Delicious Homemade Bread & Rolls Recipe

Are you ready to embark on a journey of baking the perfect French bread and rolls? Look no further than this recipe from Frances Cook, a renowned baker known for her crispy and delicious crusty bread.

With just a few simple ingredients, including flour, water, yeast, sugar, and salt, you can make your own homemade French bread and rolls. This recipe is perfect for those who are new to bread making or are looking for an easy and foolproof way to create the perfect loaf.

Not only is this recipe easy to follow, but it’s also versatile, allowing you to make substitutions or variations depending on your personal preferences. Whether you want a plain loaf of bread or stuffed French rolls, this recipe has got you covered.

So put on your apron and preheat your oven – it’s time to get baking with Frances Cook’s French bread and rolls recipe. Get ready to impress your friends and family with the aroma of freshly baked bread filling your home.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Frances Cook's Bread & Rolls
Frances Cook’s Bread & Rolls

Looking for a bread and rolls recipe that will impress your friends and family? Look no further than Frances Cook’s Bread & Rolls Recipe. This recipe is perfect for those who are short on time but still want to serve homemade bread that’s crusty on the outside and tender on the inside.

What makes this recipe so great? For starters, it uses just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. All you need is flour, water, yeast, salt, sugar, egg, shortening, and milk. And unlike some other bread recipes that require hours of rising and kneading, this recipe can be made from start to finish in about an hour.

But don’t let the quick preparation fool you – this bread is packed with flavor. It has an irresistible crispy crust that comes from baking at a high temperature, and its soft, tender interior has just the right amount of chewiness. This recipe is also easy to customize based on your preferences – you can make crusty French bread or soft and fluffy rolls.

Not only is this recipe delicious, but it’s also a great way to impress your guests without breaking the bank. Homemade bread has a timeless appeal that’s unmatched by store-bought loaves, making it the perfect addition to any meal or occasion.

So what are you waiting for? Give Frances Cook’s Bread & Rolls Recipe a try today and taste for yourself why it’s so beloved by home bakers everywhere.

Ingredient List

 As I knead the bread dough, I'm reminded of the therapeutic benefits of baking.
As I knead the bread dough, I’m reminded of the therapeutic benefits of baking.

Let’s talk about the ingredient list to make France Cook’s Bread and Rolls recipe. This recipe is made with simple ingredients that you may already have at home or can easily find at your grocery store. You will need:

For the Dough:

  • 4 cups of bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of shortening
  • 2 tablespoons of cake yeast or 2 packets of active dry yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of milk

For French Bread Rolls:

  • You will need an additional cup of flour
  • Water

For Cinnamon Rolls:

  • White sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon powder
  • Raisins

The combination of ingredients results in a perfect texture and flavor for both French bread and rolls. Let me explain each component.

The bread flour makes the dough elastic and supple, which allows it to rise and form a light crumb. We add sugar to activate the yeast, helping it rise and bloom. And a significant amount of salt balances the flavors.

We use warm water to dissolve the yeast better; if the water is too hot or cold, it won’t activate correctly. Using milk adds a moisture aspect, giving more flavor to our dough. The right balance of fat from shortening along with protein from egg makes the softer and pliant texture that we aim for in this recipe.

Let’s dive further into some variations you can try with this recipe!

The Recipe How-To

 The dough has risen, and it looks like a fluffy cloud ready to be transformed into bread or rolls.
The dough has risen, and it looks like a fluffy cloud ready to be transformed into bread or rolls.

Preparing the Dough

  • Making the Yeast Mixture

Prepare 4 cups of warm water and add 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast. Stir well and let sit for 5 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy.

  • Preparing the Dough

In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1/2 cup of shortening. Mix in the yeast mixture until it becomes smooth.

Gradually add more flour (up to 8 cups) until you have a dough that is soft but slightly firm to touch. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10-12 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.

  • Letting the Dough Rise

Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover it with a damp cloth or plastic wrap, and let it sit in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

Making French Bread

  • Preparing Bread Dough

After the dough has risen in size, divide it into two portions. On a floured surface, roll each portion out into a rectangular shape roughly the size of a baking sheet.

Place each rolled-out dough on a baking sheet or stone and let them rise again for another 20 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C).

  • Baking French Bread

Using a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts on each risen dough. Brush them lightly with water before placing them in the oven.

Bake for around 30-35 minutes. Once done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool before serving.

Making Bread Rolls

Divide the bread dough into small pieces (around chicken egg-sized) on a floured surface. Roll them into balls and place them on a greased baking tray.

Cover them with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and set aside for another 20 minutes to rise.

Preheat your oven at 375°F (190°C).

Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes depending on how large you made your rolls. Remove from the oven when lightly browned and serve while hot!

Enjoy freshly baked bread or rolls straight from your own kitchen!

Substitutions and Variations

 These rolls have been glazed with an egg wash, giving them a beautiful golden color and a shiny finish.
These rolls have been glazed with an egg wash, giving them a beautiful golden color and a shiny finish.

While this French Bread and Rolls Recipe is delicious as is, there are some substitutions and variations that you can try to switch things up.

If you’re looking for a healthier option, you can replace the shortening with olive oil or butter. This will still give it a rich flavor, but with a healthier source of fat. If you’re vegan, you can swap the egg out with a quarter cup of unsweetened apple sauce.

For a sweeter option, you can add a few tablespoons of honey instead of sugar. Additionally, if you’re looking for a cinnamon roll French bread or rolls recipe, simply add cinnamon to the dough during the mixing process and top with icing once it’s baked.

Another fun variation is to make stuffed French rolls. Simply roll out the dough into small rectangles and fill them up with your choice of filling – cheese, ham, vegetables, or even Nutella! Roll them up and bake as directed to enjoy savory or sweet stuffed rolls.

Lastly, if you don’t have cake yeast on hand, you can use active dry yeast or instant yeast instead. Just follow the package instructions accordingly.

With these substitutions and variations in mind, your homemade French bread and rolls will be even more versatile and customizable to your individual tastes!

Serving and Pairing

 The aroma of freshly baked bread fills my kitchen, making it feel warm and inviting.
The aroma of freshly baked bread fills my kitchen, making it feel warm and inviting.

Once you have crafted your homemade French bread or bread rolls, the next important step is to choose what to serve them with. The crusty rolls are perfect for making sandwiches, while the bread can be sliced and toasted with butter or olive oil for breakfast, snacks, or as a side dish at dinner.

For a classic French pairing, serve your bread with cheese such as Brie, Camembert, or any other soft cheese. The combination of creamy and savory flavors will take your taste buds on a trip to France. Another popular pairing is bread and wine. Reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot pair well with bread while whites like Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio pair well with cheese.

If you want to add some sweetness to your meal, try serving with honey or fruit preserves. Cinnamon sugar is also a great option when making cinnamon roll French bread.

In addition, stuffed French rolls are great for appetizers or snacks. Fill them with your favorite deli meat and cheese for a lovely afternoon tea sandwich or opt for veggies such as avocado, roasted bell pepper and grilled eggplant for vegetarian option.

In conclusion, serving options are endless when it comes to Frances Cook’s Bread & Rolls Recipe. So, whether you’re having lunch with friend that requires a simple toasted slice of French bread or having fancy dinner party that calls for stuffed French rolls dipped in hummus , this recipe fits’s perfectly.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Do you see those air pockets that have formed in the bread? That's the sign of a well-made dough.
Do you see those air pockets that have formed in the bread? That’s the sign of a well-made dough.

Frances Cook’s Bread & Rolls Recipe is perfect for those who want to plan ahead or simply love to have a delicious and fresh loaf of bread or rolls on hand. Fortunately, there are several ways to make ahead, store, and reheat these crusty French bread loaves or rolls to keep them tasting as fresh as the day they were baked.

If you plan on making this recipe ahead of time, the best approach is to bake your bread or rolls as soon as possible and then store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Storing them in the refrigerator can cause them to dry out quickly and become stale.

To preserve their crunchy texture, it’s recommended that you reheat your bread or rolls in the oven rather than the microwave. Simply preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the bread or rolls on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes. The heat will re-crisp the crust and warm up the interior without over-drying them.

Once reheated, these loaves make perfect sandwich bread or can be enjoyed with a delicious spread such as butter or jam. If you’re looking for a more decadent treat, warm cinnamon roll French bread makes a perfect breakfast or brunch dish when paired with your favorite coffee or tea.

Overall, by following these tips for make-ahead preparation, storing, and reheating your homemade Frances Cook Bread & Rolls recipe, you’ll always have fresh, crusty French bread loaves or rolls ready at hand whenever hunger strikes.

Tips for Perfect Results

 I love adding herbs and spices to my bread dough to give it that extra boost of flavor.
I love adding herbs and spices to my bread dough to give it that extra boost of flavor.

Baking bread can be a little tricky, but with some tips and tricks, you can make your homemade French bread or rolls as delicious as the ones from a bakery. Here are some tips to ensure you get perfect results every time with Frances Cook’s bread and rolls recipe:

Firstly, measure your ingredients correctly. Baking is all about precision and accuracy, so it’s important to use a digital scale for measuring the flour instead of cups. This will give you consistent results every single time. Moreover, make sure the water, milk and egg are at room temperature before mixing.

Secondly, knead your dough for sufficient amount of time. Kneading dough can seem like a chore, but it’s crucial for developing the gluten that gives bread its structure and chewy texture. So, don’t cut corners when it comes to kneading! Make sure to knead for at least 10-15 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

Moreover, let the yeast do its job properly by activating it first in warm water or warm milk mixed with sugar. It’s important to check that active dry yeast has started by letting it sit for 5 minutes until it becomes frothy. If not frothy, then start over with new yeast as it may not work otherwise.

Another tip is to always allow proper rise time when making bread or rolls. For the best flavor and texture, let the dough rise twice – first in a warm place until it doubles in size and then after shaping until they rise again. This helps achieve airy crumb with crispy crust.

Additionally, invest in a high-quality baking stone or cast iron skillet for baking bread or rolls to crisp up that crust evenly because French bread is known for its thin cripsy crust.

Finally, don’t over-bake your bread or rolls as this will lead to a tough crust as also dryness inside. Bake at 400°F (200°C) for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

By following these tips – measuring ingredients accurately, kneading thoroughly and giving enough rise time before baking – you will be able to achieve an impressive baguette, French rolls or any variation of Frances Cook’s Bread & Rolls Recipe every single time.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Frances Cook’s Bread & Rolls Recipe is a must-try recipe for every bread lover out there. With simple ingredients such as flour, water, yeast, and salt, you can easily make crusty French bread rolls from the comfort of your home.

Not only is this recipe perfect for a lazy weekend baking session, but it also makes an excellent addition to any meal. Whether you’re pairing it with soup or creating a sandwich, these rolls will add an extra layer of flavor to your dish.

Don’t let the idea of homemade bread intimidate you! With these easy-to-follow instructions and tips for perfect results, baking homemade bread has never been so easy.

So why not try making your own homemade French bread rolls? The process is simple and fun, and the outcome is delicious! Trust me; your friends and family will be impressed by your newfound skill in the kitchen. Happy baking!

Frances Cook's Bread & Rolls

Frances Cook's Bread & Rolls Recipe

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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: French
Keyword: < 4 Hours, Breads, For Large Groups, Oven, Weeknight
Cook Time: 2 hours
Calories: 96.4kcal


  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 package cake yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup water, lukewarm


  • Scald milk and pour over sugar, shortening, & salt.
  • Let it cool to lukewarm while softening yeast in a small bowl with the warm water.
  • When soft, add the egg and beat together slightly.
  • Pour the yeast/egg mixture into the milk mixture and stir them together.
  • The flour may be sifted or poured into the liquid.
  • With a large spoon, stir until flour/milk is well mixed.
  • You should have a firm, but not stiff dough.
  • Without removing it from the bowl, cover the dough with a plate or towel and set aside to rise until double in bulk (about 2 hrs depending on the temperature in the kitchen).
  • Instead of letting the dough rise at this point you may put it in the refrigerator and use it later, or the next day.
  • Watch to make sure it doesn't spill out of the bowl.
  • If it starts to spill before you're ready to use it, punch it back down.
  • Refrigerated dough is easier to handle but takes longer to rise.
  • BREAD:
  • If you want to make bread, dump the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface and with more flour as needed to keep it from sticking, knead it until springy and easy to handle.
  • This dough does not require a lot of kneading; only enough to make it easy to handle.
  • For 2 medium size loaves cut the dough in half and knead/shape each into loaves and put into greased baking pans.
  • Allow about 2 hours for the dough to double again.
  • Bake in a 375 degree oven until lightly browned on top (if uncertain whether or not bread is done, tip out of pan and see if bottom is browned too).
  • ROLLS:
  • To make rolls, work and knead dough until springy and easily handled.
  • Roll out with a rolling pin and cut with a biscuit cutter and fold over and place on a greased cookie sheet (Parkerhouse rolls), or break dough into small pieces, make into little balls and place 3 in each section of a greased muffin pan (Cloverleaf rolls).
  • For Christmas bread or sweet rolls, roll out dough as for Parkerhouse rolls, except trying to make an oblong instead of a round.
  • Spread it with raisins and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  • Dot with butter and roll as for a jelly roll.
  • Slice and place on a greased pan or make into a circle and make slashes through the dough at intervals.
  • Let rise and bake as for loaves.
  • Top with an icing made of confectioners' sugar, melted butter, milk, and vanilla or rum flavoring and drizzle over the bread or rolls while hot.
  • Decorate with nuts or fruits.
  • If you want to make a whole wheat bread, use half white and half whole wheat flour, and use brown sugar instead of white.
  • The amounts above will yield 1 large or 2 medium loaves of bread, or 2 dozen large rolls.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 34g | Calories: 96.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.4g | Protein: 2.4g | Fat: 2.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.7g | Cholesterol: 8.8mg | Sodium: 104mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 2.1g

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