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“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.”
1hr 25mins
16 rolls

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 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


  1. Whisk water, yeast, and honey in bowl of stand mixer until well combined, making sure no honey sticks to bottom of bowl.
  2. Add flours and mix on low speed with dough hook until chohesive dough is formed, about 3 minutes.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature 30 minutes.
  4. Remove plastic wrap and eveny sprinkle salf over dough.
  5. Knead on low speed 5 minutes. (If dough creeps up attachment, stop mixer and scrape down using well floured hands or greased spatula.).
  6. Increase speed to medium and continue to knead until dough is smooth and slightly tacky, about 1 minute.
  7. If dough is very sticky, add 1-2 tablespoon flour and continue mixing 1 minute.
  8. Lightly spray 2 quart bowl and with nonstick cooking spray; transfer dough to bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  9. Let dough rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  10. Fold dough over itself; rotated bowl quarter turn and fold again. Rotate bowl again and fold once more.
  11. repeat the entire "fold three times and rest for 30 minutes" step a second time.
  12. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes.
  13. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  14. Transfer dough to floured work surface, sprinkle top with more flour.
  15. Using bench scraper cut dough in half and gently stretch each half into 16-inch cylinders.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Arrange 8 dough pieces in each cake pan, placing 1 piece in middle and others around it making sure cut side faces up.
  19. 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).
  20. Thirty minutes before baking, adjust rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees.
  21. Remove plastic wrap from pans, spray rolls lightly with water, place in oven.
  22. Bake 10 minutes until tops of rolls are brown; remove from oven.
  23. 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.
  24. 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).
  25. Transfer rolls to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

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