French Rolls

Many years ago I was in Key West sitting by a pool reading a magazine when I came across a recipe for French Rolls.  When I got home I tried them a few times and then made them for our family Thanksgiving dinner.  From that moment forward, by popular demand, I make them for every family event as well as many other occasions.  They are a hit with family and friends.

These are a crusty roll with a soft center.

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The ingredients for this recipe:

  • 5 teaspoons (2 packages) active dry yeast( If you use rapid rise, use 1 ½ packs)
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt

To coat pan for baking:

  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal

These are much easier to make if you have a stand mixer such as a KitchenAid.

Make the dough: In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over water and let stand 5 minutes in a warm place.

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Add 4 cups flour and salt to the yeast mixture. Beat with the paddle of an electric mixer or mix by hand until a soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl forms-about 10 minutes.

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Let the dough rest 10 minutes. With a dough hook and the mixer running, add remaining flour and knead another 10 to 15 minutes.  The dough should form a ball on the end of the dough hook.

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Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in a warm place away from drafts until doubled in bulk-up to 2 or more hours. Punch down the risen dough and re-form into a ball. Cover and allow to rise again until doubled in size-about 2 hours.   My oven has a proof feature that allows me to speed things up a little if needed.  The oven is heated to 100 degrees, if you don’t have this features you could heat your oven to the lowest temperature and then turn it off.

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Place a pan filled with hot water on the floor of the oven or on the lowest rack. Preheat the oven to 4500F.

Form the rolls: On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Form each piece into an oblong shape and place on a baking pan lightly dusted with cornmeal (you could also line pan with a sheet of parchment paper). Loosely cover and let rolls rise for 30 minutes.

 

Here is a little video to help you with forming the rolls:

 

 

Bake the rolls:  Slide the baking sheet into the upper third of the oven and bake until dark golden brown-about 25 minutes.

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Transfer the rolls to a wire rack and allow to cool 10 minutes.

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Enjoy!

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Store in an airtight container for up to two days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Tips:

If you use rapid rise yeast you will not need to let the yeast sit 5 minutes, just mix everything together and beat with paddle for 10 minutes.

For a softer crust do not use the water bath.  The rolls will still be hard on the outside, but will soften as they cool.

If I am making rolls for a big event, I will bake and freeze them.  The day I need them I will let them thaw for about an hour.  I will then heat the oven with the steam bath and bake them for about 10 minutes.

If baking for my husband and me to use, I will bake and separate them before freezing.  Then when we want them I will just warm them in the oven or toast them.  They are delicious toasted.

I hope you and your family enjoy these,

Jane

Printable Original Recipe of French Rolls (PDF)

PS.  Want to turn these rolls into multi-grain rolls simply substitute 1/2 – 3/4 cups each of King Author’s Harvest Grain Blend and Cracked Wheat for equal amounts of flour.  I add these to the first step.  We love these more than the regular French rolls and feel like we are eating something good for us.

 

 

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “French Rolls

  1. Pingback: Chili Con Carne | Jane Allen Creates

  2. Pingback: Pasta E Fagioli Soup | Jane Allen Creates

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