1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 ½ to 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the water, yeast, sugar, salt, and olive oil. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.
Add 1 cup of flour and mix with the dough hook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add an additional cup of flour and mix until well combined. Continue adding the flour, ¼ cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed. The dough should still stick to the bottom of of the bowl, but pull away from the sides. Let the dough mix for around 8 minutes total.
When the dough has come together but is still sticking a bit to the bottom of the bowl, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. The dough should be very soft. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for a half hour.
After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a clean surface and divide it into 4. Roll each piece of dough into a long skinny loaf that is about 9 to 10 inches long.
Place the rolled loaves onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a baking mat. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Allow at least 2 inches between each loaf on the pan.
Cover the loaves with a greased piece of plastic wrap and allow the loaves to rise until doubled, about an hour.
Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the loaves are ready, bake them in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
When the loaves come out of the oven, rub the tops with a stick of butter and cover them with a dish towel to cool.
Let the loaves cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting down the middle and topping with your favorite sandwich fixings.
Note: Rubbing the loaves with butter and covering them with a towel to cool are part of what keeps them very soft, so be sure not to miss those steps.
Yield: 4 (9 inch) sub buns
Easy Homemade Sub Sandwich Bread