Unbelievably Easy Artisan Rolls

These Easy Artisan Rolls truly are unbelievably easy. Stir up the dough then go to bed. In the morning, shape and bake. Unbelievably delicious too!

Initially, I titled this post Easy Artisan Rolls. As soon as I finished typing the words however, I knew it needed clarification. Ridiculously Easy?  Incredibly Easy? Ludicrously Easy? Finally, I settled on Unbelievably Easy. I wonder what you would have called them?

Closeup of an Unbelievably Easy Artisan Roll on a cooling rack with more rolls in the background.

How Easy are They?

Let me explain how easy they are and you can decide for yourself. Ready? Combine flour, salt and yeast in a bowl. Grab a sturdy spatula. Add tap water (even cold tap water works!), and stir till combined. Cover, go to bed and have sweet dreams! When you wake in the morning, the yeast will have done it’s magic.

Sprinkle a work surface with flour and turn the dough a few times, to give it a nice white coat. Divide your dough into 12 pieces and shape the pieces into balls. Place the dough balls on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. That’s it! See what I mean? Oh, one more thing; wipe that drool off your mouth, and please, try to wait till they’ve cooled just a bit before you start sampling.

I saw these beautiful rolls a few months ago on Pinterest. They originated on a beautiful blog called Alexandra’s Kitchen. I did adapt the recipe slightly, but she’s the genius who came up with the technique.


Horizontal shot of a black cooling rack filled with Unbelievably Easy Artisan Rolls

It’s hard to find really good artisan bread, unless you live in a big city where there are lots of bakers. Here in Raleigh, you can find high quality bread shops, but they’re few and far between. So what do you do if you’re craving delicious, European style bread? You know, the crusty exterior and chewy, richly-flavored-interior type of bread with those big irregular holes? Now the answer is super simple, just whip up a batch of these Unbelievably Easy Artisan Rolls.

Closeup of one Unbelievably Easy Artisan Roll on a black cooling rack.

I started to call them dinner rolls, but changed my mind when I thought about how versatile they are. While they do make wonderful dinner rolls, I also love these rolls for sandwiches and as an accompaniment to soups and salads.

Just Four Ingredients!

And, while my recipe today has just four ingredients; flour, yeast, salt and water, you can get really creative with herbs and spices. My favorites are rosemary and sea salt; but I was at Whole Foods for lunch recently and had a crusty dinner roll with Parmesan and fresh ground pepper. That just might be my next version!

Shot of one Unbelievably Easy Artisan Roll broken open on a white plate with a knife and a pat of butter

You know what might be even better than the simplicity of this recipe? The fact that you can make a batch in advance and freeze them for several weeks. Just under-bake the rolls slightly, then pop them in the freezer after cooling. Pull the rolls out of the freezer a few hours in advance and warm them for 8-10 minutes before serving. They’ll taste just like freshly-baked!

Extreme closeup of a hand holding an Unbelievably Easy Artisan Roll broken open, spread with melting butter.

Imagine a basketful of these fragrant rolls being passed around the table at your next dinner party. You’d be sure to see smiles of delight, as each guest peeks under the napkin. Be prepared for lots of compliments, as the warm rolls are savored by one and all. Only you will know that the total hands-on time for these rolls is less than 20 minutes!

See what I mean? Unbelievably Easy Artisan Rolls. Have you decided yet what you’ll call them?

Café Tips for Making these Unbelievably Easy Artisan Rolls

  • Use plenty of flour on your work surface. This is what will keep the dough from sticking.  I also like to keep my hands well floured while shaping the rolls.
  • I love these pre-cut sheets of parchment paper. They save a lot of time in the kitchen, as they’re the perfect size for a half sheet pan.
  • For regular parchment paper I really like the Kirkland brand that Costco sells. The problem is, that they only carry it seasonally. I was happy to discover you can purchase it online with free shipping. A roll like this will last a long time and is way more economical that the typical size rolls that you often find.

P.S. If you love delicious, EASY bread recipes, be sure sure to check out the 5 Minute Artisan Bread with a full picture tutorial. You won’t believe the amazing aroma that will fill your house; AND how easy it is!

Lots of people ask what kind of cookware, small appliances, cutlery, etc. I use in the kitchen.  Here’s what I used to make this recipe. 






Unbelievably Easy Artisan Rolls

These easy artisan rolls truly are unbelievably easy. Stir up the dough then go enjoy a good sleep. In the morning, shape and bake. Unbelievably delicious too!

4.2 from 5 reviews

These Unbelievably Easy Artisan Rolls are super easy! Stir up the dough, then go enjoy a good sleep. In the morning, shape and bake. Unbelievably delicious too!

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes (does not include rising time)
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12-16 rolls
  • Category: Bread


  • 4 cups bread flour, (512g) plus extra for shaping
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, (7g)
  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast, (2g)
  • 2 cups room temperature tap water, (439g)


  1. In a medium-large bowl, whisk together the bread flour, salt, and yeast. Make a well in the center and add the water. Mix with a sturdy rubber spatula until all flour is incorporated. Don’t worry, the dough will be wet and sticky, that’s how it should be. Cover bowl with a plastic wrap and leave to rise at room temperature overnight or for up to 12 hours.
  2. The following morning (or after 8-12 hours), the dough will have risen, but it may still look shaggy and it’s surface will be covered with bubbles.
  3. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  4. Spread a generous ¼ cup of flour on a work surface. Dump the dough out onto the floured surface and turn it several times to coat with flour. I like to use a bench scraper for this.
  5. Divide the dough into 12-16 equal portions, turning each piece in the flour to coat. (The bench scraper is also great for cutting the dough). Shape each piece into a ball, pulling edges under and pinching together to make a smooth top. Invert balls and place on prepared pan, pinched side up. This will give you craggy, rustic textured rolls. If the dough is sticky as you’re shaping, just roll the piece in more of the flour. Let shaped rolls rise for 20 minutes.
  6. Transfer pan to the oven. Bake 15 minutes. Rotate pan. Bake 5 minutes more or until nicely golden. Transfer rolls to cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. If making in advance, remove from oven when pale golden brown (about 3-4 minutes less). Cool completely, then freeze on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer rolls to a large zip lock bag and store in the freezer. To serve, allow rolls to thaw, then heat for 8-10 minutes at 350˚F.






These Easy Artisan Rolls truly are unbelievably easy. Stir up the dough then go to bed. In the morning, shape and bake. Unbelievably delicious too!

103 thoughts on “Unbelievably Easy Artisan Rolls”

  • I have been making in the artesian bread for a year or so now and just came across this recipe for the rolls. I am so excited. I did make them and they were so easy however they did not get Brown in my oven. Anybody have any suggestions as to how to get them to Brown nicely?

  • I decided to experiment with this recipe. I made jumbo sandwich buns to use with pulled pork. They came out great! I did have one moment of semi-panic when resting my shaped rolls. They went all bloopy (technical term) and flattened but they puffed back up in the oven. Really happy I found this recipe. Thanks!

  • Know what tastes great on these rolls….your cherry freezer jam! Not only can I not stop making the jam, now Im making these wonderful rolls to eat with the jam!!,,,,,first made them back in November….WONDERFUL with your jam.There goes the summer diet!

  • I made these for our dinner last night. We loved them! I used 1/2 whole wheat flour (hard white spring wheat) and 1/2 all purpose white flour. After letting the dough sit for 8 hours, it had raised in the bowl and had many bubbles on the surface. It had a flat top instead of rounded. I dusted the counter with 1/4 cup of the all purpose flour and rolled all the dough in the flour. Then I cut the dough into 16 pieces. I rolled each piece in additional flour until it was easier to handle, then shaped into rolls and let rise 20 minutes before baking. They turned out delicious. I did bake them about 25 minutes instead of 20 so they would brown a little. We live at a little higher altitude (4300) so baking takes a little longer. They had a crusty exterior and a nice soft interior. We will definitely make these again and again!

  • Followed recipe exactly used active yeast that was not close to expiring
    Dough extremely wet and difficult to work with. used bread flour
    Did not raise after forming into rolls and did not raise in oven. Oven temp verified with oven thermometer
    They did not brown except for the bottoms.
    Crust was very tough not crisp
    Total disaster have made artisans bread in the past but it never came out like this

    • Oh my goodness Gloria! I’m so sorry you had such a bad experience. I hate wasting good ingredients. I’m honestly not sure what could have gone wrong as so many others have had wonderful results with this recipe. The dough is always pretty wet and you need to use a good amount of flour on your work surface to make it easy to work with. It sounds like, for some reason, the yeast did not activate.

    • Gloria, you might try using instant yeast. You don’t have to proof it and can just throw it in with everything else at the beginning. I made these rolls today and they turned out beautifully. Added 1 Tbsp canola oil (I have found that adding oil makes keeps finished bread moister longer and does not impede proofing) and 1 Tbsp sugar, no salt. I let the bread raise for about 4-6 hours at room temperature and then, fearing (with the added sugar) that it might overproof, I put it in my refrigerator overnight. It came out very bubbly, light, airy dough that did not raise much during the 20 min 2nd raise but raised nicely in the oven. I used, probably around 1/2 cup of flour for the brief kneading required.
      Outside nicely brown, crisp, inside moist as can be. Cooking time, temperature as provided in recipe, perfect.

  • We can’t get enough of these rolls!! sooo easy and delish! Has anyone tried adding cheese to mix? If so, when to add and how much?

  • Wanted to add that the measurements work fine using metric cups – 600g of flour and 500g of water, for anyone like me in metric areas. Also, in case you don’t hold that info in your head and can’t be bothered looking it up, 425*F is roughly 220*C, and 350*F (the reheating temperature) is roughly 180*C. Hope that helps somebody. These rolls are my new favourite bread! Making some now using brown (wholemeal) flour to try out.

  • These worked perfectly! I have made slow yeasted bread before that honestly was a bit meh. I mixed the dough for these last night and baked them this morning – the smell pulled the kids away from their Lego which doesn’t happen often! Perfectly crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I am going to teach my 9 and 7yo how make them because really, it took very little effort on my part to make these rolls but my cunning plan is to have fresh bread with zero effort on my part! It’s easy enough for them to handle. With four young kids it can be hard to find time and energy to cook well – thanks for the inspiration that your blog is!

  • These rolls are amazing! I made them at Thanksgiving, baking them in the morning, and everyone loved them. For Christmas Eve, I baked them just before dinner and, of course, they were even better hot out of the oven. Either way, you can’t beat easy + delicious. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • This recipe is absolutely amazing, Chris! I first made it for Thanksgiving, then I made it again this week for a Christmas dinner party. So easy and simple, but full of that wonderful yeast flavor! All of my guests loved these rolls, and I’ve shared the recipe with several of them. Also, my husband has declared that he would forego many servings of inferior breads for these rolls.

    It would be helpful for this recipe to have step-by-step photos of how you shape the rolls at the end. I looked at the photos on Alexandra’s Kitchen to get some help with the process.

  • These are so good! I made a couple batches for my parents while I was home for Thanksgiving. We par baked them and froze them so they can have fresh rolls whenever they want.

    • Thanks for letting us know Jennifer, and what a great idea. I know your parents loved it! It’s so nice to pull something yummy out of the freezer and warm it up with a bowl of soup or something warm and comfy on a cold winter day!

    • This is the second time, in two days, that I made these. The first time, they did not rise much. So then I checked my expiration date on the yeast, it was December 2016, which is now. So I went out and bought a new yeast product. I also put 1/1/2 tsp of yeast in this batter.. they are in the oven now and I will let you know how these turned out. I also used AP flour. So lets keep our fingers crossed.

  • These are great! A friend brought them to T-giving dinner then shared the recipe with me. I made the dough first thing this AM and left it to rise while I was at work. I had fresh rolls ready for dinner tonight in a short amount of time. Delicious and easy!

  • Thank you so much for this recipe. I was skeptical however it was unbelievably easy and the rolls came out perfect! This recipe is a keeper according to my husband and family! Absolutely awesome!!! I already have requests to make these and to bring them to Christmas dinner…

  • This is the easiest recipe to follow and make. I made a batch the other day, and they will be reheated today for Thanksgiving dinner. Delicious rolls!! A keeper recipe.

  • My son is my fancy bread maker in the family and usually takes around 3 days to make his loaves. We are making this for Thanksgiving and I can’t wait to taste them. In the oven as we speak!

  • Funny story….You know those cute chalk labels that you can put on mason jars? Well, they rub off. I accidentally used potato starch instead of flour!! It was basically a science experiment! Usually have some sort of goof up like this leading up to Thanksgiving but I thought it would make you laugh like I did 🙂

    • Haha! That is so funny! My mom once used part powdered sugar instead of flour to make her homemade bread. She didn’t realize it and wondered why the bread looked a little off. It tasted terrible and then she knew what she’d done. I hope you get to try these rolls with the correct label on the jars 🙂 Thanks for sharing, I know lots of us have done something similar!

  • Made em yesterday….ate and gave away all but one! Theyare crazy easy! Next time I am adding parm cheese in the dough,and a little sea salt on the top…I made 14 large rolls….they are PERFECT as small sandwich rolls…a lot like chabatta bread! My normal yeast roll recipe takes 5 hours,and is very tempramental…..these are rediculously easy! No fuss!

  • HOME RUN you guys! I struggle with bread most of the time. I can be pretty good or a hit and a miss. So when I decided to try these and wanted them for a friend who is going through a difficult time, I figured I’d better hedge my bets, so made a batch of regular buns yesterday and started these last night. WELL, they are baking as we speak and I can tell they are perfect!!! We will have a couple for breakfast and share the rest. And EASY? Could not be more so! I LOVE your recipes and am always trying new things from you, . I’ve only had one flop and that was my error. I feel the happiness you guys share and this is my favourite cooking site. Thanks so much. Okay, now to get one of those beauties with my coffee. Have a great day!!

  • I made the rolls today, very easy, and taste great. Thank you for sharing recipe. I will be making them often I’m sure????

    • Hi Ann, I haven’t tried a gluten free version and have to admit, I’m not super smart when it comes to GF. If you try them with GF flour, please let us know your results. Sorry I can’t be more helpful 🙁

  • i am already experimenting with different herb combinations. Also, crust for a delicious pizza……
    There are a hundred and one things to do with this recipe……thx for sharing.

  • Can you suggest a whole wheat version? I try not to make white bread anymore (not that I don’t love it). It seems better to me to add some fiber if I can.

    • Hi Leslie, I haven’t tried these yet with whole wheat flour but I would probably start with just one cup of whole wheat flour or perhaps more of the white whole wheat flour from King Arthur (it’s a little lighter than regular ww flour(.

  • I don’t understand why the setup has changed. When I hit Print on your website, viewing from my iPad, within TG E Print mode, the recipe page comes up blank. I can’t print the recipes anymore.

    New also are all these icons at the bottom of the page which is annoying, you can’t minimize or get rid of them. I also used to,have the option to switch to Safari to print and that isn’t there either (although that feature may have only been in Pintrest.)

    • Hi Mollybea,
      Sorry you’ve had difficulty. We’ll check into this and see if there are issues wit hour print button. In the meantime, I’ve email you the recipe. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

  • Could I substitute all purpose flour for bread flour.

    I am a great fan of Jim Laheys overnight bread, so am anxious to try these

  • Chris- Could this dough be shaped into a loaf or 2 small loaves, instead of rolls? If so, what might baking time be?


  • Do u think you could use sourdough in this recipe? This looks absolutely amazing — but then, don’t ALL your recipes? Thanks for this, dear!! 🙂

    • Hi Jennifer,
      The original recipe called for instant yeast but I tried it with regular yeast and it works great. I just used a little extra. The recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon instant but I used 1 teaspoon regular yeast with success every time. Enjoy!

  • We are lucky to have several wonderful artisan bakeries in town but I still love creating my own at home. I love the do-ahead ease of these too. Pass the butter!

  • Chris these look amazing!! I’ll be putting the dough together tonight. They’ll be perfect with soup tomorrow for dinner. Love your recipes Chris. They always look delicious and simple. Most of the time I have the ingredients on hand. It’s nice to follow someone who cooks like I do. Thanks for having the desire and taking the time to create (and perfect) such lovely recipes.

  • Chris – Where have you been all my life? I’ve searched endless websites and recipes, and they’re either way too complicated or way too beginner –. I love how simple and wholesome your ingredients and directions are. Thanks for speaking my food language. You inspire me!

  • Good morning Chris – I love baking bread and this recipe really appeals to me! Homemade rolls with simple easy directions – how perfect! I am drooling over that warm roll slathered with butter. I could hurt myself on these rolls. Thank you so much for sharing this terrific recipe – can’t wait to try them, and freeze them too!

  • Can’t wait to try this recipe they look delicious.. Re: parchment, Sams Club has had a crazy inexpensive deal on parchment rolls, it’s the same brand Costco carries and it was under $5.. Great quality and as King Arthur recommends I use it until it falls apart. Also I highly recommend King Arthur’s Hamburger bun recipe is easy and taste really good, I do the 2 egg variation and I think I’m going to make the recipe into rolls for thanksgiving. Love your blog, I look forward to each new post!

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