Crusty European-Style Hard Rolls #TwelveLoaves

Arguably (and I say arguably because, bad blogger than I am, I still haven't totally figured out how to track this stuff), the most popular post on A Shaggy Dough Story is last year's Crusty French Bread Rolls. And with good reason. There's nothing quite like a good dinner roll, the kind you fight over at a restaurant because they never put enough of them in the bread basket. (Do we REALLY need those dry, gaggy breadsticks or seedy hockey puck rolls? No. We do not. Take note, restaurant people!) As I wrote back then, a classic dinner roll is like the Little Black Dress. Food trends, like fashion trends, come and go but they're never out of style.

These crusty European-style rolls continue the classic roll tradition. (Now I'm not sure what makes them European, but with a roll this good, let's, um…roll with it. European it is.) They're easy to make but a little time-consuming—mainly hands-off time—so they take a bit of advance planning if you want to regale your Thanksgiving guests with warm rolls right out of the oven (although they do reheat and crisp up again nicely.) Soft inside, crackly outside—it doesn't get much better than this, unless you want to throw on a nice schmear of creamy butter. Then…pure heaven.

Thanksgiving Rolls and Biscuits is the #TwelveLoaves theme for November so be sure to check out the links below to see what the other TwelveLoafers came up with. And may your Thanksgiving be warm and bountiful.

Crusty European-Style Hard Rolls

Makes 12 rolls



  • 113g / 1/2 cup cool water
  • 120g / 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp instant yeast


  • All of the starter
  • 418g / 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flouer
  • 227g / 1 cup  lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg white mixed with 1-2 tbsp cool water


  1. The day before you plan to bake, stir the started ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Cover and set aside to rest overnight at room temperature.
  2. The next day, place the dough ingredients, including all of the starter, in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix together until the dough is smooth and elastic. (It's okay if the surface looks a bit rough and is slightly sticky.)
  3. Cover the dough and let rise for a total of 3 hours, gently deflating and turn the dough after the first and second hours.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface (oil spray works great here) and divide into 12 pieces. Cover and let rest for about 15 minutes, then shape each piece into a firm ball and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.
  5. Cover the rolls and let rise for 1-2 hours. They should be puffy but not necessarily doubled in size. (It's also okay if they look somewhat flat.)
  6. Once the rolls have risen, place them in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Preheat your oven to 425°F near the end of the rise time.
  7. Whisk the egg and water together until foamy, then brush the refrigerated rolls with the mixture and cut a 1/4" slash across the top of each roll.
  8. Bake the rolls for 20–25 minutes. They should be deep golden in color. Once baked, turn off the heat, open the oven door and let the rolls cool on the oven rack.

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

About #TwelveLoaves

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and runs smoothly with the help of Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, and the rest of our fabulous bakers.

This month we are baking Biscuits and Rolls that would fit in nicely at any Thanksgiving table. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month's inspiring selection of #TwelveLoaves Crackers, Crisps, and Flatbreads!

If you'd like to bake along with us this month, share your Thanksgiving Biscuits and Rolls using hashtag #TwelveLoavesB>