Crusty French Bread Rolls

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French Bread Rolls are the PERFECT yeast bread to serve on the weekend because they’re warm and fluffy on the inside, crusty on the outside, and incredibly easy to make!

Easy homemade bread doesn’t have to be intimidating, including White Bread, Homemade Dinner Rolls, Cornbread or even Garlic Bread.

French Bread Rolls
FRENCH BREAD ROLLS

French Bread Rolls are the PERFECT thing to serve with dinner. They’re soft and fluffy on the inside, and crusty on the outside like a French baguette. This is one of my go-to roll recipes because they’re also an incredibly easy yeast bread to make, plus you don’t have to knead it by hand because it’s done entirely in the stand mixer!

I love to serve this french bread recipe for lunch with Classic Minestrone Soup or a Classic Wedge Salad, or for dinner with my Meat Lasagna. This roll recipe also works perfectly with my Sloppy Joe fillings. If you want a more flaky breakfast option you can also check out my recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits!

HOW LONG DO FRENCH BREAD ROLLS LAST?

French bread dinner rolls will last at room temperature for 4-5 days, wrapped tightly. You can also store them in an airtight container to keep them soft. Heat the french bread in the oven wrapped in tinfoil at 200 degrees F to make them seem fresh-baked again before serving.

CAN YOU FREEZE FRENCH BREAD DINNER ROLLS?

French bread rolls can be frozen either before or after they’ve been cooked. For cooked, freeze them in a sealable plastic bag wrapped in tinfoil. Defrost at room temperature for a few hours before serving, or reheat in the oven to make them soft and crusty again.

For uncooked, divide the dough into balls, then place on a baking sheet and place in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, about an hour, you can move them to a plastic bag. When you’re ready to bake, place them back on the baking sheet and bake according to the recipe, spraying with cold water to make them extra crusty (make sure it’s cold, warm water won’t work as well).

WHY IS MY FRENCH BREAD SO HARD?

If your roll recipe turns out too hard, it’s possible that you’re overcooking the rolls. Set a timer, and use an oven thermometer to make sure the oven is cooking at the right temperature.

Fresh French Bread Rolls

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WHICH FLOUR DO YOU USE FOR FRENCH BREAD?

Some french bread recipes call for bread flour, because bread flour contains more protein. But I find that all purpose flour works fine instead of bread flour for this french bread recipe. You can also use whole wheat or other wheat flour for a healthier version.

 SOUPS TO ENJOY WITH THESE ROLLS

TIPS FOR MAKING FRENCH BREAD ROLLS

  • Make sure to set a timer and let the yeast and sugar sit in the hot water for the full time in this bread recipe. This step is called “proofing”, and it lets the yeast activate. The water will look cloudy and slightly foamy when it’s ready to use. I let it proof in the stand mixer, but you can use any large bowl.
  • When you’re letting the dough rise, the yeast needs a warm environment to grow. I usually put it near a window, or if your oven is on for another recipe you can keep it on top of the stove.
  • Make sure your yeast is as fresh as possible for this bread recipe. If the packet is expired, I recommend not using it, because your french bread won’t rise correctly.
  • Watch the french bread dough carefully, and stop kneading when it starts pulling away from the bowl. Kneading the dough for too long can result in dense rolls.
  • We’re using the stand mixer for this bread recipe, but you can knead it by hand if you want to.
  • You can use this same french bread recipe to make french bread dinner rolls or an actual loaf or baguette. Or roll them very thin and make breadsticks! You can also buy a baguette pan that will help keep the baguettes crispy on the top and bottom.
  • Wrap these french bread dinner rolls in tinfoil after they’re done baking, to keep them warm until you’re ready to serve.
  • Line your baking sheet with parchment paper to help keep the french bread from sticking.
  • You can substitute the active dry yeast with rapid rise yeast if you have to.
  • If the dough is sticking to your hands while you’re trying to work with it, dust your hands with flour lightly.
  • Brush the baguette dough with egg wash, or with butter to make the outside golden brown. You can also use a sharp knife to slice down the middle top of the roll for presentation.
  • Serve this french bread with soft butter or olive oil and herbs, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt (my favorite fancy yet inexpensive finishing touch on foods) on top.

Easy French Bread Bites

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French Bread Rolls

5 from 15 votes
  • Yield: 16 servings
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Course: Bread
  • Cuisine: French
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
French Bread Rolls are the PERFECT yeast bread to serve on the weekend because they're warm and fluffy on the inside, crusty on the outside, and incredibly easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt , divided
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
  • spray bottle with ice water

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. To a stand mixer add the warm water, yeast and sugar and let sit for 10 minutes until cloudy.

  2. Add the oil, half the salt and 2 cups of the flour with the dough hook and let it combine on medium speed adding the flour in 1/4 cup increments until the dough starts to come together and eventually starts to pull away from the bowl, then turn up the speed and let it knead for 5 minutes.

  3. Add to an oiled bowl and turn in the bowl to coat with oil then cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size for 60 minutes.

  4. Divide the dough into 16 balls, place on a greased baking sheet and let rise for an additional 30 minutes then brush gently with butter and sprinkle with remaining salt before baking at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes, spraying the dough with ice water twice halfway through the baking process to make the crust chewier.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 16 servings, Amount per serving: 133 calories, Calories: 133g, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 292mg, Potassium: 31mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 45g, Calcium: 5g, Iron: 1.3g

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Keyword: French Bread Rolls
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French Bread

About the Author

Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

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Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. Since I discovered this bread recipe, I have made it every Saturday for the past month and now I don’t need to purchase any buns or rolls! Absolutely the best and always turns out perfectly!!!

  2. Very easy and delicious recipe. I’ve made these a couple of times and ,both times I needed about another 1/4 cup of flour. I also add some Italian seasoning to the dough and I a sprinkling of sea salt when they go into the oven. Mine were beautifully brown at 15 minutes. Highly recommended for even beginners. As a reminder, garlic kills yeast. FYI. Mahalo for the recipe.

  3. The recipe shows 3 1/2 cups of flour under ingredients, but the directions show to add 2 cups of flour in 1/4 cups increments. What happened to the other 1 1/2 cups of flour??? My dough was like liquid and could not be handled!!! This recipe should be re-written correctly! Can you tell what I missed? I ended up adding another almost two cups of flour and I still could not handle it!

    1. Step 2 states that you’ll start with 2 cups of flour when you start to combine the dough and then add the additional flour into the mixture 1/4 cup at a time until it’s all in there and combined. I hope this helps clear things up for next time.

  4. Hello Sabrina, new to your site and love your detailed instructions and insight. I want to choose either this french roll or the regular dinner roll on your site for Christmas dinner of roast beef tenderloin. What would you say is the main difference in taste and texture on these two choices and do you have a suggestion as to which of these two (or another of your recipes) would make the better choice. Thank you.

    1. These rolls are crusty and perfect for dipping into sauces to really soak up the flavor. The dinner rolls are a softer, fluffier type of roll. Either would go great with roast beef tenderloin. Enjoy!

  5. The rolls were delicious and super easy to make. The recipe does need updated, though. It states Prep Time: 30 minutes; Cook Time: 30 minutes; Total Time: 1 hour. That is a lie. 10 to bubble the yeast + 5 to mix the ingredients + 5 to knead + 60 to rise + 5 to roll + 30 to rise + 20 to bake. It is actually over two hours time. I used the 50% quick rise but still couldn’t do it under an hour. I want other to realize that these are not quick rolls, but they are yummy.

  6. I have tried making these twice now and while the dough initially pulls away from the sides, it then gets wet again when I speed up the stand mixer from 2-4 on my Kitchenaid. I’m following the timing and recipe exactly! What am I doing wrong…seems like I need to add more flour, but then it won’t rise!

    1. Hmmm that is really odd. It does sound like you need more flour. If you want to email me at contact @ dinnerthendessert .com, I would love to troubleshoot with you!

    2. It sounds as if you aren’t getting all the four in while mixing- I had to stop several times to make sure the hook was catching the flour and dough at bottom/sides

  7. I was looking for French rolls for sandwiches. I found your blog, and I made your recipe. Absolutely delicious and easy to make. I only made two changes I had French flour and I used that and I made eight rolls instead of 16 I wanted large sandwich type rolls that we can cut in half and oh my gosh this was exactly what I was looking for thank you so much I highly recommend this recipe for anyone to try very simple

  8. I haven’t made bread or rolls in years. This is a very easy recipe with delicious results. I used the old fashioned method of hand kneading for 7 minutes. I might knead a little longer next time.

    Regardless my husband and I had eaten half of the rolls within the first two hours out of the oven.

    Thanks!

  9. Perfect easy dinner rolls.
    However, having made this recipe several times, I now omit the second addition of salt – we all found them far too salty.
    Even without that ‘prior to baking’ added sodium, these are terrific! In fact, have a batch rising as I type.
    Thanks!

  10. WOW!!! I am so lucky that my very first attempt at making bread was, by luck of the draw, this very recipe! I am not a good cook at all, but can follow instructions, so as I was house-bound for a few days, I figured I will try to make a loaf or rolls.

    These were absolutely fantastic. My family truly believed I bought them at our local bakery. The salt on top was the perfect addition!

    I will make these again… very soon… I am certain.

    Thank you for such an easy recipe to follow! Can’t believe I did it…

    1. So happy to hear that! I can’t believe they lasted 3 days without being eaten first – that would be a record in our house haha!

    1. You continue to add it at 1/4 c increments until the dough comes together. If you look at step 2, it will give you further instructions.

      1. I also found this confusing. I only added about 2 1/2 cups total since that was when it started separating from the bowl.

        I think you need to revise the wording. Is step 2 supposed to say

        – Add oil, half salt and 2 cups of total flour
        – Add additional 1 1/2 cups slowly (1/4 cup at a time) until…

        To me the “until” part is unclear.

  11. Just made these last night, and they were delicious! I don’t like opening my oven during baking; instead of using a water bottle to spray the rolls, I put a 9 x 13“ pan halfway filled with water onto the bottom rack of the oven while it was preheating and left it in there during the baking. The rolls were perfectly crusty and chewy!

  12. Do not have a mixer with a dough hook. Can these crusty buns be made just by kneaded and if so, how long would you need to knead the dough.

    1. Yes, you can knead these by hand if you don’t have a dough hook. You’ll want to stop kneading it when it starts pulling away from whatever surface you’re kneading it on. Enjoy!

  13. Wish the salt was listed separately instead of divided. Accidentally used it all in my dough. worried it would impair the rise. Still, my dough rose well in a warmed oven . Dough much softer than I expected. Never really pulled from the sides even after adding more flour. Omitted the salt sprinkled on the tops and they weren’t too salty. Crusty and delish. I’m sad I only baked 2 and froze the rest as dough balls.

  14. These are the perfect rolls for just about anything. We enjoyed them with a big pot of soup the other night. I can’t wait to make them again.

  15. Hi Sabrina – My husband made these French dinner rolls today. He is an experienced bread maker and has made many dinner rolls also. These rolls were absolutely delicious! The best we’ve ever eaten. They were also very easy to make! Thanks for another superb recipe ??

  16. I’m no expert, but I think bread flour specifically has more gluten, which makes it stretchier for breads and pastries.