These No Knead Crusty Rolls are crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. They are perfect with butter, jam, meat and cheese, or dipped in soups and stews!
These No Knead Crusty Rolls remind me of the rolls I used to get at the grocery store when my kids were little. They came in a bag and you had to brown them in the oven. We would tear into them as soon as they came out of the oven (so hot!), schmear them with butter, and dip them into whatever soup or stew was on the menu that day.
It never even occurred to me to recreate them until I posted an Instagram Reel of my No Knead Bread. Not only did that reel get tens of thousands of views, dozens of people messaged me asking if I could make rolls with them. Yeah I can!
Nothing special here. Just flour, kosher salt, yeast, and water. Easy peasy.
See recipe card for quantities.
With so few ingredients, there aren't many ways to substitute, but here are a few.
- Bread flour - You can substitute with an equal amount of all-purpose flour. It won't have the same chewiness as bread flour, but most people don't really notice the difference.
- Instant yeast - If you only have, or prefer to use, active dry yeast, you can use an equal amount in this recipe. It does need to be proofed first, so place your yeast in the warm water and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. If it foams up, it's good to go. Add the yeasty water to your dry ingredients and carry on.
- Kosher salt - Whenever I call for salt, I always mean kosher salt. Specifically, I mean Diamond crystal kosher salt. If you want to use sea salt, or another brand of kosher salt, I would recommend using 1 ½ teaspoons, instead of the 2 teaspoons the recipe calls for. If using table salt, use half the amount, or 1 teaspoon.
Like my no-knead bread, you can play around with the flavors of your bread a little bit. Here are a few I've tried.
- Seeded rye - add ¾ cup (90 grams) dark rye flour to 2 ¼ cups (270 grams) of bread flour. Add 2 tablespoons each of sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds, and 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds. You can use any other blend of seeds and nuts, not to exceed ½ cup total. Rise, shape rolls, and bake as directed in the recipe card.
- Sesame - add one tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds and one tablespoon of sesame oil to the dough. Before baking, brush the top of the rolls with just enough water to help a quick sprinkle of untoasted sesame seeds to adhere. Rise, shape rolls, and bake as directed in the recipe card.
Just 5 minutes the night before and about 15 minutes to shape the rolls before baking? Doesn't get much easier than that!
1. Add warm water to flour, kosher salt, and yeast.
2. Use spatula, wooden spoon, or danish dough whisk to mix into a shaggy, sticky dough. Cover with plastic and let sit in a warm spot in your kitchen for 12 to 18 hours.
3. Flour your counter lightly and turn the dough out of the bowl.
4. Flour the top of the dough lightly. Using your floured hands, or a bench scraper, bring each of the edges over the center to form a ball. Turn seam side down on the counter.
5. Cut dough into 6 to 8 pieces, depending on how many rolls you want. I usually go for 6 larger rolls.
6. I prefer to weigh my dough and then divide into equal pieces, to ensure even baking, but you can eyeball it too.
7. Flatten a dough piece on your counter and bring all the outside edges together like a drawstring purse. Turn seam side down on the counter.
8. Using your cupped hand, apply gentle downward pressure, and a circular motion, on the counter to shape your dough piece into a ball. This works best if that area of the counter is free of flour.
9. If desired, use a sharp knife, or a bread lame or razor, to slash each dough ball on top. This helps to direct the roll where to expand when baking. Dust the top of the balls lightly with flour and cover with plastic wrap. Preheat oven to 500°F while the dough rests for about 45 minutes.
Allow to cool for a bit and then schmear with a little butter, or whatever you like, and enjoy!
Expert tip: getting a crispy crust
Professional bakeries use something called a steam injected oven to give their artisan loaves a crispy crust. When we bake my No-Knead Bread, we use a preheated dutch oven with a lid. This allows the pot to hold in steam, which helps to develop the crispiness that we're looking for.
Since I want steam for these rolls, but can't fit all of them in my dutch oven, I produce my own steam by pouring water into a large pan set on the bottom rack of my oven. I let the water preheat along with the oven. When you put in your rolls, that pan will produce the steam you need to get the best crusty rolls ever!
Yes, you can freeze them both before and after baking.
To freeze before baking, place shaped rolls on a sheet pan in the freezer until firm and then transfer to a zip top bag and freeze for up to a month. To bake, place desired number of rolls in the refrigerator to thaw at least 8 hours. Allow to come to room temperature while you preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes. Bake as directed.
To freeze after baking, place on a sheet pan in the oven until firm and then transfer to a zip top bag and freeze for up to a month. Allow to thaw on the counter and crisp up in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes.
In the unlikely scenario that you have leftover bread (?) wrap the rolls in a clean kitchen towel and place in a plastic bag that you leave open. If you close it tightly the bread will retain too much moisture, making the crust too soft to crisp up when reheating.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the rolls directly on the oven rack for about 10 minutes, or until the crust feels crispy again.
More yeast bread recipes
No Knead Crusty Rolls
- 3 cups (360 g) bread flour
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 ¼ cup (300 g) warm water about 105° to 110°F
Mixing the dough
- Place flour in a large bowl. Add yeast and salt and whisk together. Make a well in the center and stir in water using a large sturdy spoon or a danish dough whisk, Mix together until all the flour is incorporated. The dough will be very sticky and wet. This is normal. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm spot in your kitchen for 12-18 hours.
Prep your oven
- Place one rack at the lowest level of your oven and the other a few levels above that. Place a large pan (a 13X9 pan is ideal) on the lowest rack and fill halfway with water.
Shape your rolls
- Flour your counter lightly and turn the dough out of the bowl. Flouring your hands, or a bench scraper, lift one edge of the dough and gently fold it over to its opposite side (Gently, so you don’t press all the air out). Repeat so that all four sides of the dough have been folded over. Turn seam side down on the counter.
- Using your bench scraper, divide the dough into 6 or 8 pieces, depending on how many rolls you want. I usually opt for 6, because I like big bread.
- Flatten a dough piece on your counter and pinch all the edges together like a drawstring purse. Place back on the counter, seam side down. Roll the dough in your cupped hand, using a circular motion, pressing down lightly, until it forms a neat ball. Set aside on your floured counter and repeat with the rest of the dough.
- If desired, use a very sharp knife, or a bread lame or razor, to make score marks across the top of each dough ball about ¼ deep. Dust the top of your dough balls lightly with flour and cover with plastic. Preheat your oven to 500°F and allow your dough balls to rest for about 45 minutes.
Bake your rolls
- Place the dough balls on a piece of parchment paper that has been laid on the back of a large sheet pan. Place in the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 450°F. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit before tearing one open and schmearing it with butter.
- All-purpose flour is a good substitute if you don’t have bread flour.
- If you don’t have instant yeast you can use active dry yeast. Just make sure to proof the yeast in your warm water for 5 to 10 minutes first. If it foams up, your yeast is good and ready to use. Add the yeast liquid to your dry ingredients and continue as written.
- Allow the pan of water to cool completely before carefully removing and discarding the water.
The nutritional and caloric information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It does not assert or suggest that readers should or should not count calories, and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s or doctor’s counseling.