French Bread Rolls


We LOVE a good homemade roll! I prefer to cook rolls in the morning because the smell that comes from the oven when bread cooks lingers all day. The Little Chefs come home from school excited for dinner because of the smell that hits them as they walk through the door. We thought it was time the Little Chefs tried their hand in bread/rolls. We found a French Bread Roll recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe which she describes as her no fail recipe. That is the perfect type of recipe we need when the kids are cooking.
The first thing we talked about is proofing the yeast. I showed Little Chef D how after 10 minutes the yeast mixture has an inch of foam on the top.  She then poured it into our mixing bowl and added salt very carefully. You can tell she is concentrating hard!

We do not like getting a lot of bowls messy so we let the dough rise the first time in the mixing bowl.


Little Chef C was very excited about forming the balls. She wanted to help and Little Chef D graciously let her assist. They made this short cute video about how they form the balls.


These rolls took longer to bake then the recipe advised. They did not brown as much as I would have liked. They did smell wonderful! Everyone gave these a thumbs up. Rolls do not need to be shaped perfectly in order to taste delicious. These will be made again in our home.

French Bread Rolls

Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

1 1/2 cups warm water
3/4 tablespoon instant yeast (or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour, give or take a few tablespoons

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl by hand, combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups of the flour (if you are using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, let the yeast proof in the warm water and sugar for about 3-5 minutes until it is foamy and bubbly before adding the oil, salt and flour). Begin mixing and continue to add the rest of the flour gradually until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Judge the dough not by the amount of flour called for in the recipe but in how the dough feels. The dough should be soft and smooth but still slightly tacky to the touch.
Knead the dough in the stand mixer or by hand until it is very smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer or 8-10 minutes by hand. Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has doubled (this usually takes about an hour).
Lightly punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly greased countertop. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form the dough into round balls. Place the rolls on a lightly greased or silpat-lined baking sheet about an inch or two apart. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap taking care not to pin the plastic wrap under the baking sheet or else the rolls will flatten while rising. Let the plastic wrap gently hang over the sides of the pan to fully cover the rolls but not press them down. Let the rolls rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.

*Freezable Option: I almost always make a double or triple batch of these rolls. Once they are baked and cooled, I place them in a zipper-lock freezer bag and put them in the freezer. I either take them out a few hours before I need them or I take them out frozen and microwave them for about 2-3 minutes on 70% power.


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23 Replies to "French Bread Rolls"

  • comment-avatar
    Pamela May 23, 2012 (6:28 am)

    Love all the pictures 🙂 looks like my house when I make my healthy treats.. I am bookmarking this recipe I will be making this, just going to tweak with whole wheat flour. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • comment-avatar
    Tiffany May 23, 2012 (3:26 pm)

    Those girls are so cute! How nice they are to help eachother! Can't wait to see more!

  • comment-avatar
    Jenny May 23, 2012 (3:32 pm)

    Great job teaching your kids! Mine love to help cook, too! What kind of mixer is that? I had one that looked exactly like that called The Champ from K-Tec.

  • comment-avatar
    Heather Lynne May 23, 2012 (5:02 pm)

    These look really good! I love that your kids get to help you in the kitchen-that's such a great way to learn early on.

  • comment-avatar
    Laura Day May 23, 2012 (5:34 pm)

    I love the smell of fresh bread baking, but I'm on the lazy side & buy frozen bread to bake. It gives off the same smell, but easier to cook. Of course, your bread is probably much better.

    Stopping by from VoiceBok!

  • comment-avatar
    Five Little Chefs May 23, 2012 (7:06 pm)

    I thought about using whole whea flour but I was out! Maybe next time.

  • comment-avatar
    Savy Green Saver May 23, 2012 (7:24 pm)

    Looks great! My kids love to help me cook too! I have been craving a good bread recipe to try!! I don't have a bread maker so it's been a challenge but these look good!

  • comment-avatar
    Michelle G May 23, 2012 (8:18 pm)

    I have to ask. .. b/c I can't tell. . . is little chef D younger than little chef C? LOL B/C my youngest is the complete ham that is not camera shy at all! My youngest absolutely loves cooking with me. Your little chefs are very cute and the recipe looks yummy! I've done French bread before, but never french rolls.

  • comment-avatar May 23, 2012 (11:08 pm)

    What a great recipe to make with kids! My four-year-old would love forming the rolls and kneading the dough. I'm going to try this next week. Thanks for the idea!

  • comment-avatar
    Dominique Goh May 24, 2012 (3:47 am)

    They look very yummy and easy to make. May try it out with my kids next week.

  • comment-avatar
    Five Little Chefs May 24, 2012 (10:20 am)

    I crack up at the funny mistakes they make in the video and how they correct each other!

  • comment-avatar
    Five Little Chefs May 24, 2012 (10:23 am)

    It is a BlendTec. My Kitchen Aid died about a year ago and I made the switch. This has a blender and a mixing bowl. We are LOVING it! I can make large batches!

  • comment-avatar
    Five Little Chefs May 24, 2012 (10:23 am)

    They are learning so much and becoming a lot more independent then just 5 months ago! It is fun to watch their progression.

  • comment-avatar
    Five Little Chefs May 24, 2012 (10:24 am)

    Go for whatever works for you!

  • comment-avatar
    Five Little Chefs May 24, 2012 (10:26 am)

    I have used a bread maker for a while and I prefer to make bread this way. I couldn't get over the huge hole in the middle!

  • comment-avatar
    Five Little Chefs May 24, 2012 (10:29 am)

    Yes! Little Chef C was helping her little sister. But Little Chef D made sure we knew this was still HER recipe and she was the one in charge.

  • comment-avatar
    Five Little Chefs May 24, 2012 (10:31 am)

    Forming the rolls for just us is great practice because they do not need to be perfect to raise and no one cares if it is a perfect shape. That is why the video is funny to me. She really isn't teaching a proper way, just what works for her! They still taste yummy!

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    Five Little Chefs May 24, 2012 (10:31 am)

    Give it a try! You will love it.

  • comment-avatar
    Lissa @ The Looking Glass May 24, 2012 (12:26 pm)

    YUMMY! found you via the blog hop xo

  • comment-avatar
    Miz Helen May 25, 2012 (2:16 pm)

    Just precious little helpers, brings back wonderful memories of my girls in the kitchen. The French Bread Rolls look delicious! Hope you have a special week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  • comment-avatar
    Alyssa May 30, 2012 (2:27 pm)

    These rolls look really good. Your helpers are so cute! Thanks for sharing at Showcase Your Talent Thursday. I hope to see you at the next party!

  • comment-avatar
    Michelles Tasty Creations May 30, 2012 (6:53 pm)

    These rolls look super yummy. I love that the kids get to help out in the kitchen. I used to have little helpers in the kitchen. Now all they do is say bye Mom, going out with friends.

    Thanks for sharing at Creative Thursday last week. I can't wait to see what you link up this week. Have a great day 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Five Little Chefs June 2, 2012 (3:19 pm)

    I'm hoping by the time my kids come and go like that they will have more skills then I did. 🙂

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