Updated: Oct 6, 2020
Servings: 12 rolls
Storage Life of Ingredients: 1 year
Crusty on the outside, soft and fluffy inside, these French rolls are great to serve with any Italian dinner and make great sandwiches.
My friend, Sharon Jackman, shared this recipe with me. We have really enjoyed being able to make our own French bread and rolls.
Measure the water with a candy thermometer. If the water is too cold the yeast will not activate. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Mix the water, yeast, and sugar together in a bowl.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes until the yeast is foamy.
Mix 2 cups bread flour with the salt and whisk together.
Add the yeast, oil, and the flour mixture to the stand mixer and beat for 2 minutes with the paddle attachment.
Change to the dough hook. Continue to add bread flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. I was only able to put 5 1/2 cups of flour into the dough to reach the desired consistency in my hot, arid climate. Knead for 10 minutes. If the dough gets sticky at the bottom of the bowl while kneading, add a little bit more flour.
Grease your hands and a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl. Turn the dough over to grease both sides.
Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise until double in size (about 1 hour).
Preheat oven to 400°. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Allow to rest for 2 minutes. Shape the dough into rolls. Place on a sheet pan sprinkled with cornmeal. Cut diagonal lines in the top of the dough with a knife.
Cover and allow to rise until double in size (about 1 hour).
Bake at 400° for 17-20 minutes.
If you want a hard crust on your rolls, place a roasting pan of boiling water on the oven rack underneath the sheet pan. You can also put an egg wash (1 egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon water) on the dough before baking. If you desire a soft crust, brush melted butter on rolls after they come out of the oven.
Bread Flour: Bread flour can be stored in 5-gallon food-grade buckets with resealable lids. Layer the flour with bay leaves to keep the weevils away. Grains will keep for at least a year using this method.
Yeast: I always keep my yeast in the freezer. Label it with the date bought and the date it expires so you will know how long it will last on your shelf if the power goes out. It will last at least a year if kept in the freezer.
Sugar: The shelf life of sugar is indefinite, but is best if used within 3 years.
Canola Oil: Canola oil has a shelf-life of 1 year.
Salt: Table salt has a shelf-life of 5 years.
Cornmeal: My Rainy Day cornmeal will last 20-25 years if kept at a temperature below 60 degrees. Once opened it needs to be used within a year or it will stale.