Polite Bread Eating {Recipe: French Bread Rolls}

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!

Recipe: French Bread Rolls to Die For from All Recipes

Note – I did all of the mixing and rising steps in my bread machine, adding the ingredients in the order that my bread machine recommends and then allowing the dough cycle to do the work.

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

  1. In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

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  1. Nath says

    Yum! I’m also a bread lover. I’ll try this recipe soon!

    My grandmother tried to teach me all the ‘proper’ ways to be a lady. Some I did not listen to at all (such as a lady should never wear pants, only dresses or skirts), and some I find useful, such as the etiquette for fancy restaurants, including how to eat bread (not that I’ve been to a fancy restaurant since she passed, but at least I would know how to act!). The secret you seek is to tear a bite-size piece of bread from your bun/slice on your bread plate, butter the small piece and put it in your mouth without biting into it. :)

  2. says

    I am SO with you on the bread in restaurants – hard as a rock outsides with maybe a bite of soft bready goodness on the inside… which then gets ripped to shreds when you try and spread their frozen butter on it! Do not want! I mean, I want, I want bread, but I don’t want trying to eat it to be a huge pain in the patoot.

    Also, apparently it’s not correct to cut your bun open with a knife. The proper manoevre is to tear it in half. What? Obviously whoever wrote that rule had never encountered these ridiculous hard rolls.

  3. says

    when I was in France i could NEVER keep my place crumb free and no matter where I was every. single. time. the waiter came to clear dinner and bring dessert, he/she would have to spend a little extra time at my place with the crumber scooping them all away. This could be for two reasons. 1)- I’m a messy eater, 2)-I just ate more bread than anyone else. I’ll say it was the latter.

    Love the photo by the way

  4. Elle says

    Kristen, these look perfect for me to take to my daughter’s tomorrow but I have a question. Are you familiar with spelt flour (and the bag it came in says it is bread flour) and can I use that? I know I have to cut the water by 25% when using spelt.

    And I want to wish you and yours, as well as all your devoted followers, a very Happy Thanksgiving.


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