Basic French Bread Rolls

Mandira: It doesn’t get simpler than this. Very basic bread that needs limited skills. Perfect for people like me who have a hate-hate relationship with yeast!!:)

Lakshmi: This is one of my favourite recipes for bread –  the crumb is fabulously soft and tender. This bread literally melts in your mouth!!  Apart from rolls, the recipe works well for loaves and braided breads as well. The original recipe at calls for bread flour which I have so far not found in India. I use All Purpose Flour with a protein content of 12%.



  • Maida – 2 cups
  • Milk/ Water – 3/4 cup
  • Yeast – 2 tsp
  • Honey/ Sugar – 2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Olive Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Butter (optional) – to grease the top


  • Warm the Water/Milk. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Dissolve sugar. Add yeast and set aside for 10 minutes until yeast is activated.
  • Add 2 cups of flour and the salt to the yeast and incorporate. Gradually add the rest of the flour and incorporate into a dough. Add the oil.
  • Knead for 5 minutes until the dough feels smooth and elastic. Transfer to a kneading surface if needed. Cover and let the dough rise to about double its size – about 1-2 hours.
  • Deflate the dough.Divide into 6 parts. Shape each part into a ball. Place balls on a baking tray about an inch or so apart. Cover and let them rise until they look puffed for about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 200 C bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
  • Brush with butter once the rolls come out.
  • Cool on a wire rack

Source: Jo Caitlin at

Lakshmi’s notes: There is really not much that can go wrong with this recipe. Be sure not to kill your yeast with too much heat or introducing yeast to water without bringing the yeast to room temperature. Reduce the distance between the balls before baking and you will get pav buns! I generally mist my bread before baking – i.e. spray some water over the bread – this ensures an even toned crust as well as a better crumb.



Mandira’s notes: The other name for these rolls ,at least for me, is sweet success. I have had horrid luck with bread so far. Irrespective of what I did something went wrong each time.Extremely frustrating. Seems like with the rolls my bread fate has changed. I  am no longer destined  to make flat,hard, tasteless bread.  Of course I still need to learn a lot, shaping bread for instance is something I know squat about. But still, I m just very happy that for the first time very my bread worked! And we actually ate what come out of the oven for dinner. I have absolutely nothing else to say. 🙂




21 thoughts on “Basic French Bread Rolls

  1. even i have a hate-hate relationship with yeast…so this recipe serves my purpose too.
    The bread looks fresh and perfect…VERY PROFESSIONAL .The snaps too good !!!

  2. @ rashmi, divya – thanks.
    @ sharada – i shall pray to the yeast goddess to humour you, as she most kindly humours us 😀 – do give this a try. use yeast that is new and be very kind while introducing her to the just warm water/milk.
    @ arundhati – the buns got over before i could blink – 😀 – two teeny weeny slices of the braided bread are still there i think – let me check and upload a photo.

  3. recipes that give directions to make the bread / pizza base, etc, make me nervous as hell!
    okay ppl, takin ur word for it! will attempt…if i manage a braided bread, i don’t think i’ll eat it…i’ll preserve it in a glass case n show off….

  4. @srivalli- im sure u mean that for lax’s bread.. lol

    @HC-oh yeah, it looks too good.. too good to eat in fact!

    @ishani- yes it took a number of tries.

    @crafty-lol.. i totally understand the need to keep the bread in a show case!

  5. I just completed baking your french bread rolls – and it looks wonderful! Even though I tried to make a braided roll 🙂 Can’t wait to taste it – but just had to thank you for this recipe 🙂

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  7. Deflate the dough.Divide into 6 parts. Shape each part into a ball. Place balls on a baking tray about an inch or so apart. Cover and let them rise until they look puffed for about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 200 C bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

    I am confused here. We need to bake the balls for one hour in preheated 200 C oven ? or we need to just place the balls on the baking tray and let them rise for one hour !! ?? am i missing something ? 😐

  8. 2smitha- oh WOW!! so glad it turned out well… u are lucky!! i have wasted a LOT of maida before i cud manage to get a decent bread!! good going!!:D

    @bluemist-just place the balls the tray for an hour or so.. they will rise again and kinda join up on the sides( to get the laadi pav effect, if u know wat i mean).. once its all risen sufficiently, you bake make the dough rise twice in this bread to get a better texture(that snippet of info was courtsey Lakshmi!! i used to think ppl who spent time on letting the dough rise a second time we mad or smthing!!)

  9. Gotcha…I was wondering if we need to get the dough rise twice. and yes i want to try that ladi – pav effect bcoz we dont get ladi-pav here for pav-bhaji..somehow can not digest to have pav-bhaji with burger buns or halved hot dogs 😀

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  12. Bonjour
    I found your post unexpectedly when i was searching for techniques to open student exercise area for
    my students who learn french…thanks for that post, i saved your site address and will definetly check it out later

  13. Pingback: Caterpillar Bread with fresh yeast for a fresh start! | Bakingbuddies

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