This tasty recipe for French rolls has never failed me. It tastes just like French bread. I make it once a week, and I usually make half of the pan of rolls larger for sandwiches and hamburger buns, and then make the rest a smaller size for dinner rolls. Just follow it exactly as written with no substitutions, and you will have great tasting rolls like my picture depicts. This recipe is easy. You know me, that is all I ever make is easy recipes! Happy to share this recipe with my JAP friends! Enjoy!
I use my Kitchen Aid bread hook to do the mixing work. You can knead by hand if you must.
Rinse out the large stainless mixing bowl with hot water and get it warm ( I use the one that fits the Kitchen Aid) add the 1 1/2 cups water, the yeast and the sugar, mix with a spoon and let stand for 10 minutes to work.
Then add 2 tablespoons of oil, and 2 cups of the flour with the 1 teaspoon of salt added to it and stir and then add that to the yeast mixture and stir again. Put the mixing bowl on the stand and add 1/2 cup of the remaining flour, a little at a time. The dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Knead 8 minutes by mixer (or on floured board by hand) until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Lightly oil a large deep bowl, put the ball of dough in it and turn the oiled surface to the top. Place the dough in the oven, cover with a towel, and turn the oven light on to keep it warm. Let it rise about one hour until it has doubled in size.
If it has doubled in size, punch it down, turn out on a lightly floured board and shape into a large ball, divide that in half and divide it again. and so on until you have 16 pieces. Now if you want half sandwich rolls and half dinner rolls then make your sandwich rolls larger. You can also make a long loaf of French bread from this recipe or a braid if you wish.
Place the shaped rolls on a greased cookie sheet. I like a ball shape the best for dinner rolls, and you can make oval shape for sandwiches if desired. Let rise for about 40 minutes until double in size.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake at 18 to 20 minutes if you make the standard 16 rolls. It may take a few minutes longer for the sandwich rolls depending on your oven. I have to tent the rolls the last five minutes or they get too brown. Cool on rack. Butter the tops to keep them nice and soft, or don't, and the bread will be crispy like French bread. When cool place in zip lock bags. Enjoy!
Cook's tip: To freshen the rolls the next day, put them in a paper bag in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for five minutes. They will be as good as fresh baked! These rolls freeze well. Defrost in the plastic bag and then freshen as stated above.