Rustic Dinner Rolls

"My family loves those European style dinner rolls described as "airy crumb and yeasty, savory flavor and a crust so crisp it pratically shatters when you bite into it, yet chewy enough to offer satisfying resistance" This was the perfect description that came with the recipe. I found this recipe in Cook's Illustrated Magazine and they turned out wonderful. It says the secret to them is a little whole wheat for a nice earthiness, a bit of honey for a subtly sweetness and a very wet dough for more steam bubbles during baking for an airier crumb. The recipe itself it pretty simple but I feel it's the preparation and baking process that gives it that distintive rustic result. Prep time does not include rising time. There's a lot of steps but it's just very complete. UPDATE: Thanks to MarySC for this note -You are supposed to repeat the entire "fold three times and rest for 30 minutes" step a second time. I'll add this to the directions."
photo by Bonnie G #2 photo by Bonnie G #2
photo by Bonnie G #2
Ready In:
1hr 25mins
16 rolls


  • 1 12 cups warm water, plus 1 tablespoon (12 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 12 teaspoons yeast, instant
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3 cups bread flour, plus 1 tablespoon (16 1/2 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour, about 1 ounce
  • 1 12 teaspoons salt


  • Whisk water, yeast, and honey in bowl of stand mixer until well combined, making sure no honey sticks to bottom of bowl.
  • Add flours and mix on low speed with dough hook until chohesive dough is formed, about 3 minutes.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature 30 minutes.
  • Remove plastic wrap and eveny sprinkle salf over dough.
  • Knead on low speed 5 minutes. (If dough creeps up attachment, stop mixer and scrape down using well floured hands or greased spatula.).
  • Increase speed to medium and continue to knead until dough is smooth and slightly tacky, about 1 minute.
  • If dough is very sticky, add 1-2 tablespoon flour and continue mixing 1 minute.
  • Lightly spray 2 quart bowl and with nonstick cooking spray; transfer dough to bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let dough rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Fold dough over itself; rotated bowl quarter turn and fold again. Rotate bowl again and fold once more.
  • repeat the entire "fold three times and rest for 30 minutes" step a second time.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes.
  • Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Transfer dough to floured work surface, sprinkle top with more flour.
  • Using bench scraper cut dough in half and gently stretch each half into 16-inch cylinders.
  • Divide each cylinder into quarters, then each quarter into 2 pieces (you should have 16 pieces total), and dust top of each piece with more flour.
  • With floured hands, gently pick up each piece and roll in palms to coat with flour, shaking off excess and place in prepared cake pan.
  • Arrange 8 dough pieces in each cake pan, placing 1 piece in middle and others around it making sure cut side faces up.
  • Loosely cover pans with plastic wrap and let rolls rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes (dough is ready when it springs back slowly when pressed lightly with finger).
  • Thirty minutes before baking, adjust rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees.
  • Remove plastic wrap from pans, spray rolls lightly with water, place in oven.
  • Bake 10 minutes until tops of rolls are brown; remove from oven.
  • Reduce oven temperture to 400 degrees; using kitchen towels or mitts, invert rolls from both pans onto rimmed baking sheet. When cool enough to handle, turn right side up, pull apart, and space evenly on a baking sheet.
  • Continue to bake until rolls evelop deep golden brown crust and sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 10 to 15 minutes; rotate baking sheet halfway through baking time. (partially baking in pans first helps to set their shape during rising but leave soft spots where they touch - transfering to baking sheet ensures finished rolls are golden and crisp all around).
  • Transfer rolls to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

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<p>As of 6-14-2013 DH will be completing his tour in Trinidad, which has been a wonderful adventure; and returning home to Dayton, WA.&nbsp; We'll miss all our friends and time there, but looking forward to enjoying home life on the ranch for awhile, while we see what the next adventure might bring.</p> 8726453"
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