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Monday, June 27, 2011

French Bread Rolls

I love love love love these rolls. This recipe comes from one of my most favorite food blogs - Mel's Kitchen Cafe. She has two tutorials that I'll place links to on working with yeast and shaping rolls if you need some pointers.

These rolls are so soft and yummy, and I use them for pretty much anything and everything. They make a great dinner roll, excellent burger/hot dog bun, great for subs, fabulous for a deli sandwich, the possibilities are endless. Anyway you want to eat them, they'll be good. That is a promise!

You can make them into 12 large rolls, 8 6-inch sub rolls, or into 8-12 hot dog/bratwurst size buns. They also freeze fabulously. When I make them I usually double the recipe and make some rolls and subs and freeze what I'm not going to use in the next day or two. Then when I'm ready to use them I pull them out of the freezer and let them thaw - the great part about this is they still taste oven fresh. I pretty much have banned myself from ever buying those nasty dry rolls/buns from the grocery store. These rolls just rock!

Oh and these rolls are great with 100% all-purpose flour or 1/2 whole white wheat (that is how I always make them). I have yet to try 100% whole wheat, but am sure they'd turn out fabulous.

Below the recipe I've posted several pictures of things we make using these rolls. I'll be posting recipes for cheesesteak subs and the world's best sloppy joe recipe shortly.

French Bread Rolls/Buns

Yield: see notes below

1 ½ cups warm water
¾ tablespoon instant yeast (or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour & 2 whole white wheat flour, give or take a few tablespoons


In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups of the flour (if you are using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, let the yeast proof in the warm water and sugar for about 3-5 minutes until it is foamy and bubbly before adding the oil, salt and flour). Begin mixing and continue to add the rest of the flour gradually until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Judge the dough not by the amount of flour called for in the recipe but in how the dough feels. The dough should be soft and smooth but still slightly tacky to the touch.

Knead the dough in mixer or by hand until it is very smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes in mixer or 8-10 minutes by hand. Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has doubled (it usually takes about an hour).

Lightly punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly greased counter top. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (or see notes below for making sub rolls/hot dog size buns) and form the dough into round balls. Place the rolls on a lightly greased or silicone-lined baking sheet about an inch or two apart. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap taking care not to pin the plastic wrap under the baking sheet or else the rolls will flatten while rising. Let the plastic wrap gently hang over the sides of the pan to fully cover the rolls but not press them down. Let the rolls rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.

For hamburger buns I like to shape one batch into 12 round dough balls and then give them a squish flat and let them rise from there.  That way they rise fat and wide, not just tall.  Makes it the perfect size for a patty.

Makes 12 dozen rolls (good for a dinner size roll, hamburger bun, deli-style roll, etc.), 6 6-inch sub sandwich rolls, or 8-10 hot dog/bratwurst size buns. These rolls freeze great - pull them out of the freezer several hours before serving or defrost in the microwave on about 70% power for 2-3 minutes..

Recipe Source:

The BEST hamburger bun
The BEST sub-roll bun (especially for these babies)
The BEST deli-style sandwich roll

The BEST bun for a sloppy joe!


  1. We just had chicken sammies on these tonight. Yum! That hamburger looks delish!

  2. Oh Lindsay, this post gives me one more reason I want to be just like you! I wish I could make bread like this. Each kind looks so pretty.

  3. I tried this recipe today for the very first time! LOVE this bread. Oh my goodness. I shaped them as hoagies (I'm still not so good at the shaping part...they turned out more like squatty misshapen rolls than hoagies, but hey! They still tasted amazing!) and used them to make turkey subs. I put grated Parmesan and rosemary on the tops before baking. Oh yum. I'm having so much fun trying breads. I'm so grateful to you for teaching me! You just don't know how much it has meant to me!