French Rolls vs. Italian Rolls

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2007/02/26 20:09:56 (permalink)

French Rolls vs. Italian Rolls

Out here in Northern California, grocery stores sell French sandwich rolls either sweet or sourdough. No Italian rolls are offered for sale hence my question: What is the difference, if any, between a French roll and an Italian roll?
#1

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    Jimeats
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    RE: French Rolls vs. Italian Rolls 2007/02/27 09:52:27 (permalink)
    To be honest I don't think there is any difference. There was a bread called pane di Como but that is todays pane Francese. Italy was invaded and conquered many times so the influence of other nations is prevelant thruout Italy. The french bread or we call them spuckies here in the North East are pretty much the industry standard for an Italian type sandwich. Chow Jim
    #2
    Ashphalt
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    RE: French Rolls vs. Italian Rolls 2007/02/27 10:12:05 (permalink)
    I agree with Jim that the two have become pretty much interchangeable in this area. It seems to me that Italian used to tend to be a bit more "rustic" with a chewier crust, French with more a a crackly crust.

    In my limited experience in SF, I have found the bread rather different from what we have here. Of course, good sourdough is almost unknown here and none can compete with S.F. The alternatives I've had in SF (I'm guessing the French sweet variety you mention) is indeed sweeter, and maybe softer, than the average French or Italian roll we get here. Just my opinion.

    I did once hit a wonderful Italian bread bakery off the beaten track in North Beach. Great long breadsticks and some of the best biscotti (according to our NYC Italophile friends) in the U.S. I didn't try their bread, but I wonder if a place like that might have something more akin to "Italian" bread.
    #3
    pamelakrest
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    RE: French Rolls vs. Italian Rolls 2007/02/28 05:20:56 (permalink)
    IMHO..I like either one...I prefer the crunchy crust with the very soft insides.
    There used to be a grocery store here in Dayton,Ohio called Woody's Market and they had the BEST hard rolls. They were snap crisp on the outside and so tender inside. Woody's went out of business and haven't had a decent hard roll since
    Pam
    #4
    MilwFoodlovers
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    RE: French Rolls vs. Italian Rolls 2007/02/28 06:50:55 (permalink)
    I always assumed that Italian bread/rolls had semolina flour in them but I've never found a recipe to back that up. Here in Milwaukee it seems that Italian bread has a crispier, thinner crust than does French.
    #5
    roossy90
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    RE: French Rolls vs. Italian Rolls 2007/02/28 21:17:39 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ashphalt

    I agree with Jim that the two have become pretty much interchangeable in this area. It seems to me that Italian used to tend to be a bit more "rustic" with a chewier crust, French with more a a crackly crust.


    Yeah.. Just what Ashphalt said.
    Took the words right out of my mouth..(IMHO)
    #6
    boyardee65
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    RE: French Rolls vs. Italian Rolls 2007/03/06 01:44:11 (permalink)
    A traditional French baguette is made from flour, water, yeast, sugar, and salt, where as a Italian loaf usually has some kind of fat or oil in it. That is why the French loaf is more crispy than the Italian. There is no fat in it to make it chewy.



    David O.
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    SFS Fan
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    RE: French Rolls vs. Italian Rolls 2007/03/08 18:24:26 (permalink)
    Thanks to everyone who replied, and a follow-up question: The intent of my original question was made in regards to the Philly Cheesesteak. Many who are, or proclaim themselves to be, cheesesteak experts contend that one MUST have a good Italian roll to make a cheesesteak. Since, as I mentioned above, Italian rolls cannot be found in ANY of the grocery stores in my area (I reside in Davis, about 20 miles west of Sacramento), could I still make an authentic Philly Cheesesteak using a French roll, or doesn't it matter? Also, does it matter what kind of onion is used in the sandwich (red, yellow, other) and what kind of grease is used to fry/grill the onion?
    #8
    EdSails
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    RE: French Rolls vs. Italian Rolls 2007/03/08 19:57:52 (permalink)
    SFS Fan----
    I've had very good luck making Philly Cheesesteaks using bolillo rolls which are available at any Mexican bakery or market. You shouldn't have any problem finding them in Davis. They are commonly used for tortas and have a similar hard crust-soft inside that you get on a good Italian roll. Give them a try!
    Ed
    #9
    sizz
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    RE: French Rolls vs. Italian Rolls 2007/03/08 20:23:34 (permalink)
    I feel your pain.......here in California the closest you'll come to the east coast Italian roll which presides around a Philly Cheese steak is the bolillo (Mexican bread roll) You'll have to seek out a panaderia (Mexican bakery) there should be one or two in Davis if not Sacramento has a million.
    Don't bother with supermarket bakery rolls....not even close.
    here below is a pic of the bolillos I get from my panaderia............ Frank
    #10
    sizz
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    RE: French Rolls vs. Italian Rolls 2007/03/08 23:01:53 (permalink)
    Ed:..it looks like you and I were on the same frequency at the same time............ lol
    California does have some fine bread bakeries but one must seek them out.
    Folks out here on the west coast are not "bread eaters" as the mostly European stock east of the Mississippi ........... I love my bread......... as a 13 year boy I worked in a Italian bakery back in NY and it was an experience I'll never forget.
    #11
    boyardee65
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    RE: French Rolls vs. Italian Rolls 2007/03/08 23:15:56 (permalink)
    Of course, the best bread that you can get is the loaf that you make yourself!!! Although time consuming, it is the best you can do. It is fairly simple to do at home. Just find a good recipe and follow it exactly (no shortcuts!) Keep in mind humidity and temperature levels as this really does impact the quality of the final product. The onions I like to use are plain yellow onions and the grease is lard or bacon fat!! I also happen to use green and red peppers in this mix. However I digress. This post really belongs in the sandwich forum. I'll be happy to share my recipe on that forum. Please respond if you would like it!


    David O.
    #12
    EdSails
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    RE: French Rolls vs. Italian Rolls 2007/03/08 23:37:36 (permalink)
    Frank,
    I kept having the "Twilight Zone" music buzzing in my head. Nice pics of them. Great minds think alike!
    #13
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