Simple French Bread Roll Recipe

Baking your own bread may seem like it’s way out of your league, but let me assure you, it’s so easy and fun! And the taste of warm, homemade bread straight out of the oven is just beyond amazing! This simple French bread roll recipe is one of my favorites! And the best thing about this recipe is that it truly is simple and surprisingly quick, too!

French bread rolls that are golden brown and done baking

I’ve never been a baker of bread. Unless, of course, you count opening the can of dough, putting it on the cookie sheet, then baking it in the oven. That’s the extent of my bread baking experience! And even though it’s not been in my set of culinary skills, I’ve always been intrigued by it. Everyone always swears baking bread is easy and so worth the time and effort. I finally worked up the courage to try it myself about a year ago, and I’m here to tell you… it is SUPER fun and it’s really pretty simple too! I’m by no means a chef, so understand, if I can do it, YOU can do it. No sweat! So let’s get to making some simple French bread rolls! These are easy, delicious and the perfect place to start learning about baking bread!

French bread ingredients including bread flour, sugar, yeast, and vegetable oil

Ingredients:

  • Warm water (around 110 degrees) – this will be to dissolve the yeast
  • White sugar – to feed the yeast to get it going
  • Active dry yeast – this is what makes the magic of bread
  • Bread flour – You can use all-purpose flour if you already have it on hand. If your dough seems too wet, you may need just a smidge more of the all-purpose flour than the bread flour. Bread flour has more protein to produce more gluten, to make it more bread-like.
  • Vegetable oil – For the dough, and also a little extra to line your bowl that the dough will rise in so that it does not stick. You can also use olive oil for this recipe.
  • Kosher salt – For flavor in the bread

Recommended Equipment:

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something from those links, I may make a small commission. See our full Disclosure and Disclaimer Policy here.

  • Bread Basket and Proofing Set – This is a complete bread basket kit with the metal scraper and a scoring lame! I adore this set!
  • Wooden cutting board (LARGE!) – I adore this cutting board. It’s really big and I use it any time I need to roll out dough or do large amounts of work! I keep it for only bread and sweets and generally don’t chop veggies or meats on it!
  • Plastic Wrap Dispenser with Cutter – I used to hate using plastic wrap. It was always a pain to cut and got stuck to itself! Now with this dispenser, it’s so easy and much less stressful!
  • Oven Mitts – This is a heavy and hot dish! Make sure you have good oven mitts to protect your hands!
  • Baking Sheets – These Nordic Ware natural aluminum commercial baker’s half sheets are my absolute favorite baking sheets I’ve ever owned in my cooking days! They are super heavy-duty, have a great rim around them, and they stay in great shape no matter what you cook on them. And they clean up incredibly easily as well!
  • Parchment Paper Sheets – This is parchment paper that’s already cut for you! And it is the size of a half baking sheet pan, which is absolutely perfect!
  • Spatula Set – This is the greatest set ever. Not only does it have several handy spatulas, it has a few tiny ones too, to help you get every single scrape out of jars and containers!
  • Glass Mixing Bowls – This is a nesting set of glass bowls. I find I can’t have enough glass bowls in my kitchen!
  • Cooling Rack – These are nice and sturdy cooling racks for all your baking needs!
  • Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer – I have used this machine for 15 years. It’s never once failed me and it looks like it’s still brand new. It is worth every single penny I paid for it!
  • Kitchen Towels (Floursack Towels) – These are PERFECT for when you need to cover bread to rise. They are also great for being actual dishtowels too. I’m obsessed with these floursack towels. I have several sets. They are oversized and I just love them.
  • Oversized Dish Towels – Sometimes you just need a bigger size dish towel! I love these for covering dough to rise, or for laying out on the counter to dry dishes or fruit and veggies.
French bread rolls in a bread basket with a cloth, stacked up on each other

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1

First, we need to make the yeast mixture and get it proofed! In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water, (not cold water!) sugar, and yeast and stir together. Now, let it stand until it gets to a creamy texture. I like to let it go for about 10 minutes. This is a good chance to get other things ready in the kitchen, to clean up, or to stand by and watch the magic of yeast happen. It never ceases to amaze me no matter how many times I’ve seen it!

Step 2

Flour being added to a flour and yeast mixture in a mixing bowl

Add 2 cups of flour, oil, and salt to the mixing bowl and yeast mixture. Using your dough hook on a low speed, let the wet dough mixture come together. You will need to stop every so often and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Step 3

Stir in your remaining cups of flour in half-cup increments until it’s all incorporated into the dough. If the dough is too sticky, you can add in extra flour a tablespoon at a time, if needed.

Step 4

Let the dough hook mix and knead the dough for 8 minutes on a lower to medium speed setting. When the dough is the correct consistency, it will pull totally away from the sides of the mixing bowl and be formed into a dough ball stuck on your dough hook of the mixer.

Step 5

Oil in the bottom of a large bowl, ready to put the French bread dough in to rise

In a large bowl (preferably glass), lightly brush with oil all over the inside of the bowl so the dough does not stick.

Step 6

French bread dough in a greased bowl ready to be covered and rise

Place dough in the bowl and turn it around so it’s coated in the oil. You are now ready for the first rise!

Step 7

Cover the bowl with a warm and damp cloth (make sure it’s a clean kitchen towel) and let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size. It’ll take about an hour. For a warm place, you can put it on top of the oven if you are already baking something, or in a sunny window area. Or if all else fails, you can put it in your oven with the oven light on. (DO NOT TURN ON ACTUAL OVEN HEAT). It will at least double in size.

Step 8

Now that the dough has doubled in size, punch it down/mush it down with your hands and put it on a lightly floured cutting board or floured work surface.

Step 9

I like to form my dough into a flatter rectangle that’s a uniform thickness. From there, I cut the dough into 16 equal pieces with my dough cutter (or a sharp knife!) to make rolls.

Pro Tip: To make sure the rolls are even in size and therefore all have the same cooking time, I like to split the dough evenly into two pieces with my kitchen scraper. Then each of those pieces into two pieces. And so on until you have sixteen pieces. If you want to get super precise about it, you can weigh each roll on a kitchen scale and make sure you have the exact same amount of dough. I’ve never taken it that far. Eyeballing is good enough for me.

Step 10

I form the sixteen pieces into little round balls to make round rolls and put them on the baking sheet or pan seam side down. Here’s a video of how I form the rolls:

Step 11

French bread dough on a cookie sheet waiting to rise for the 2nd time

Make sure to leave around 2 inches on all sides of the rolls, because they are going to rise for a 2nd time now.

GET AHEAD – If you want to make this dough ahead of time, you can stop right here, keep the dough covered with plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or the refrigerator for up to 3 months! When you are ready to make the rolls, let the refrigerated dough come up to room temperature and let it rise. You’ll probably need 60-75 minutes. If you are going to de-thaw frozen dough, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then let it come to room temperature and rise, again, probably about 60-75 minutes.

Step 12

Cover pans with plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel.

Step 13

Let rise until doubled in size again, around 40-60 minutes. Also, is there anything more amazing than watching dough rise? It amazes me every single time! You can make little designs or cuts on the top of the dough if you want it to have a little flair to it when it’s done baking!

Step 14

Preheat your oven to 400*.

Step 15

French bread rolls that are golden brown and done baking

Bake rolls in a preheated oven until golden brown. Mine took about 15 minutes. You may have to allow 18-20. I would just watch closely after the 15-minute mark.

Optional: If you want your rolls to be really shiny, you can brush them with an egg wash before they go in the oven! It’s a simple step that will make your bread and rolls look just beautiful when they are done! You can use full eggs or just egg whites, whichever you like.

Step 16

Enjoy your warm and delicious homemade French bread rolls!

Baked French bread rolls torn in half to see the inside of the roll

Serving Suggestions:

These rolls don’t need a thing. Except maybe some delicious butter. I love salted butter with them. Or a honey butter. Or plain sweet cream butter. Maybe I just like butter. LOL!

If you are looking for some special butter recipes to serve with this bread, I found a treasure trove of butter recipes over on Taste of Home.

These are perfect for dinner rolls to go with your main dishes, and the leftovers make excellent sandwiches the next day!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you use all-purpose flour in this recipe if you don’t have bread flour?

You totally can, especially if you already have it on hand. You MIGHT have to use a little extra all-purpose flour than the recipe calls for if your dough seems too wet and sticky. Bread flour has more protein to produce more gluten, to make it more bread-like, and the all-purpose flour doesn’t firm up like the bread flour does.

Can I use whole wheat flour instead of bread flour?

There’s actually whole wheat BREAD flour! And it’s super easy to find these days too! We’ve come so far in the grocery store, it’s a wonder! You can substitute it cup for cup with your all-purpose or bread flour. However, it MIGHT make the dough too dry. If the dough is crumbly and not uniform, keep mixing with the dough hook and add water a teaspoon at a time until it is a nice and uniform dough that holds its shape. If you over-correct and add too much flour, just add in a bit more flour till you get the desired consistency.

I’m not a bread baker. Are you sure I can make this?

I’m not a bread baker either! And I love this easy recipe! Who would think I could make my own French bread rolls?! I’m sure – you can do it! And be sure to let me know how it turns out!! I’m rooting for you!

Can I use a bread machine?

You totally can! You can let it just make one big loaf in the bread maker, OR, you can just use the dough setting, and when it’s time to shape the dough into rolls and let them rise, just take the dough out of the machine and make the rolls and let the rolls rise on your baking sheet and then bake in the oven.

Do I have to make French rolls? Could I make it a loaf of French bread?

Not at all! You could split this dough into two and make it a French loaf for sure! You’d need to adjust the baking time by a little bit, but just keep an eye on it and don’t let it get too brown

Storage

You can store these in a plastic bag with a zipper or a Tupperware container at room temperature.

French bread rolls in a bread basket with a cloth, stacked up on each other

Wrap Up – Simple French Bread Roll Recipe

Homemade bread is just so wonderful. My favorite thing is that you can eat it warm and out of the oven. And it’s not just for special occasions either. It’s so easy and so good, you could totally make it on a Tuesday afternoon and enjoy it! These delicious rolls are a perfect pairing with almost any meal. This is one of my favorite recipes and I can’t wait to hear about it when you try it!

Yield: 16 rolls

Simple French Bread Roll Recipe

French bread rolls that are golden brown and done baking

This simple French bread roll recipe is one of my favorites and it's super for beginners! And the best thing about this recipe is that it truly is simple and surprisingly quick, too! Baking your own bread may seem like it's way out of your league, but let me assure you, it's so easy and fun! And the taste of warm, homemade bread straight out of the oven is just beyond amazing!

Prep Time 1 hour
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (around 110 degrees)
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, plus a tablespoon extra for oiling your bowl (3 Tablespoons total)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Instructions

    1. First, we need to make the yeast mixture and get it proofed! In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water, (not cold water!) sugar, and yeast and stir together. Now, let it stand until it gets to a creamy texture. I like to let it go for about 10 minutes.

    2. Add 2 cups of flour, oil, and salt to the mixing bowl and yeast mixture. Using your dough hook on a low speed, let the wet dough mixture come together. You will need to stop every so often and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

    3. Stir in your remaining cups of flour in half-cup increments until it's all incorporated into the dough. If the dough is too sticky, you can add in extra flour a tablespoon at a time, if needed.

    4. Let the dough hook mix and knead the dough for 8 minutes on a lower to medium speed setting. When the dough is the correct consistency, it will pull totally away from the sides of the mixing bowl and be formed into a dough ball stuck on your dough hook of the mixer.

    5. In a large bowl (preferably glass), lightly brush with oil all over the inside of the bowl so the dough does not stick.

    6. Place dough in the bowl and turn it around so it's coated in the oil. You are now ready for the first rise!

    7. Cover the bowl with a warm and damp cloth (make sure it's a clean kitchen towel) and let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size. It'll take about an hour. For a warm place, you can put it on top of the oven if you are already baking something, or in a sunny window area. Or if all else fails, you can put it in your oven with the oven light on. (DO NOT TURN ON ACTUAL OVEN HEAT). It will at least double in size.

    8. Now that the dough has doubled in size, punch it down/mush it down with your hands and put it on a lightly floured cutting board or floured work surface.

    9. I like to form my dough into a flatter rectangle that's a uniform thickness. From there, I cut the dough into 16 equal pieces with my dough cutter (or a sharp knife!) to make rolls.

    10. I form the sixteen pieces into little round balls to make round rolls and put them on the baking sheet or pan seam side down. Here's a video of how I form the rolls.

    11. Make sure to leave around 2 inches on all sides of the rolls, because they are going to rise for a 2nd time now.

    12. Cover pans with plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel.

    13. Let rise until doubled in size again, around 40-60 minutes.

    14. Preheat your oven to 400*.

    15. Bake rolls in a preheated oven until golden brown. Mine took about 15 minutes. You may have to allow 18-20. I would just watch closely after the 15-minute mark.

    16. Enjoy your warm and delicious homemade French bread rolls!

Notes

PRO TIP: To make sure the rolls are even in size and therefore all have the same cooking time, I like to split the dough evenly into two pieces with my kitchen scraper. Then each of those pieces into two pieces. And so on until you have sixteen pieces. If you want to get super precise about it, you can weigh each roll on a kitchen scale and make sure you have the exact same amount of dough. I've never taken it that far. Eyeballing is good enough for me.

GET AHEAD TIP - If you want to make this dough ahead of time, you can stop after step 11. Keep the dough covered with plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or the refrigerator for up to 3 months! When you are ready to make the rolls, let the refrigerated dough come up to room temperature and let it rise. You'll probably need 60-75 mintues. If you are going to de-thaw frozen dough, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then let it come to room temperature and rise, again, probably about 60-75 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1 roll

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 147Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 159mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

This nutrition info is based on an automatic calculation. If you have any specific dietary needs, we recommend you calculate the recipe yourself as well to ensure accuracy.

Personal Disclaimer:

These movie reviews and any articles found on this site are my own and my own opinions. I am in no way affiliated or employed by The Hallmark Corporation, Crown Media, or The Deck The Hallmark Podcast. These opinions are my own and have no professional expertise involved. Any statements are simply opinions and advice.

The Deck The Hallmark Books:

Cover of the book "I'll Be Home For Christmas Movies" which is a red door with a Christmas Wreath hanging on it

Don’t forget, the Deck The Hallmark Podcast fellas wrote a book! And it’s the ultimate Hallmark Movie watching guide!

It has reviews of tons of Hallmark Christmas movies, along with entertaining ideas and recipes. I love mine and I look at it regularly. The recipes are delicious!

This is a fantastic gift idea as well! Make sure you get your copy ordered in time for Christmas movie watching!

Get Your Copy of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas Movies” HERE.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *