Friday, March 7, 2014

French Bread Rolls

I'm in love with these rolls.  They are so simple to make and freeze fabulously.  Just take them out of your freezer and pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to heat up.  This recipe can be made by hand however using a stand mixer will make the process much easier.

1 1⁄2 cup water
1 tbsp rapid rise yeast
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
4 cup bread flour

Measure out water and heat to between 120º and 125º; mix together warmed water, yeast and sugar and let stand for about 10 minutes.  (Even though I use rapid rise or bread machine yeast, I still give my yeast a chance to proof before adding to the recipe.)  In bowl of mixer, measure out 2 cups of flour and add salt. Whisk together. (In the absence of a sifter, this will ensure their are no lumps in the flour and the salt is evenly distributed.) Add oil and yeast mixture. Using paddle attachment, mix on low speed until combined. Stir in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until well combined.   If dough seems to be dry and not incorporating, add a teaspoon of water at a time until dough begins to come together.

Switch to bread hook and knead on medium speed until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes).  Turn out onto floured surface.  Add a small amount of oil to coat the bowl.  Place the dough back into the bowl and turn to coat.  Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place.  (I like to warm up my oven to 200º, and then turn it off prior to placing the bowl inside.) Allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. 

Divide dough into 16 equal pieces.  Form into rounds and place on baking sheet. Cover with towel and let rise until doubled; about 40 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 400º. Using a serrated knife, cut a 1/4" deep slice across the top of each roll. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. 

Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.  Cool rolls completely before placing in a labeled freezer bag and into the freezer.

To serve: Either remove from freezer and allow to thaw or throw straight into a microwave for 30 seconds. 

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