Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Meatball Subs

One would think that four months into this project that I wouldn't forget to take pictures of the final product.  Well, think again.  I served meatball subs for both lunch and dinner and didn't take a single picture of the actual sandwich.  I guess I'm lucky that I at least took pictures of the bread and meatballs.  Please use your imagination from there!

First, the recipe for the sub rolls.  Although I thought I did really well getting the wheat flour to liquid ratio correct, I was disappointed with the outcome.  The rolls seemed too flat.  Once I started thinking about it though, the recipe was supposed to make 8 sub rolls.  I made 7 rolls and 8 mini-rolls for the daycare kids.  They probably would've been thicker/larger if I had only made 8 rolls.  But, after eating the sandwich, Hubby and I decided that we liked them flatter.  They have a great flavor, hold together even with the juiciness of the meatballs, and weren't too big to get your mouth around.  I think I'm going to start making them for sandwiches instead of wheat bread (way fewer crumbs).  I liken them to the sandwich deli flatbreads or bagel thins that are popular right now.

6 sandwich rolls and 2 mini rolls

1 1/4 cup warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
2 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 - 3 cups whole white wheat flour*

*You want just enough flour that the dough is not sticky to the touch.  When you pull it apart, it should be a little sticky, but a dusting of flour takes care of it.  I started with 2 cups and added a little bit at a time until the dough would pull away from the bread hook fairly easily.  I used about 2 2/3 cups.

Mix water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl (or stand mixer).  Let sit 5 minutes until yeast is foamy.  Add oil, and salt and about half of the flour.  Mix by hand or with mixer.  Continue to add flour until you have a workable dough.  Shape dough into 8 sub shaped rolls.  I made mine flatter so it would be more sandwich like (and not so much like a hot dog bun).  Place on a greased baking sheet.  Use a bread knife to make diagonal slits across the top (2-4 depending on how big the rolls are).  Cover and let rest 45 minutes.  After resting, remove cover and mist the tops of the rolls with water.  I used a spray bottle that Hubby puts grill fires out with.  Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  Slice through the center and stuff with your choice of sandwich ingredients.

Meatballs (I made enough for 2 meals)

2 pounds ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup parmesan
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk

*If you want to go dairy-free on this one, they are just as good without the paremsan and you can use tomato juice in place of the milk-especially if you are going to serve them with a marinara sauce anyway.  A milk alternative could also be used.  And make sure that your milk isn't flavored... yeah, vanilla flavored cream of mushroom soup is NOT tasty!

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.  Use your hands to make the meatball the size you want them.. I made mine about an inch (for daycare) or an inch-and-a-half (for family).  For the daycare batch, I put the meatballs in a greased, mini muffin pan.  With the sides going up around them, they browed quickly and cooked in about 10 minutes in a 425 degree oven (baking rolls at the same time).  The bigger ones wouldn't fit well in the muffin wells, so I just placed them on a stoneware jelly roll pan and baked them in about 20 minutes.  They didn't get as brown, but with the sauce on them, who could tell anyway?

For the sauce, I used a store-brand, organic jarred marinara.  Since getting rid of canned goods, I was trying out jarred sauce to see how it would be.  It was good.  This summer, I hope to make my own, but at $2.50 a jar, it will work just fine for now.

So, there you have it, made from scratch meatball subs.  Enjoy!


  1. Looks yummy! I just wanted to introduce myself, I've been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now and am really enjoying it. I also have a daycare in my home and have 3 kids of my own. I've just recently started changing the way we eat and your blog has been very helpful. I'm loving all your recipes. Keep up the good work.

  2. Welcome Jill! Thanks for reading.


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