Making French Bread Rolls couldn’t be easier. The ingredients are almost the exact same ingredients I use in my Pizzeria Style Pizza Dough recipe, and the directions are very similar to my favorite Easy French Bread recipe. This SUPER SIMPLE roll recipe is life-changing and, dare I say, a recipe you are going to find yourself making over and over again!
My whole family loves rolls. For the most part, I enjoy making them and working the dough, but I gotta confess, I don’t always love the steps involved with some of my favorite recipes. Melt butter, heat milk, and mix in the first cup of flour for two minutes…
Don’t get me wrong. I will do those steps and even be happy about it when I want a specific type of roll, but after making these CRAZY EASY French Bread Rolls that literally have nothing complicated about them AT ALL, I’m feeling like all other rolls are a bit high maintenance.
These French Bread Rolls only use water, yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil, and all-purpose flour. That’s it. And, if you use rapid-rise yeast, you don’t even have to let the yeast and sugar sit in the water for five minutes before adding the other three ingredients. You can just throw it all in. SO EASY!
Using a mixer is also optional with this recipe. If you don’t have a mixer, just stir together with a fork until everything comes together, and then ditch the fork and knead the dough by hand for 5-8 minutes or until the dough is nice and elastic. You may need to sprinkle in a little flour as you knead if the dough is sticking to your hand. Follow the same rising instructions once you have the dough kneaded.
The flavor of the rolls comes out perfect. It tastes like a little handful of French Bread. I am so excited for you to try this recipe. You are going to love it!
Serve these delicious French Bread Rolls with:
- Easy Lasagna Casserole
- Thick and Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
- Holiday Ham
- Amazing Spaghetti Sauce
- Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli Soup
- Million Dollar Zucchini Skillet
Step-by-Step pictures for how to make French Bread Rolls
Frequently asked questions about making French Bread Rolls
How much time from start to finish will I need to make these rolls?
Great question. Here is what you can expect time-wise: mixing up the actual dough will probably take you 10-15 minutes. The first rising period, before you make the dough into roll-sized balls, will be 60 minutes. After that rising period, you will form the dough into balls and place them on the baking sheet. At that point, the dough will need to rise until it has doubled in size. This usually takes about an hour or a little longer. Once the rolls have doubled in size, they will need to bake for 15-17 minutes. All in all, this recipe will take you about 2 1/2-3 hours.
Can I make these rolls ahead of time?
Yes, you can. Because these rolls use such simple ingredients, they taste best and are the freshest the day they are made. If you aren’t planning to eat them the day they are made, you will need to freeze them in airtight bags (Ziploc) as soon as they have completely cooled. When you are ready to serve them, take them out of the freezer to unthaw, and I suggest warming them right before serving.
Can I freeze these rolls?
Yes, these rolls are great to freeze. To do so, wait until the cooked rolls have completely cooled and then place them in an airtight bag. I prefer bags with a zipper lock. They can be frozen for up to 2 months. When you are ready to serve them, take them out to unthaw and warm them up right before serving.
What type of yeast is best to use when making French Bread Rolls?
Any type of yeast will work well in this recipe. Just remember that if you are using active dry yeast, you need to allow the yeast to grow before adding the rest of the ingredients. To do this, add the yeast to the warm water with the sugar and wait 5-10 minutes until you can see that it is growing. The water-yeast mixture will start to look foamy or a little bubbly when the yeast is ready.
How do I know when the rolls have risen enough to bake?
Sometimes it is hard to tell when dough balls have doubled in size. If you have a hard time telling, take a picture with your phone of what the rolls look like right when you finish forming them. Wait an hour and take another picture. You could even sit an object near it to give you a better idea of how it has grown in the second picture. If you still have a hard time telling, you can just give it a little more time to rise. If it isn’t exactly doubled in size, that is okay.
What type of pan is best to cook rolls in?
This recipe makes 24 rolls. I find that a baking sheet like the one I use to make cookies works really well. I put them in six rows of four.
How many rolls will this recipe Make?
This recipe will make about 24 normal-sized rolls.
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 packet active dry or rapid rise yeast (2¼ tsp yeast)
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 5-6 cups all-purpose flour
- Add warm water, yeast, and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl if you don't have a mixer.
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.
- Add the salt, olive oil, and 5½ cups of the flour. Make sure you have your dough hook attached if you are using a stand mixer.
- At this point, turn the mixer on low and let it knead the dough for five minutes. You may need to add in additional flour as it is mixing/kneading if it is sticking to the mixer. If you are mixing by hand, use a fork or spoon to stir it together until everything is combined, and then switch to kneading with your hand. You will need to knead it for 5-10 minutes or until it is nice and elastic.
- Once dough is kneaded, leave it in the bowl or mixer and cover with a loose dish towel. Every 15 minutes for the next hour, turn the mixer on for a few seconds. If you aren't using a mixer, knead the dough by hand 5 or 6 times. If this technique won't work with your schedule, it's okay to just let it rise for the entire hour. The end result will have a titch more of a yeasty flavor, though.
- After the fourth 15-minute-rising period, form dough into 2-inch balls and place on a greased or lined baking sheet. I use a Silpat mat.
- Once you have all of the rolls formed, cover lightly with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Let set for at least one hour or until doubled in size. Temperature affects rising time, so if your house is cold, you may need to let it rise longer. If your house is really warm, it may not take an hour.
- While rolls are rising, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- When rolls are finished rising, bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
- Right when rolls come out, brush or rub the top of each roll with butter. I use a stick of butter to do this.
- Serve warm and enjoy!