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 56 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)
  • 3 teaspoons 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 ¼ 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

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: French Bread Rolls
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Comments

  1. Do not grease pan! Use parchment! Rolls are decent but bottom burned even 6 min under on cooking time. My house smells awful. Would not make again.

  2. Hello Sabrina!

    thank you for your recipe for the little french breadrolls!
    I saw that some people love it and others are upset about it.
    Now I live in Belgium and would love to try the recipe, but we, in Europe, use only grams and kilos. BIG problem: if I search how much water 1 cup has, I find DIFFERENT grams!!! I find : 1 cup is 150 ml, but also 1 cup is 240 ml!!! That’s a huge difference, and it can be the source of the problem.
    Can you tell us how much grams there is in a cup flour at your house, and how much water there is in your cup in grams?
    You used a calculator to change it all in grams, but it gave 11 g of salt, which is trerribly mucht. It should be 4grams, I guess.
    and so on and so on
    After looking it all up I retain: 225 g water, 9 g dry yeast, 20 g sugar, 20 g oil, g salt, 440 g flour, 30 g butter.
    This makes a big difference and explains why some people had a real mess.
    I will try the recipe with these figures and we will see!!
    🙂

  3. If using the metric measurements surely you need 15g of yeast as 1 teaspoon is 5g and in the US version you state you need 3 teaspoons! Wish I had read all the comments first and checked both sets of measurements. I did think the yeast was a little low for the amount of flour but as a beginner baker I thought best to follow the instructions!

    A waste of time, ingredients and money. Could you please review the metric measurements and I will give them another go?!

  4. metric conversion is the absolute worst! I used probably 200 grams more flour than I was supposed to, after redoing it a few hours later with the US measurements the dough was so much easier to handle, three stars because after making many baked goods im accustomed to using metric and in this case it didn’t work out ;-; If you do make this recipe break out the measuring cups instead of the weighing scale…

  5. I’ve tried these twice now and the 2nd time were much better, but still not a good rise…I’ve used new yeast this time and my stand mixer and they taste great, but just haven’t risen much. Could it be the way I’m freezing them? I freeze after splitting them into balls. I’m going to try them again without freezing and see if it improves. Do I literally cook them straight from the freezer, forgoing the 2nd prove? Thanks

    1. If you didn’t get a second rise after dividing them but before freezing them, I’d suggest spraying the tips of the role with non-stick spray and then cover them allowing the rolls rise on the counter for 3-5 hours or until doubled. Hope this helps!

  6. The best rolls I’ve made. Ab fab. Mmmmmmhhhh mmmmhhhhh my mini burgers were a delight. Thank you. I’m so full I could burst. They were that nice!!!!!

  7. What a waste of time & ingredients!
    I followed the recipe exactly and ended up with a sloppy, unformed dough, which resulted in breadcakes similar to pancakes.
    The flour/water ratio is obviously wrong.

    1. I’m afraid I’m with you David! These were a huge waste of my time and ingredients and I was making them to take to someone ?! I followed the recipe precisely, all fresh ingredients, but kept having to add flour. They spread out like a scone and were basically tasteless. Looking now at the ingredient list I don’t know why I thought these would be very flavorful anyway! I’m sorry to be so negative. I would just like to save others from the trouble of bothering with these. I normally read reviews before diving in but did not this time.

  8. These are amazing! I live at 7,080′, so baking any kind of bread is always a challenge and can be quite discouraging. The crust and texture of these were divine, and it was easy to make. The 2 adaptations I did for the altitude was to use bread flour, and reduce the yest by 1/3 to 2 teaspoons. I did use the full length of rising time, which was a mistake, as it tripled in size the first rise. I’ll keep an eye on it the next time and start forming the rolls at the double size. I made these as long hoagie rolls using someone else tip on the grams. I formed them with 122 grams per roll. Thank you for this amazing recipe! So grateful!

    1. Diane, thanks for sharing your alterations. I live at 5000 ft. I followed your changes and my rolls turned out perfect!

    2. I never made rolls before! Once I made a wheat bread that was ok and weighed like 5 pounds! But these rolls, the dough was so soft and had such a nice rise to it! They were delicious, even my husband commented on how good they were!

  9. Like others have mentioned, the “total” time in the recipe is wrong. I had to add a bit more flour to the dough to get the consistency right. It would be more helpful if quantities were given in weight rather than volume. But other than that, they came out good. I put a pan of hot water in the oven and also misted the oven and the rolls hoping to have these come out with a nice crusty finish. But that didn’t happen. But overall, they’re a nice dinner roll that are relatively quick and easy to make.

  10. The flavor and inner texture were really good with this recipe, but they weren’t nearly as crusty as I had hoped. I even tried misting the oven when I first put them in, but, while the crust was chewy, it really wasn’t what I’d consider crusty. Had no problems like others seemed to have with the moisture of the dough. I might have added a few extra tablespoons of flour, but that was all. Makes a decent dinner roll, but they are better the next day as sandwich rolls.

  11. Not sure what the fuss is about water/ flour ratio, I followed directions exactly, only needed 3 cups flour, fluffy on the inside, I couldn’t find my water spritzer, so sprinkled with water, lol. But they were very good.

  12. The moment I saw the recipe I decided to make it.It is a perfectly easy successful recipe.i do the buns twice a week and shared the buns with all members in the family.

  13. I dont see how anyone could get these wrong. Delicious! I did 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 all-purpose flour. Awesome and easy. Thank you for sharing.

  14. My husband and I made these rolls yesterday. We wanted some bread to go with our salad for dinner. We had all the ingredients on hand and just enough time to pull this together. All worked out perfectly! We did add 1/4 cup extra flour since the dough was a little sticky. The rolls rose perfectly and came out crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside, just what we expected. Some didn’t come out as round as we’d like, so next time we may try adding another 1/4 cup extra flour. But we’ll definitely make these again. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  15. This recipe is crazy good & simple!! I’m not an experienced baker & these turned out incredibly good. Brushed with butter & sprinkled with Everything Bagel seasoning.

  16. I never get why bread recipes don’t include the rising time? It said 1 hour so I started 1 hour before dinner. Little did I know I actually needed 3 hours.

  17. How can this recipe claim “Total time: 1 hour” when there’s an hour and a half of rising time alone?

    That’s not even including time spent actually working the dough, forming the rolls, and baking!

    1. I dont see how anyone could get these wrong. Delicious! I did 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 all-purpose flour. Awesome and easy. Thank you for sharing.

  18. Good afternoon everybody,did the above rolls today along with the classic minestrone soup.Total success easy tasty and rolls crunchy.This lunch was served to a patient and she loved it .I will be sharing photos via Instagram @fiona_cholet_
    Stay safe and be happy Food is good Cheers
    Viv

  19. New to bread making… I’ve hit a few bumps in the road. This has been a go to recipe that friends and family have asked to make again and again. Thanks!

  20. These came out well, but in my 10 years of baking, this is the only bread dough I have ever been angry at. The dough was so wet and sticky–I was so frustrated with it. I had to add at least an extra cup and a half of flour, and the dough was still super wet. Will not be making these again.

  21. Made these back in November for Thanksgiving, so simple and tasted wonderful! However, I I’ve attempted the recipe twice since and it hasn’t gone quite to plan. I’ve found the dough is unmanageable unless I had more flour. It seems a trend after reading some of the comments, but I don’t believe I’ve done anything different since the first attempt! 355 ml water to 438 g of flour, correct? Any suggestions? (I use metric.) Would letting the yeast activate shorter/longer affect this? (It’s possible I let the water, yeast, and sugar sit die longer the first time around.)

    1. I am so sorry, I am just seeing this tonight. I am sure the recipe has long been cooked/or not but I still want to try to help.

      I am so sorry I wish I had measured by weight. I would say the answer is more flour too, but I don’t have a specific measurement. Letting the yeast sit longer could impact it as well, when I’ve previously done that with cinnamon rolls I find it stickier.

  22. This recipe is soooo good and easy to make!!! I followed exactly what the instructions said and it came out so crusty and tasty. I was so excited to share the recipe to my friends.. Thank you for sharing your knowledge Sabrina ????

  23. The rolls were delicious. At first I thought the recipe was miss-printed with 3 teaspoons of yeast but it worked out perfectly.

  24. When I finished mixing the dough was still quite wet. Is the dough suppose to wet or a dough which you can pick up as one? Can you describe / show picture of what dough should be like after kneading please?

  25. I made these exactly per recipe, other using pastry/bread for New Year’s family prime rib dinner. They were fantastic. Of course, as (my grandsons say) the greatest and best baker ever, I have an extensive experience base and these are the best french dinner rolls I have made or eaten. So simple and easy .

  26. I’m in awe that I made these rolls and they were so easy! After reading a lot of the reviews, I put the hot water in a pan on the lower rack AND spritzed the rolls twice. While the crust was not hard, it was a softer chewy texture and I have no complaints. Some of the rolls were flatter than others, but I think it was the way I formed the dough, not an issue with the recipe.

  27. Excellent rolls! I added more kosher salt to the actual recipe and then used sea salt for on top of the rolls. I used a scale and weighed out each roll to 61 grams to get sixteen even size rolls. This recipe is a definite keeper!

  28. As others have said there’s something wrong with the flour/water ratio. I make a lot of bread & did think it was incredibly wet, like a high hydration sourdough. Was almost impossible to form dough balls even after multiple folds while it was proofing. I ended up with flat rolls but they were fluffy with a nice crust.

    I used metric which equates to 81% hydration which is ridiculously high! Switching to cups still gives 74% (not including the oil so actually worse). Normal doughs range between 55-65% usually so somethings off.

    I assume all the positive comments are from people who added a lot of extra flour?

    1. I am new to bread making and decided to try this easy recipe. I also wound up with flat rolls. They look nicely browned but definitely didn’t rise for a second time. I used 3 1/2 cups of flour but then the dough was still pretty sticky when I made them into balls so I added, may another 1/4 cup of flour on my hands as I rolled them. Did I use too much flour?

      1. Baking can be tricky but it could be a few other reasons as to why they didn’t rise the second time. Possibly the room was too cold or most of the yeast was dead. Next time if they still don’t look they’ve risen in the time, just give it more time. Hope this helps.

    2. These rolls were excellent! I like other people had to add more flour to the liquid. (Approximately 3/4 cup. It proofed up nicely in 60 min and rolls were perfect! We ate 2 before we even sat down to dinner!! Will definitely keep this recipe. Thank you!!

  29. Excellent recipe. I made the rolls into a turkey shape for Thanksgiving and it turned out so cute and tasted great. I’m going to try to shape a Christmas tree for Christmas dinner.

  30. These were amazing and paired very nicely with my beef stew. I’ve never made any type of bread before and, even though I think I messed up the mixing and flour addition, they came out wonderful! If I can make these as a beginner, they’re definitely “easy.” I’m absolutely making them again.

  31. The first time I made these, they turned out pretty flat. The second time I made them, I subbed the all-purpose flour with bread flour and use instant active yeast rather than regular active yeast. Instead of making rolls, I formed it into one big loaf. Before going into the oven, it flattened by a lot but rose again while baking. turned out golden brown and a very good addition to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner!

  32. These are not only perfect for eating by themselves but make excellent sandwich buns. My only question is regarding the water spritz while baking. Do you spray once or twice? The recipe says “twice half way through.”