Photo by Mexican Please

Fast and Easy Bolillos (Mexican Rolls)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 rolls

Don't have time to sit around and watch dough rise? This easy bolillos recipe uses extra yeast for a quick batch of light, fluffy rolls that are perfect for sandwiches. A close relative to the French baguette, the bolillo is the bread of choice for tortas (sandwiches) in Mexico and you’ll find these oblong-shaped delights on just about every street corner across the country. The term bolillo may sound exotic, but the ingredient list will look surprisingly familiar to you. It is bread after all, and whereas a traditional bolillo might be made using lard, we are using a basic canola oil with equally good results.


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  1. Add 2 tablespoons of yeast to 1¼ cups of warm water. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1/4 cup oil. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add 3¾ cups flour, 1½ teaspoons salt, and 1 egg. Mix as much as you can with a spoon and then plop onto a work surface. Knead with your hands until you have a smooth ball of dough. Add additional flour if it's sticking to your hands.
  3. Divide into eight equal parts. Roll into balls.
  4. Flatten into oval-shaped disks. Pull 1/4 of the disk toward you and seal. Now pull that part toward you and seal again. Continue until you have a tube of dough. Give a quick roll while putting pressure on the ends to get the traditional bolillo shape.
  5. Cover and let rise for 10-30 minutes (I waited 20 minutes). You can optionally add a lengthwise 1/4-inch deep slit on the bolillos just before baking.
  6. Bake for 8-12 minutes at 425ºF. (This batch baked for 11 minutes.)
  7. Let cool on counter and serve immediately.

Chef Notes

Adding two cups of water to an oven-safe pan and putting this in the oven as the bolillos bake should make the crust crispier, but I haven't experimented with this yet. You can use a greased baking sheet but I used parchment paper with a sprinking of flour on it. Adapted from Taste of Home.

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