they were white and not done. It took 40 minutes. What could I have done wrong?
Hi Peggy! What kind of flour are you using? Is it bleached?
King Arthur AP unbleached delivered two weeks ago. Instant yeast—month old.
I really want this to work since the flavor is bakery/upscale restaurant quality.
I did use the rolls dunked in soup which softened them. Yum!!
OK, great, well it sounds as though you have all of the right ingredients. I think the next step would be to increase your oven temperature. Does your oven typically run cool? Do you have trouble with other breads not browning? Also, if there is a location in your oven that typically does better, as in browns better, like the upper third or lower third, you could try placing the sheet pan in that location. Finally, if you have a pizza stone or a Baking Steel, you could heat it up, and place your sheet pan directly on the stone or Steel.
I made these with half white and half wheat flour. Even with the wheat flour I was concerned the wet/stickyness would be a pain, but it actually wasn’t difficult. Thanks to you saying be generous with the flour for shaping I didn’t stress and I divided and shaped with ease. The rolls baked beautifully brown and are so good! Yay! Thank you Ali 🙂
Wonderful to hear this, Gabrielle! Love that you made this work with half wheat flour 🎉
Halved the recipe and baked the rolls this morning. Cut one open to check and they came out perfect! So so happy with them! The crust is just crispy enough and the texture is amazing (so far from my attempts at sourdough hahaha). I think I’ll be making these every week. The eggplant and arugula look delicious and are on my shopping list to have with these rolls next week 🙂
So wonderful to hear this, Aryaa! Thanks so much for writing. The eggplant and arugula sandwiches are so good. Hope you love them as much as I do 🙂 🙂 🙂
Hello, I have been looking for a good recipe for a great vessel for a sandwich, I was really excited to see this spin on the amazing Peasant Bread recipe. Can you do the cold rise for this one? How would one go about that? Thanks so much!
As well, can I bake these on parchment right on my stone? Would this be advisable? and should i also do the “steam” trick with a hot cast iron pan on the rack below my stone, and add water to the pan upon insertion of the rolls into the oven, to create a steamy environment?
Sure! Worth a shot. I find a sheet pan easier, but if you want to try using it directly on your stone, go for it. Maybe test it out with one before doing the whole batch. Regarding the steam trick, sure! I never do it, but if you like it, go for it.
Yes, absolutely! I would simply follow the focaccia recipe. In the morning, portion the dough into 6 pieces. Ball them up and shape them. Let them sit at room temperature until they are puffy and soft, 3 to 4 hours. Then proceed with the recipe.
Hello I made these rolls and they were a hit! I seasoned them with everything bagel seasoning. I also made the zucchini parmesan from your website, out of a home grown zucchini squash and put it into sandwiches on these rolls! It was extremely successful. Thank you for these great recipes. I was curious what is the reasoning for so little instant yeast for these rolls? I was nervous they wouldn’t rise, and when i took the dough out of the fridge, the dough wasn’t terribly bubbly, but the 3-4 hour rise after the dough’s cold 18 hour slumber worked perfectly for them to puff up on the counter, and in the oven they also puffed up and browned nicely. Maybe it would have been even better at room temp? Thanks again!!