I am a bread lover. If I had to give up all other food but one, bread would make the cut and would become my one and only. I love all kinds of bread.
I do not love trying to figure out a polite way to eat crusty French rolls, though… do you? You know when you are at a restaurant and they bring that big, beautiful basket of crusty rolls? You pick it up and attempt to take a bite without #1) breaking your teeth as you attempt to bust through the crusty outer layer, #2) Pull off a bite without crumbs flying everywhere and your hands jerking off the bread and knocking over all the drinks on the table (I am simply assuming this could happen… I don’t, by any means, have first hand experience with this situation. Eh hem.)
When I get a good roll at a restaurant, I want to be able to eat it in a civilized manner without causing a scene. (I’d also like soft butter to go along with it… not straight out of the fridge pats of frozen butter, too hard to spread. Is that really too much to ask?).
I love baking bread at home and have had a really difficult time finding a delicious French Roll recipe with the perfect balance of soft and chewy insides and mildly crusty outside. Until recently, I just assumed that my search would be fruitless. That was until I came across this recipe for French Bread Rolls from All Recipes. These rolls are absolutely perfect for balancing civil bread eating while maintaining that soft and chewy inside.
Soften some butter, stir up a batch of soup, and serve these with your next dinner. Biting into a roll never looked so civilized!
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour
- In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
- To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, and form into round balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.