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. says

    These look fantastic, Kristen! I want to bite into one right now. I’m always on the lookout for good homemade bread recipes, so I will have to try yours soon.

  2. says

    Thanks for this recipe! I’m definitely going to try it. I finally got a breadmaker a couple of months ago after our discussion on twitter about focaccia bread. Thanks! I love your blog! :)

  3. says

    Thanks for this, Kristen. I JUST made rolls in my bread machine yesterday. I’ve been playing with a recipe but I don’t quite have it right. The texture wasn’t as soft and chewy as I’d have liked. I’m definitely going to try this. In fact, since my bread machine is still sitting on the counter, I may do it today!

  4. says

    I too would like the secret to eating a crusty french bread roll without making a fool of myself. But I think this secret is probably more closely guarded by the French than the Mona Lisa.

  5. says

    How did you know I was looking for a perfect roll recipe to try this weekend? Perfect timing, my friend!

    And yes, I can’t stand all the crumbs that hard bread makes either. It makes me want a crumb scraper of my very own.

  6. says

    Theese look and sound perfect! I too am a bread lover and my 9 year old is a bread connoisseur of sorts (he picks where he would like to eat out by the quality of bread/rolls offered lol).
    All rules are out the window for me when I come upon great bread!

  7. Wendy Flick says

    I just put my bread machine away this morning……guess I will have to bring it back out again…This recipe is making me hungry for gorgeous bread rolls….Family is coming this next week – perfect timing…Thanks…

  8. says

    Mmmm…Bread. Boooo….cold, unspreadable butter. Not cool! (Well, I guess it is “cool” but I sure don’t like it!) I really wish I had a bread maker. Christmas list?


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