David Atherton’s recipe for beetroot sub rolls

Sub sandwiches are known for towering layers of filling, but the bread should not be neglected. My favourite sub is stuffed with cured fish, pickles and fresh, crispy lettuce. For this, you want a pillowy, soft roll that can stand up to the strong flavours. The grated, pickled beetroot here keeps the crumb moist and gives it a slightly sour taste and a pretty pink colour. The flaxseed meal and the wholemeal flour feed your gut microbiome without making the bread dense. Finally, the caraway seeds make the fish sing.

Makes 4

280g strong white bread flour
50g strong brown bread flour
1 tsp fast-action yeast
1 tsp salt
10g flaxseed meal
60g pickled beetroot
200ml warm water (you can swap in up to 50ml pickled beetroot liquid if you want)
1 medium egg
1 tsp caraway seeds

Toss the flours, yeast, salt and flaxseed meal in a large mixing bowl.

Finely grate the beetroot. Add to the warm water and pickled beetroot liquid (if using).

Pour the liquid into the mixing bowl and bring everything together to form a rough dough. Cover and leave to sit for five minutes.

Knead the dough in the bowl until it is smooth. Do not add extra flour at this stage. It doesn’t matter if it is sticky at the start.

Cover and leave to rise until doubled in size.

Knock back the dough and divide into four pieces. Roll each piece into a 30cm sausage. (I like to roll them all to 15cm first, then go back and finish them off. They are easier to roll if you let them relax midway.)

Fold the sausages in half and twist four to eight times before pinching the ends together and tucking under.

Place 2cm apart on a lined baking tray, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas mark 7. Whisk the egg with a fork, brush over the rolls and sprinkle with the caraway seeds.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Once done, cut in half and cram with your favourite fillings.