Crusty Rolls

"Here is the secret to rolls that are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside! Prep time includes approximate rising time."
photo by truckercook photo by truckercook
photo by truckercook
Ready In:
2hrs 30mins
20 rolls




  • In large bowl, combine 1 cup warm water (about 110°F), sugar, salt and yeast.
  • Let stand until yeast is soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in 2 egg whites, 1 cup flour and 2 tablespoons oil.
  • Add 2 1/2 cups more flour and stir until incorporated.
  • Scrape dough (it will be soft) onto a well-floured board and dust with more flour.
  • Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as required to prevent sticking.
  • Place dough in an oiled bowl and turn over to coat.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down, then knead briefly on a lightly floured board to expel air.
  • Divide dough into 20 equal pieces and shape each into a ball that is smooth on top.
  • As you shape balls, dip bottoms in cornmeal.
  • Set about 1 1/2 inches apart on an oiled 12x15-inch baking sheet.
  • Rub tops lightly with oil, drape with plastic wrap and let rise until puffy, about 30 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, beat 1 egg yolk (discard remaining yolk or reserve for another use) with 1 tablespoon water to blend.
  • Brush rolls lightly with egg yolk mixture.
  • Move 2 oven racks to the lowest positions in oven.
  • When rolls are ready to bake, preheat oven to 400°F, put another large pan on lowest rack and add at least 1/4 inch of boiling water.
  • Bake rolls on second rack (above rack containing pan of water).
  • Bake until richly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Transfer rolls to a rack to cool.
  • Serve warm or cool.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Good lowfat rolls. The instructions for this recipe are very clear and produced a dough that was very easy prepare and quite pliable. The flavor of the olive oil is very noticeable though - I am not sure I cared for it in these rolls. The exterior does indeed get quite crisp, and the interior was soft, but not as dense and rich in flavor as expected. I found these to be very similar in texture to refrigerator biscuit dough when cooked, although with a very different flavor. A good recipe,and certainly healthier than other roll recipes,but not a favorite for us.
  2. Easy to follow recipe and very good rolls. I made them large enough for hamburger rolls. If you vary the size and shape, these are very versatile.


I live in the San Francisco area and love it here. I discovered Recipezaar (then Kitchen) in 2001 and have been so happy to have my favorite recipes stored safely here. I am mother to 7 and grandmother to 7. I love to knit, smock, sew, etc., but my favorite hobby of the moment is traditional rug hooking. This is a sample of what I do.? It's called "November".? I dyed most of the wool myself. It is made from wool flannel, cut into strips a little less than 1/4" and then worked into a linen backing. This is my 3rd rug.
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