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Crusty Rolls Recipe
Crusty Rolls Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Crusty Rolls Recipe

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THANKS to Clancy Strock's article mentioning Milwaukee bakeries in a past Reminisce, I was reminded that I, too, missed those hard-to-find, airy, crispy rolls! Years ago, I begged family members living in Chicago to try to find the recipe. My sister-in-law sent me a handwritten recipe, and now I can make these rolls for myself. -Charles Steers, Anaheim, California
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + rising Bake: 10 min.
MAKES:24 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + rising Bake: 10 min.
MAKES: 24 servings


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • Cornmeal

Nutritional Facts

One roll equals 90 calories, 1 g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 102 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 3 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch.


  1. In a bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add shortening, sugar, salt and 1 cup flour; beat until smooth. Add egg whites; mix well. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes (dough will be stiff). Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
  2. Punch dough down; divide into 24 pieces and shape into balls. Sprinkle greased baking sheets with cornmeal. Place rolls 2 in. apart on baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  3. Place a large shallow pan filled with boiling water on lowest rack in oven. Bake rolls on middle rack at 425° for 10-11 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Crusty Rolls in Reminisce September/October 1999, p45

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Reviewed Mar. 22, 2016

"This was an easy bake but as I used olive oil for shortening and of course egg whites the mix was very wet and sticky hence the use of my stand mixer and not mixed by hand. The second rising needed nearly an hour but this was not a problem and definitely only 12 the next time and not 24! Open texture with a good crust (boiling water to create steam should not be forgotten) superb flavour and ideal for me; rock hard rolls are not to my taste but these were just right. Watch the bake time, if it needs longer then do so."

Reviewed Feb. 21, 2016

"I agree with SnnysAng103 -- this recipe should only be for a dozen. These rolls are no bigger than a silver dollar and while they taste FANTASTIC, they never browned or even turned golden. And....there was no crust. Really disappointed. I'll keep looking for a recipe for hard rolls."

Reviewed Feb. 7, 2015

"These were very easy to make and very delicious my son loved them I should have cooked them a bit longer to make them crispy but overall one of my favorite roll recipies !"

Reviewed Dec. 4, 2014

"Recipe is fantastic! Except it should really only yield 12 rolls. I made the 24 and theyre tiny. Way too small."

Reviewed Nov. 3, 2013

"I have been looking for a great recipe for homemade rolls for years. This is perfect! It will be the one I make from now on. Great taste , tender and easy to make."

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