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Bolillos (Crusty Mexican Bread Rolls)

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After making a massive-sized pot of Chicken & Sausage Fajita Soup, I thought it would be really fun to have some homemade bread or crusty rolls to use for sopping up that incredibly creamy, rich and decadent broth! So after searching “Mexican breads”, I kept seeing “bolillos” coming up. They sounded exactly like what I was looking for.

An authentic Mexican roll that’s crusty on the outside, tender on the inside, and kind of reminiscent of a french bread. Perfect for sandwiches … or dunking into a piping hot bowl of soup! 😉 

The basic recipe was on Fleishman’s Yeast page, but the directions sounded a little funky to me. I’m a true-blue double-riser and like the yeast to get started the traditional way. So I did mine differently with great results, even though my yeast has lost some of it’s oomph. But overall, they turned out fantastic!! Just as I hoped, and absolutely gorgeous!

*I laso cheated and used my dough hook to knead the dough, as I really didn’t want to be kneading dough for 10 minutes. I was really tired, and 10 minutes seemed like a long time to knead! My dough hook worked beautifully, so if you have one for your mixer, I highly recommend just using that. 😉 


The dough after mixing and rising! 😀


bolillo dough


I also made mine smaller than called for, yet got 9 rolls out of the dough instead of 10. This also worked out nicely for us, though, as I didn’t want a humungo hunk of bread with my soup. Just enough to enjoy some with and use for the creamy, cheesy broth. (Not  a drop of that liquid gold was going to go to waste!) 😉  


bolillos shaped


Do. Not. Say. A. Word. I realize what they look like. (hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!) Omg…..remember that episode from “Everybody Loves Raymond”? And Marie took that sculpturing class?

My hubby said, “DO NOT post this pic!!!”

I thought it was hilarious and was literally laughing until my sides hurt and tears were streaming down my face and shooting from my eyes!!

But anyways……. (still laughing!!!!!!!) ……risen, slashed and ready to bake! (…thank gawd.) 


bolillos ready to bake


The first tray all done and looking gorgeous if I do say so myself!! 😀 


bolillos baked


The original recipe called for a thickened cornstarch wash, but I think I will try experimenting with that at another time. I went with my gut (and confirmed by my friend Jenni’s advice!) and did an egg white wash with just a tad of water for a nice, shiny look. And I’m very glad that I did! (*Be sure to check out Jenni’s blog “Pastry Chef Online” as well! She’s an extremely knowledgable and talented pastry chef and is always there to help!) 😀  


bolillo done


Other than my sleepy yeast, I had no trouble making these. They are very easy to make, and require just simple, basic, pantry items that you already have.  One batch came out much darker than the other due to using two different ovens. My upper larger oven produced a lighter colored roll, while my bottom oven that’s smaller, and obviously gets hotter (making note to self on this!), turned out a much deeper, richer color. Both tasted the same and had the same doneness, though. I took out the rolls from the bottom oven just a bit earlier than the upper oven, too. So you’ll have to watch them at the end and remove them when they sound hollow when tapped and are the color you prefer. *Also be sure to check the bottoms to make sure that they aren’t getting too dark. Mine were perfect, but any longer, and they could’ve burned a little on the bottom.  

These rolls are not only good for accompanying soup, but would make a really nice bread for sandwiches, too! VERY much like a french bread, but a lot easier to make! If not over-baked and too browned, they would make for pretty paninis, too! 😉


Both were equally wonderful, but what a difference in color!  (The three darker ones were from the second baking sheet as seen above.) 


bolillos done


I really did get nine rolls……but….3 of them magically “disappeared”….. And my hubby and I enjoyed them IMMENSELY with butter and strawberry jam…..yes indeedy. 😉 


So the next time you make a Mexican, South-of-the-Border, or Texas-Style soup, stew or chili, keep these rolls in mind! They’re a lot of fun, and are so very good!!!!! I can’t wait to make them again for little sandwiches! They’re just a blast to make and turn out so very pretty! 😀

So be sure to add these to your list of must-tries! They’re ridiculously easy, and BOY are they ever good. There’s just something about homemade bread baking in the oven that warms the soul like nothing else. Especially fresh out of the oven, still warm, broken open and slathered with butter and jammmmmm…..!!! Right?!!! 😀  

No matter what, keep on rockin’!  And make sure you take time to enjoy the little things, as they are the ones you’ll remember the most. 😉 ~Kelly





Recipe adapted from Fleischmann’s


Yield: 9-10 rolls

Bolillos (Crusty Mexican Bread Rolls)

Bolillos (Crusty Mexican Bread Rolls)


  • 1 packet fast rising active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbl. honey, I prefer Sue Bee's honey
  • 1 Tbl. butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 1/4 - 4 cups flour
  • 1 extra large egg white beaten with 1 tsp. water


  • Sprinkle yeast over the warm water in a large mixing bowl, stir, and let stand 5 minutes.
  • When yeast is starting to foam a bit, stir in the honey, melted butter and salt. Let it do it's thing for another 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Mix in 2 1/2 cups flour. Mix at low speed to incorporate, then beat at medium speed until dough is very elastic, about 5 minutes.
  • Gradually stir in as much of the remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. (I only added an 1/8 cup more after the 3 1/4 cups due to it being very cold and dry here right now.)
  • Knead on lightly floured surface until dough is smooth in texture and very elastic, 15-20 minutes, *or switch to your dough hook on your mixer, and "knead" for about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add about 1 tsp. oil into a large bowl and coat entire inside with hands. Add ball of dough to bowl, and turn the dough so that all surfaces have a sheen of oil. (Use a little more oil only if needed.)
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 2 - 3 hours. (I turn on the light in the oven and place the dough in there to rise). Mine takes a full 3 hours to double.
  • Punch the dough down and knead briefly on a lightly floured surface. Dough should be slightly sticky.
  • Divide dough into 8-10 pieces and roll into balls. Work with the palms of your hands and roll out into ovals. (Leaving ends pointed is up to you.) Each piece should be about 4 - 5" long and 1 1/2 - 2" in the middle (or as preferred), tapering to each end.
  • Place rolls on a parchment paper-lined and sprayed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap that's been lightly sprayed, and let rise until almost doubled, about 1 hour. (Less in ideal conditions.)
  • Meanwhile, heat oven to 375º degrees. (*Let rolls rise in another warm place or in a secondary oven turned off with the light on.)
  • Beat egg white with water until frothy, baste rolls well.
  • Slash each roll down the middle stopping about 1/2" from each end and cutting about 1/2" deep.
  • Bake until rolls are brown and sound hollow when tapped, about 25 -30 minutes. Remove from baking sheets and cool on racks.
  • Serve warm and fresh from the oven.



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    Wednesday 21st of January 2015

    They really did turn out beautifully, Kelly! I'm not sure of your preference, but I'm digging the slightly darker ones--so pretty and shiny! Glad I could help, but you already knew what you Kneaded to do (bread humor)! =)


    Thursday 22nd of January 2015

    Thanks, Jenni! :D Odd, the only difference was my bottom oven vs. my top one. My bottom oven produced the darker ones (I like the color of them better, too!), and I took them out a minute or two sooner, too. So it must get a lot hotter than my top oven. But I'll be making these babies a lot! They really were good! (Thanks for the laugh! Everyone "kneads" a little bread humor to start the day! ;) :D )

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