New Orleans Po ‘Boy Rolls are known for their light crispy crust and fluffy interior. There are different stories as to the origin of the term Po ‘Boys, but a popular view is that it’s the Louisiana rendition of “poor boys.” Because of their fluffy interior, New Orleans Po ‘Boy Rolls are perfect for sopping up the various fillings that adorn them.
Ingredients for New Orleans Po ‘Boy Rolls:
I used the following ingredients: Filtered water, granulated sugar, salt, olive oil, bread flour, and instant yeast.
Making the Dough for the New Orleans Po ‘Boy Rolls:
Like all of my bread recipes, two things are critical for success. First, I always use my bread machine to do most of the work, i.e., mixing and kneading. Second, I always, always, always weigh the flour and the liquid ingredients. Before I started doing this, the quality of the end product was hit or miss. Now, once I have the perfect ratio of flour to liquid, I don’t deviate from it!
Anyway, as you might have guessed, I used my bread machine to do most of the work for these delicious Po ‘Boy Rolls. I added the water, granulated sugar, salt, olive oil, bread flour and yeast to the pan of my bread machine in this order.
I set the bread machine on the dough cycle, and walked away. For these rolls, I decided to make the dough ahead of time, and refrigerate it for the rise. Therefore, as soon as the kneading finished, I removed the dough from the bread machine, and placed it in an oiled 8-cup measuring cup. I covered the measuring cup with plastic wrap, and refrigerated the dough overnight. The next day, the dough had risen, and I was ready to start forming the rolls.
Finishing the New Orleans Po ‘Boy Rolls:
Remember that I said that I weighed everything? Well, I not only weigh the ingredients, but also weigh the dough before dividing it. I ended up with 25.5 ounces of dough. Because I wanted to make 6 Po ‘Boy Rolls, I divided the dough into six pieces that were 4.25 ounces each.
Working with one piece at a time, I patted the dough into a rough 2-1/2 x 6 or 7 inch rectangle on a well floured piece of parchment paper. Then I folded the long end toward me, and pinched the two sides together. I patted the dough again into a rough rectangle, and repeated the folding and pinching. Next, I rolled the dough back and forth on the floured surface to ensure that all edges were sealed. I repeated this with the remaining dough.
Then, I placed the each of pieces on the wells of my parchment lined pan baguette pan and perforated French bread pan.
Finishing Steps For New Orleans Po ‘Boy Rolls:
I consistently follow Julia Child’s advice for the perfect environment for the bread to rise. Specifically, I turn on my electric oven for exactly 1 minute and 45 seconds. After I turned the oven off, I placed the dough into the oven for about one hour and 30 minutes to allow the rolls to rise. Before baking the Po ‘Boy Rolls, I misted them with water and slashed each one down the middle with a sharp knife to allow further rise in the oven.
I placed a cast iron skillet on the bottom rack of the oven, and preheated the oven to 400° F. When the oven reached temperature, I filled the cast iron skillet with boiling water to produce the perfect steam environment. Then, I popped the Po ‘Boy Rolls into the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the rolls golden brown and perfectly cooked. I placed the rolls on a wire rack to allow them to cool completely.
I don’t think that there has been a time when I made bread that I didn’t marvel at the result. This was no exception! I ended up with six New Orleans Po ‘Boy Rolls that had a perfect light crispy crust and fluffy interior. I can’t wait to use them for Shrimp Po ‘Boys (stay tuned). Laizzez les bons temps rouler – Yum!