Easy Homemade Crusty Rolls

Here on the homestead, we bake all of our bread from scratch.
I know, sounds crazy right??

It seems like that would be way too much work, why not just get bread at the grocery store?

Well, if you haven’t noticed, processed food has a lot of unnecessary ingredients, and some of those ingredients are bad for you.

When you make bread at home, you control the ingredients that are used, so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body.

These easy homemade crusty rolls are better than anything you can buy at the store.

When you start making bread from scratch, you can have fresh bread at home every day and the best part is that this bread only contains five ingredients. Flour, yeast, water, salt, and a little bit of sugar to activate the yeast.

Easy homemade crusty rolls

To start warm your water to 104°F and add the sugar to the water. Stir until dissolved then add the yeast.

Using warm water will help the yeast wake up, but you don’t want the water to be too hot, otherwise you’ll kill the yeast. Set this aside for about 10 minutes. If your yeast is fresh, it will be foaming and bubbly after 10 minutes.

While waiting for the yeast add the salt to the flour.

This yeast is foamy and ready to be used

When the yeast is ready, add it to a stand mixer. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on low, and start adding the flour in slowly. We aren’t kneading at this point, just combining the ingredients.

After the ingredients are combined, scrape the mixer bowl and set the mixer to low. Let the mixer knead the dough for 10 minutes.

If you don’t have a stand mixer, you will need to knead the dough for 10 minutes by hand. We need the gluten to develop.

After 10 minutes, your dough will be slightly tacky and well-kneaded. Remove the dough from the stand mixer and place it on a lightly floured surface.

Perform a few tucks and folds. This is where you pull each end of the dough over the middle of the dough and press or “tuck” into itself. (minute 4.16 in the video)

Tuck and folds

After you have tucked and folded the dough a few times, remove the flour from the counter and pull your dough into a ball. (minute 4.36 in the video)

Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with a towel, and place the bowl in a warm place to sit for an hour.

I like to use a heater beside the counter to keep my dough warm, but you could place the bowl in the oven with only the oven light on, or turn on your dryer for a few minutes, turn it off, and then place the bowl in the warm dryer.

After an hour or once the dough has doubled in size, place the dough back on a lightly floured surface and perform a few more tucks and folds. At this point, we need to release the air bubbles.

Pull your dough back into a ball and place it into the lightly greased bowl again, this time letting it sit for 30 minutes.

While you’re waiting for the second rise, grease a baking sheet with butter or oil. Don’t use too much, we just need to keep the bread from sticking. I use a cast iron pizza stone with a little bit of butter, but cast iron skillets or baking sheets work well too!

After the second rise, place the dough back on a lightly floured surface and press the dough to release the air bubbles.

Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. You can eyeball this, but I like to use a kitchen scale so that every roll is the same size so they bake evenly.

Form each piece into a ball. Now at this point, you can place them on the baking sheet to have round rolls, or you can let them sit for 5 minutes, then form them into small loaves. Either option is great!

Once you have the desired shape, place the rolls on the baking sheet, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes.

When you have 10 minutes left, preheat the oven to 400°F and place a baking dish filled with water into the oven. This will create a steamy environment which will help the rolls get a crispy outer shell.

When the oven is ready, score the top of each roll with a sharp blade. (minute 14.46 in the video)

Place the rolls into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until they are golden brown.

We love using these for sandwiches, especially with our braised pork! They are also great sliced with some jam or homemade pizza boats!

Easy Homemade Crusty Rolls

Recipe by Whitney – Willowbottom
Prep time

2

hours 
Cooking time

30

minutes

Ingredients

  • 500g Bread Flour

  • 8g Salt

  • 340g Water

  • 4g Instant yeast

  • 6g sugar

Directions

  • Warm the water to 104°F and add the sugar to the water. Stir until dissolved then add the yeast.
  • Using warm water will help the yeast wake up, but you don’t want the water to be too hot, otherwise you’ll kill the yeast. Set this aside for about 10 minutes.
  • While waiting for the yeast add the salt to the flour. Mix well.
  • When the yeast is ready, add it to a stand mixer. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on low, and start adding the flour in slowly.
  • After the ingredients are combined, scrape the mixer bowl and set the mixer to low. Let the mixer knead the dough for 10 minutes. (see notes)
  • Remove the dough from the stand mixer and place it on a lightly floured surface. Perform a few tucks and folds.
  • After you have tucked and folded the dough a few times, remove the flour from the counter and pull your dough into a ball.
  • Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with a towel, and place the bowl in a warm place to sit for an hour.
  • After an hour or once the dough has doubled in size, place the dough back on a lightly floured surface and perform a few more tucks and folds.
  • Pull your dough back into a ball and place it into the lightly greased bowl again, this time letting it sit for 30 minutes.
  • While you’re waiting for the second rise, grease a baking sheet lightly with butter or oil.
  • After the second rise, place the dough back on a lightly floured surface and press the dough to release the air bubbles.
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and form each piece into a ball.
  • Let the rolls sit for 5 minutes, then form them into small loaves and place the rolls on the baking sheet, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and place a baking dish filled with water into the oven. This will create a steamy environment which will help the rolls get a crispy outer shell.
  • When the oven is ready, score the top of each roll with a sharp blade.
  • Place the rolls into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • If you don’t have a stand mixer, you will need to knead the dough for 10 minutes by hand. We need the gluten to develop.

Whitney Stokes

Whitney is a naturalist who started Willowbottom.com in 2018 to encourage natural and sustainable living.

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