Today’s recipe for Easy No-Knead Rolls is the ultimate fix if you want artisan quality sandwich bread with minimal effort. It almost seems like cheating. Have you eaten ciabatta bread before? That’s what these flour-dusted rolls remind me of. They come out of the oven crusty, golden, chewy, and full of air pockets.
When they cool, they soften, slice easily and stay moist inside. I love a sandwich roll that soaks up juicy fillings without getting soggy and is springy enough to squish when you grasp it with both hands. I mean, how else are you going load up your mega sandwich on a roll and still get your mouth around it?
It’s funny that I have two boules of sourdough bread rising right now on my counter. But, it helps illustrate how simple this recipe is by comparison. Let me draw you a picture. To make our sourdough requires 2-3 days of active participation. First, there is refreshing the starter. Then there is mixing and rising the biga or sponge. After that, the bread dough is mixed and put through 2 hours of resting between stretching and folding to develop the dough. Into the refrigerator it goes overnight. Finally, on baking day, the bread rises for 4-7 hours before being spritzed with water and baked in a covered, cast-iron pot, to make a crackly crust.
So why do I mention all of this? Because these beautiful No-Knead Rolls taste just as good as our sourdough. Trust me, our sourdough is some seriously delicious bread, and I would never give it up. However, I am ecstatic these rolls are effortless to toss together whenever we want artisan bread without special equipment or lots of work.
It’s worth mentioning this recipe is a true no-knead recipe from start to finish. You simply mix the dough with a spoon, plop it in a container and let it rest in the refrigerator for twelve hours. Thus, you can play all day or sleep all night while this friendly dough does the work to develop its complex flavor and stretchy crumb. Once you pull it out of the refrigerator, it’s ready to divide and bake.
You don’t have to do any special folding, tucking, or shaping to end up with ideal square-shaped rolls. It’s handy if you have an old-school ruler when it comes time to divide the dough into individual buns. But, even that isn’t necessary. You can make the sandwich rolls any size or shape you want. I personally fancy that classic ciabatta roll shape and have done the math in case you want eight perfectly sized rolls at the end.
So, whether you are an experienced bread baker or, dare I say, never baked bread before, I would encourage you. Go ahead and experience the reward with these bakery style Easy No-Knead Rolls.
Easy No-Knead Rolls Recipe
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 3/4 tsp. sea salt
- 3 3/4 cups organic all-purpose flour
- Pour water into a large bowl. Sprinkle yeast over the top. Let yeast sit 5 minutes and whisk to dissolve.
- Measure flour by spooning into a cup. Then draw a flat-edged knife across the top to remove excess flour.
- Add measured flour and salt to yeast water. Mix with a heavy wooden spoon until dough is uniform. Dough will be very sticky and won't hold it's shape.
- Transfer dough to a container that allows for triple expansion. Cover with a lid. A transparent square rising bucket is perfect.
- Let dough rest covered at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Rise In Refrigerator 12 Hours
- Place in refrigerator for 12 hours or until dough has tripled in height and shows obvious air pockets.
- Generously flour a smooth work surface. Tip risen dough out of container with floured hands or spatula. Let it fall lightly and keep as many air bubbles in dough as possible while shaping.
- Gently shape dough by coaxing sides into one long 5 x 10 inch rectangle. Use plenty of flour. Divide the rectangle in half lengthwise with a floured knife. You can separate the two sections with knife before lifting it from the cut. Cut each strip in half crosswise and repeat. Voila! Eight beautiful square rolls are yours.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and center baking rack. For extra rise and superior crust, place a large steel skillet or roasting pan at bottom of oven. Have ready 1/2 cup of water to add to hot pan and create steam when adding rolls to oven.
Rise Rolls 45-60 Minutes
- Arrange rolls on a well floured 13 x 18 inch cookie sheet that has one-inch high sides. Sprinkle tops with flour. Cover with an identical sized cookie sheet to make a lid. Let rise at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes until very puffy and sides of rolls are almost touching.
- Place rolls in preheated oven. If using steam, put on an oven mitt. Carefully add water to roasting pan at bottom of oven and quickly close oven door.
- Bake rolls 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crusty. Let cool on a rack before slicing.
FAQ Making Easy No-Knead Rolls
This recipe works beautifully with regular organic all-purpose flour. No need for any fancy flours.
A tried and true method that many bakers use works here. Spoon flour into a measuring cup. Then draw a flat-edged knife across the top to remove excess flour.
Yes! Both ordinary grocery store active dry yeast and instant yeast are fine.
You can use any smooth-sided container with a lid that allows for triple expansion. However, a see through square shaped rising bucket will give you important advantages. It will be easy to gauge how much your dough has risen. Also, starting out with a square container minimizes manipulating the dough to shape square rolls. That’s important if you want to keep all the air pockets you can in the dough and not pop them.
The easiest way to divide these rolls is use a large, flat-edged knife or dough scraper. Rub the knife with flour and sprinkle a thin trail of flour along the cut line. Press firmly and push one section of the dough away from the other before lifting the knife. A floured spatula is also helpful to transfer the rolls to a baking sheet.
Planning ahead with a sketch on paper and using a little math will do it. Fortunately, I have already done the math for you with this recipe! Tip your dough out of the rising bucket onto a well-floured counter. Then, shape your dough gently by pressing sides into one large rectangle that measures 5 x 10 inches. Divide the rectangle in half lengthwise. Cut each strip in half crosswise and repeat. Voila! Eight beautiful square rolls are yours.
It will be your lucky day if you have 2 identical cookie sheets with at least a one-inch lip. Place all 8 rolls on one floured cookie sheet. Then, invert the unused cookie sheet over the top to make a lid. Otherwise, any large roasting pan or even a cardboard box can work. The idea is to keep out air and drafts while allowing space to rise. The third best method is to sprinkle rolls with extra flour and top with a smooth surface tea towel. You can even rub flour into the towel beforehand to minimize sticking.