When Less Is More: Crusty Peasant Rolls

Salt, flour, fresh rosemary, yeast and olive oil…that is all you need. That is because nothing else is really needed to fall in love with simply-made crusty peasant rolls.

Fresh-baked bread can be found in the nostalgia department reminding you of your childhood days when high-quality food was a standard. It should remain that way so don’t get bluffed and be ready for some enjoyable baking time. Crusty peasant rolls

Before you attempt to embark on this culinary journey ask yourself what the incentives are. Is it the golden crust, the cracking sound that begs you to have a bite or the mesmerising odour spreading across like a fog? Please stay hungry with us!


Crusty Peasant Rolls
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For ten rolls you need
  1. 2 1/2 c. (425g) of flour
  2. 1 1/2 tsp. of salt
  3. 3/4 tsp. of active dry yeast
  4. 1 c. (170g) of lukewarm water
  5. Olive oil
  6. A sprig of fresh rosemary
  1. Place flour in large bowl and stir in salt.
  2. Dissolve yeast into water. Pour into flour and stir with a spoon until it comes together.
  3. Place a few tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over the dough and along the sides of the bowl for a few minutes.
  4. Lift the dough ball up and hold along one edge of dough, letting the rest of the dough hang down and stretch out. Move along the entire edge of the dough, turning it in a circular steering wheel motion. Do this 5 or 6 times, folding the dough back up into a ball each time.
  5. Fold the dough up over itself, gather it into a ball and place back in the oiled bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, lay a dish towel over it and place in a warm spot.
  6. Let rise for one hour and then deflate dough with your fingers, and let rise for another hour.
  7. When the second rise is done, place baking stone on centre rack of oven. Place a large cast iron skillet on bottom rack. Preheat oven to 220 ºC (430 ºF).
  8. Pinch off dough into small, 50 gram (1.8 ounces) pieces. Roll the dough with lightly oiled hands on pastry board. Start rolling in a circle and roll into a smooth, firm ball.
  9. Place dough balls on a sheet pan. Take a long sheet of plastic wrap and brush it lightly with olive oil. Lay the oiled plastic over the buns. Let rise for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the plastic from the buns. Sprinkle sea salt over and lay a few leaves of rosemary over each.
  11. Before placing the sheet pan in the oven, pour ½ cup (110 grams) very hot tap water into the cast iron pan that you already set on the bottom rack. Place the sheet pan on the baking stone. After 10 minutes, open the oven door to let the steam out. Total bake time is around 25 – 30 minutes, until tops are a deep golden brown. Slide rolls onto a cooling rack and serve warm.
Adapted from food52
Adapted from food52

Crusty peasant rolls

Was it worth the effort? We’d love you to share your baking experience with us in the comments below. In the meantime, check out our Chef Daniel’s profile who specialises in desserts and pastries.

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