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Homemade Philly Cheesesteak with recipe for the best rolls.

Homemade Philly Cheesesteak. A near perfect version of this famous sandwich that you can make at home, on the closest thing to an authentic cheesesteak roll I’ve ever tried.

Homemade Philly Cheesesteak close up photo of completed sandwich on a slate platter

Homemade Philly Cheesesteak with rolls recipe!

Everything you ever read about Philly cheesesteak sandwiches says that the only real cheesesteaks are to be found in Philadelphia itself. I’m not going to argue with that because I’ve only ever eaten one Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia on my only visit to the city.

It was at Campo’s Deli on Market Street and it was definitely the best I’ve had anywhere.

The simple preparation of the beef that fills the steaks is almost universally the same. The rolls for Philly cheesesteaks almost always come from Amoroso’s Bakery.

Cheesesteak Rolls fresh from the oven

Cheesesteak Rolls ready for the oven.

For me, the rolls are what make the sandwiches in Philadelphia great. They are simply perfect for the job at hand – lightly crispy outside with a soft, airy, slightly chewy inside.

They are sturdy enough to hold up to the robust filling, while being light enough that you don’t feel like you’ve eaten a pound of bread.

I think they are the ideal carrier for practically any sub sandwich. I also had the thought that they’d be perfect for a big sloppy burger too. I’ll be featuring this roll recipe as burger buns soon as well.

Cheesesteak Rolls fresh from the oven

Homemade Philly Cheesecake Rolls just out of the oven on a baking sheet.

Tips for Homemade Philly Cheesesteak rolls

A few points about this dough before you attempt to make it:

– Be careful not to add a lot of flour in the kneading process. You still want this to be a little bit of a sticky dough right through to the end stages. This ensures that the final inside texture of the roll is soft, with the gluten well developed, and not a denser texture with tight bubbles.

– Knead the dough by hand for 5 minutes, even after it comes out of the stand mixer, remembering to use as little flour as possible. Use the heel of your hand to stretch the dough across the  kneading surface in a sort of smearing action.

– Then fold the dough back over itself, turn it around and do the same again. Keep repeating this action for at least five minutes to develop good gluten in the dough.

– Never add the olive oil with the rest of the ingredients; this will inhibit production of gluten and form a less elastic dough. Add the oil only after the gluten strands have already begun to form within the dough. (Refer to recipe.)

For the filling in this sandwich, I like to use a hot, lightly oiled sauté pan that has a fitted cover (or at least a cover form another pot that will fit it). The lid comes in handy for melting the cheese quickly before transferring the meat and gooey cheese onto the roll.

Slicing the steak

Slicing the steak

The Beef in a Homemade Philly Cheesesteak.

The beef used in Philadelphia is commonly very thinly sliced rib eye. I’ve also used thinly sliced striploin as seen in the photo. The key is to get it as thin as you can cut it so that it quicks quickly in only a minute or two.

Some home recipes I’ve seen use cheaper cuts like sirloin or outside round. I’d say if that’s what you have, then try it. Thin slicing and quick cooking are more important than the cut of beef.

Homemade Philly Cheesesteak sandwich on a piece of stone slate with fresh rolls in background.

Caramelized onions and mushrooms or sautéed peppers often make their way onto a Philly Cheesesteak; feel free to add them if you like.

American Cheese and even Cheese Whiz are preferred by many, but provolone is also traditional and it’s the easy melting cheese that I’ve always preferred on my homemade philly cheesesteak.

If you like this recipe you may also want to try our popular Philly Cheesesteak Pizza.

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

Like this homemade Philly Cheesesteak recipe?

Find even more great recipes in our Sandwiches & Burgers section.

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Homemade Philly Cheesesteak photo with title text for Pinterest

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Originally published Feb 2016. Updated April 2020.
Homemade Philly Cheesesteak close up photo of completed sandwich on a slate platter
Yield: 6 six inch sandwich rolls

Homemade Philly Cheesesteak with recipe for the best rolls.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Homemade Philly Cheesesteak, a near perfect version of this famous sandwich that you can make at home, on the closest thing to an authentic cheesesteak roll I've ever tried.

Ingredients

For the rolls

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast, 7-8 grams or about 2 tsp, not instant yeast
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 3 cups all purpose flour + a little more for kneading
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water, lukewarm
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus a little more to brush on the rolls

For the cheesesteak sandwich filling

  • 2 lbs rib eye beef, or striploin, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to season
  • a little canola oil
  • sliced provolone cheese
  • A little Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Instructions

To prepare the rolls

  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, dissolve 1 tsp sugar in 1/3 cup of the lukewarm water
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand for 10-15 minutes until the yeast activates and becomes foamy.
  3. Meanwhile combine the flour, 3 tsp sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached.
  4. Add the proofed yeast and the remaining 1 cup lukewarm water.
  5. Mix on low speed until the dough has been kneaded for at least 5 minutes before adding the olive oil and letting it work its way into the dough.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured bread board or counter top.
  7. Knead the dough by hand for at least 5 minutes after it comes out of the stand mixer, remembering to use as little flour as possible.
  8. Use the heel of your hand to stretch the dough across the kneading surface in a sort of smearing action, then fold the dough back over itself, turn it around a half turn and and do the same again. Keep repeating this action for at least five to 10 minutes to develop good gluten in the dough. The dough should appear relatively smooth but still a little sticky to the touch.
  9. Lightly oil a large bowl with olive oil, place the dough inside, cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for at least an hour until the dough doubles in size.

Forming the rolls

  1. Again on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough back into a ball and cut into 6 equal pieces.
  2. Form the dough pieces into about 5 inch lengths and place them a couple of inches apart on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. You can dust the parchment with yellow cornmeal if you like but it shouldn't stick to the parchment paper in any case.
  3. Very lightly brush the formed rolls with olive oil. Dust the tops with a little cornmeal too if you like.
  4. Drape the cookie sheet loosely with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise in a warm place for at least another hour until they at least double in size. You con't want to rush the dough rising at this stage or else your rolls will be too dense.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. The oven MUST be fully preheated. Place a small tray of boiling water in the back corner of the oven. I use an aluminum pie plate. This causes humidity inside the oven, which helps the bread fully rise before forming a crust.
  6. Using a very sharp knife or razor blade, quickly but gently cut a 1/4 inch deep slit down the centre line of the rolls before immediately popping the tray into the hot oven.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes before reducing the heat to 400 degrees F and baking for an additional 20-25 minutes until the rolls are an even golden brown. They should sound hollow then tapped with your finger.
  8. Let them cool on a wire rack before serving as fresh as possible with the cooked steak and cheese inside.

To prepare the steak and cheese (I like to prepare them 2 at a time)

  1. Slice the beef as thinly as possible and cut the thin slices into strips. Toss the strips with salt and pepper to season.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan to very hot (a nonstick pan works well) and add just a little canola oil to the pan.
  3. Throw half of the beef strips into the hot pan and quickly stir fry, just until the meat loses its red colour. In the final 20 seconds or so you can throw in a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce to add additional seasoning to the meat (optional).
  4. In the pan, divide the beef into 2 portions and arrange it quickly into the approximate size and shape of your rolls. Place the cheese quickly on top of the two meat portions and add the lid of the sauté pan for about 15-20 seconds to melt the cheese.
  5. Using a large metal spatula, transfer the meat and melting cheese portions onto a split sub roll. Top with caramelized onions, mushrooms pr peppers if you like. Serve immediately.

Notes

- Be careful not to add a lot of flour in the kneading process. You still want this to be a little bit of a sticky dough right through to the end stages. This ensures that the final inside texture of the roll is soft with the gluten well developed and not a denser texture with tight bubbles.

- Knead the dough by hand for 5 minutes, even after it comes out of the stand mixer, remembering to use as little flour as possible. Use the heel of your hand to stretch the dough across the kneading surface in a sort of smearing action, then fold the dough back over itself, turn it around and do the same again. Keep repeating this action for at least five minutes to develop good gluten in the dough.

- Never add the olive oil with the rest of the ingredients; this will inhibit production of gluten and form a less elastic dough. Add the oil only after the gluten strands have already begun to form within the dough. (Refer to recipe.)

Recommended Products

Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 832Total Fat 44gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 25gCholesterol 145mgSodium 834mgCarbohydrates 54gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 54g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Kirsty Gray

Thursday 13th of August 2020

Hello! Thanks for a fantastic recipe! I grew up in Pennsylvania and Philly cheesesteaks are one of my all time favourite things to eat. Only problem is I live in Australia and NOONE makes them here (or makes them anywhere near right.) I’m dying to make this recipe as a treat for my whole family on a trip away next month. My only question is, can I make the rolls ahead of time? How long will they stay fresh for? Or can I freeze them? We’re renting a holiday house so can’t vouch for the oven as far as baking goes. Would love to hear your thoughts. And cheers from Australia! Thanks Mate! Kirsty ☺️

Sarah R.

Tuesday 28th of April 2020

Making these tonight for dinner and I should have definitely read the comments before working with the dough. I ended up adding another probably 1.5-2 cups of flour. The hydration level for the recipe is way off, if you follow what the recipe says you end up with a thick pancake batter not a slightly sticky dough. Might want to look into updating the measurements or even going to a metric measurement as it can be more accurate.

Chloe

Tuesday 28th of April 2020

Can you hand mix the dough if you do. It have a dough hook on your mixer? Thanks!

And Marie

Friday 24th of April 2020

I made these today and they were fantastic. I made no adjustment to the recipe and followed as written. The rolls were crispy but not tough, and the insides were soft and chewy. I’ll be making the rolls alone to use with other meals. My family and I have been doing our social distancing during this COVID-19 pandemic, and Rock Recipes has been invaluable as a way to stay occupied. I haven’t tried a recipe on this site yet that hasn’t been easy to follow and delicious.

LadyG

Thursday 23rd of April 2020

I can only get instant dry yeast From SAF yeast brand during this Covid19 crisis. How much to use with the bread recipe to replace the active dry yeast? Thank you.

Lisa Blok

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