Hard Rolls

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: These Hard Rolls are not your average dinner roll. Crunchy on the outside and yet chewy and delicious on the inside, these homemade rolls are perfect for dinner or for sandwiches at lunchtime. It does take some time to whip up this homemade bread recipe, but nothing tastes quite as delicious as dinner rolls you made yourself! With just six ingredients and a little patience, you can make a versatile roll that's great for any number of occasions.

Serves8 rolls

Cooking MethodBaking



Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Halal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

MealBreakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch

Type of DishBread, Rolls


  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • 1½ cups warm water (100-110 degrees)
  • ½ tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 4 cups bread flour, plus more as needed—I use King Arthur
  • 1½ tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1½ tablespoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt


  1. Combine the sugar and warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment. Sprinkle the yeast on the surface and allow it to begin foaming, about five minutes.

  2. Sift together the bread flour and whole wheat flour. Add half the flour mixture to the yeast mixture while the mixer is running on low speed. Once incorporated, slowly add the remaining flour and the salt. Continue mixing until the dough is smooth and has completely pulled away from the sides, adding more bread flour as necessary. Take the dough out of the mixer and finish kneading briefly by hand on a floured board.

  3. Place the ball of dough in a clean large bowl and cover. Let proof at room temperature until it begins to rise, two to three hours, then refrigerate overnight.

  4. The following day, take the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into eight equal pieces. On a lightly floured board, form each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Place the rolls on a baking sheet at least four inches apart and cover loosely with a towel. Let the rolls rise at room temperature for five hours, until fully proofed.

  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  6. Dust the tops of the rolls with a bit of the bread flour, then bake them on the top rack until golden brown. Let cool completely on the baking sheet.

  7. Just before serving, reheat the rolls again in a 400-degree oven to fully crisp them and to warm them through. This cooling and reheating step is crucial for proper texture and flavor development.


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