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featured image 4 for Frech Bread Rolls Recipe Devilish Butlers

Easy French Bread Rolls Recipe

Jenny from Not Entirely Average
This crusty French bread rolls recipe uses a no-fail yeast roll called Devilish Butlers, that are perfect for beginners and experts alike!
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Servings: 16 rolls
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Rise time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Bread
Cuisine American, French
Servings 16 rolls
Calories 171 kcal


  • stand mixer with dough hook attachment
  • candy thermometer
  • kitchen scale if you want equally-sized rolls
  • baking sheets
  • kitchen shears
  • sharp knife or bench scraper


  • 2 cups water heated to between 105°F and 115°F, NO WARMER, NO COOLER; use a candy thermometer to get an accurate reading
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 heaping tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus additional for oiling the bowl
  • 5 1/4 to 5 1/2 cups bread flour
  • handful cornmeal or semolina flour
  • flakey sea salt


  • Assembling the dough hook component onto your stand mixer. Add 1 full tablespoon of active dry yeast (instant yeast) and 1 rounded tablespoon of granulated sugar to the mixer.
  • Heat 2 cups of water in a microwave safe container for about a minute. Use a candy thermometer to gauge the temperature of the water. VERY IMPORTANT: the water must be between 105°F and 115°F, NOT HIGHER and NOT LOWER or you will kill the yeast.
  • When the water is correctly tempered, slowly pour it into mixer bowl and stir on low speed to combine for 1 minute. Allow the yeast mixture to proof for a full 5 minutes. Add olive oil and Kosher salt and 5 cups of the flour, mixing on low speed for 2 full minutes. As you mix, the dough will begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be tacky but not sticky. Add 2 tablespoons of the remaining flour at a time with a slightly increased speed to medium-low, allowing a dough ball to form in the bowl. Do not overwork the dough - once you've got some semblance of what looks like a ball, stop the machine.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a large bowl and use your fingers to grease the entire inside of the bowl and especially up all sides. Place the dough ball in the oiled bowl and cover it loosely with plastic wrap, a damp cloth, or parchment paper. Let rise 1 hour or when doubled in size. PRO TIP: I turn on my oven light and adjust a rack to the middle position and place the bowl inside to rise. The tiny amount of heat from the oven light creates the perfect environment to allow the yeast to do their job.
  • Remove the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it briefly. Use a sharp knife or a bench scraper and divide the dough first in half, then again into fourths. From there, form as many pieces (French rolls) as you desire into smooth round balls. Optional: if you desire uniform looking rolls, use a kitchen scale to weigh pieces of dough equally. PRO TIP: If you are not ready to make the French bread rolls immediately, you may punch the dough down and refrigerate it, tightly covered, for up to 3 days. I do recommend bringing the dough to room temperature before dividing it into rolls and proceeding with the recipe.
  • Place the balls seam-side down on baking sheets that have been dusted with semolina flour or cornmeal. Leave an inch between them, and again cover loosely with plastic film and let rest/rise for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. To make 'Devilish Butlers,' snip the tops of the rolls with a pair of kitchen shears making two 3/4-inch-deep cuts in an 'X' pattern right on top of the dough. Sprinkle the tiniest pinch of sea salt atop each roll. A little sea salt goes a long way, so sprinkle conservatively.
  • Bake the Devilish Butlers in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until their 'horns' have begun to turn a lovely golden brown. Mine generally require the entire 15 minutes, but only you know your oven, so watch the horns carefully!


Please Note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not use table salt or iodized salt in any of the recipes you find on Not Entirely Average UNLESS specified otherwise.
You May Substitute all-purpose flour in this method; however, bread flour produces a finer grain for these yeast rolls, making them fluffier. I am unable to speak to the success or failure of whole wheat flour in this method, so advise against the substitution.
Store leftover rolls in a brown paper bag. Do NOT store in plastic bags or plastic containers of any kind or your rolls will weep.


Serving: 1rollCalories: 171kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 5gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 293mgPotassium: 47mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 1mg
Keyword baguette, bake bread rolls, crusty bread rolls recipe, crusty French bread rolls, dinner rolls, French bread rolls recipe, French bread rolls to die for, soft bread rolls recipe
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