French Bread Rolls can seem intimidating. I have had my fair share of duds in the past, which prompted me to keep retesting new recipes and methods. The issues that arose for me with previous bread roll attempts were common. My bread didn’t rise, it was too dense, the flavor was off, the oil was apparent, the texture just wasn’t right. Any of those mishaps seem familiar? I have worked on this recipe for months, and finally have a foolproof recipe for French Bread Rolls that eliminates the fool and gets you on your way to proper proofing, fancy flavor, and an end result of the most beautiful buns you’ve ever made!
French Bread Rolls bring in your own creativity and spark. The options are endless, and the flavor possibilities are awing. My French Bread Rolls use a combination of Ghee and Honey for delicate and mild flavor that will get the ooh la la that real French bread rolls should get!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Ghee, it is a popular Indian and Sri Lankan alternative to butter. Ghee is a type of clarified butter that has the water and milk solids removed. It is being hailed as having many health benefits. Since the milk solids have been removed, Ghee doesn’t even have to be refrigerated and solidifies like coconut oil. If you want to learn more on Ghee, take a look at this article, Ghee: Better Than Butter?
These French Bread Rolls have a crusty exterior and a chewy, fluffy interior. The flavor is pure. These rolls are perfect with a pat of butter or as the base for any sandwich you can dream up. My favorite is to use these for a Pot Roast Sandwich with the leftovers of my Red Wine Braised Pot Roast! Just take a look at this mouthwatering combo!
This recipe goes in conjunction with the step-by-step video demonstration on YouTube: PERFECT Bread Rolls Demonstration . This video will guide you through how to make these French Bread Rolls from yeast to finish.
The first step in bread rolls and any yeasted recipe is proofing your yeast. For a video demonstration, take a look at, How to Proof Yeast.
When proofing yeast, you must have a thermometer! You must! There is just no exception to this! Yeast is more temperamental than your most judgmental relative! If your liquid is too cold it won’t activate. If your liquid is too hot it will kill the yeast.
Every yeast packet and jar will tell you the ideal temperature for activation. It can be as low as 105 degrees and as high as 130 degrees, so take a moment to read your directions. Also, some yeasts bloom for direct sugar sprinkling while others will refuse it. Temperamental, I’m telling you!
It also needs a few minutes to activate.
Now that your yeast has activated you are well on your way. Deep breath, you can do this!
I always start my yeasted recipes by hand. As you will see from the Ghee Honey French Bread Rolls video, I use the bowl of my stand mixer unattached to get the dough shaggy first before letting the stand mixer go to work.
To your water and yeast mixture, you will add your ghee and honey. Recipes are so flexible, and that’s part of the fun in cooking. Everything can be made your own with a little imagination! So you of course have the option to use other fats and sweeteners. If you ever need steps on substitutions, email me or comment on this post, and I am happy to help. As I mentioned, I love using ghee in these bread rolls for the mild flavor. When I have used olive oil in bread before, I found an oily and unattractive taste develop as the rolls cooled, and especially the next day. You won’t get that oily taste when using Ghee in these rolls.
Bread Flour is so important when making bread and yeasted recipes like Coconut Milk Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting (Video)! I’m going to embrace my bossiness in this post! I insist on that thermometer and I do the same when it comes to bread flour! The main difference in bread flour and all-purpose is this: bread flour has more protein that aids in the development of gluten. This will give you that perfect bread texture. I have been asked what makes my rolls so chewy and fluffy throughout, and surprise, this is the answer!
When you incorporate your bread flour and salt to the yeast mixture, start slow. It is always better to have less flour and the opportunity to add more as needed. 2 cups! Got it? Sprinkle it on and use a wooden spoon to get you to that shaggy dough. Shaggy dough looks shredded and well, shaggy.
Go a step further and use your hands to ball it all up.
The Stand Mixer
Now you will turn over the work to your stand mixer. Use the dough attachment for this. You will let this go for 8-10 minutes. Halfway through, take a look at your dough. If you are convinced it is too wet, then you may add flour. HOWEVER, please only add 1 tablespoon at a time. AND ANOTHER HOWEVER, I encourage you not to add anymore flour! Got it? Good! Now 8-10 minutes later, your dough ball will be formed and slightly sticky.
Lightly grease a big bowl.
Put your dough ball inside and cover with plastic wrap. Let this rise in a draft free area for 1 hour.
Take out your dough ball. Cut it in half. Cut that half into 3 pieces. Do the same with the second half. Then make a little ball of each piece, tucking the dough at the bottom of each rolls. Set your rolls in a greased round pan and let them rise for another 40 minutes.
Now your French bread rolls are ready to bake. Make an egg wash out of a bit of water and a beaten egg. With a pastry brush, gently brush egg wash over each roll. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. The egg wash is what will give you that shiny golden top. It is completely optional.
Then bake and watch your rolls rise even more!
These French Bread Rolls are perfect after about 25-30 minutes. Keep any eye on them, as oven temperature will vary! Also note, if you choose to make smaller rolls then bake them for less time; bigger rolls need more time.
French Bread Rolls
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water (check your yeast directions for optimal temperature)
- 1 tablespoon Ghee
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt plus more for sprinkling tops, if desired.
- 2 cups bread flour
- Egg wash (1 beaten egg with 1 tsp water)
For a full step-by-step demonstration, go to YouTube Bread Roll Demonstration
- In your KitchenAid stand mixer bowl, sprinkle yeast and add warm water.
- Proof yeast for 5 minutes until activated. For step-by-step demo, check out my video tutorial.
- To yeast mixture, add honey and ghee and salt.
- Mix in bread flour until a shaggy dough has formed.
- Connect bowl to stand mixer that is fitted with dough hook.
- Run mixer for 8-10 minutes until dough ball has formed. Note, start at setting 4 then work your way up to 8 if necessary. I did need to increase to 6 at the beginning.
- In a lightly greased bowl, let dough rise until doubled in size for one hour.
- Knead dough for a brief moment and then cut into half. For each half, make 3 rolls. Shape them, tucking and pinching underneath.
- Set in greased pan and let rise another 40 minutes.
- Brush with egg wash then bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven and bread roll sizes that you chose. Watch the bread!
- You did it! Now go and serve your beautiful buns.
Notes: The Ghee can easily be found online or in Asian Markets, or even the international section of your grocery store. If you want to use olive oil or canola, that is fine too!
Interested in what I used?