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Crusty Rolls

Everybody has their ideal bacon sandwich – some people love it between a couple of slices of white or wholemeal bread, some would prefer a soft, white bap… me? My ideal bacon sarnie is bacon with brown sauce in a lovely, crusty roll. However, my local shop is very small and when they had sold out of crusty rolls this morning and I was desperately hankering for a crusty, bacon roll I was not to be denied, so I decided to make them myself. They turned out so well, I had to put up the recipe here! This is a standard bread recipe, but the trick is how you shape the dough and how you bake it to get to that wonderful, classic crust on the roll. Sure, this is more work than just popping into the shop and buying your rolls, but the extra effort makes the bacon roll taste that much better!

Crusty Rolls

Print Recipe
Serves: 8 Cooking Time: 15 - 18 mins


  • 500g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 10g Fast Acting Yeast
  • 10g Salt
  • 25g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 320ml Water (plus an extra 250ml to create steam)



In a large bowl, weight out the flour, salt and yeast. Make sure to keep the salt and yeast on separate sides of the bowl otherwise the salt will impede the yeast.


Add in the softened butter and three-quarters of the water and bring together into a rough dough, making sure the butter is all combined, then gradually add in the rest of the water and combine everything until all the flour has been picked up from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft, but not wet.


Dust a work surface very lightly with some flour and tip the dough out. Knead the dough for 8 - 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.


Place the dough back into a lightly oil bowl, over and leave to prove for 1 - 2 hours or until doubled in size.


Remove the dough from the bowl and knock out all the air, then divide the dough into 8 equal pieces (they will likely be roughly 104g each).


Very lightly dust the work surface with flour and then flatten each piece out a little and tuck in the underside of dough six to eight times, then turn over and shape into a ball. The easiest way to do this is to cup your hand over the dough and roll it around in a small circle on the work surface until it forms a nice ball.


Place onto a large baking sheet in a 2-1-2-1-2 layout making sure that they're spaced out enough so that they'll just touch once they've proved. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for one more hour or until the rolls have double in size.


Preheat an oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7 and add a roasting dish into the bottom of the oven.


Place the rolls into the oven and pour 250ml of water into the roasting tray to create steam and quickly shut the oven door to stop it escaping.


Bake for 15 - 18 minutes or until the rolls are a lovely golden brown, hollow sounding with a crusty top.


Leave to cool on a wire rack and serve with your favourite filling.

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