Bolillo is a Mexican bread that is also known as pan francés.
The French baguette recipe was transformed in Mexico and became ours as the bolillo. This bolillo recipe is also known as birote and pan blanco in some areas of the country.
It is very common in my hometown to have this bolillo bread sliced and toasted on the griddle or comal, with butter. Every Sunday we have coffee with bolillo bread and butter in our home, sometimes even in bed.
Enjoy this bolillo recipe!
- ¾ cup water
- ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3 cup all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup shortening , melted and cooled
- 1 cup warm water
- The night before baking, place yeast and water in a small bowl, mix well and add the flour. Mix again. You don’t need to knead here.
Cover with a plastic wrap and let sit on your kitchen countertop all night or at least 8 hours. Making this starter will increase the flavor of your bread. The next morning, the starter will have a larger volume and will have formed lots of bubbles.
- In the bowl of a stand-mixer, place the starter, flour, salt, yeast and melted shortening.
- Start kneading the dough, adding the warm water slowly right at the beginning of the kneading process.
- Knead for 7 minutes on speed low to medium speed. The dough will separate from your mixing bowl while kneading.
- Remove dough from the bowl and place on your working surface to form a ball. It should look soft but still a little rough.
- Grease a large bowl with shortening or oil. Place the dough and turn it all over to make sure all sides are covered with a coating of the grease. Cover with a plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm place for 2 to 3 hours or until the dough has doubled in volume.
After the dough has doubled in volume, gently push your fist in to deflate it. Divide the dough in 10 pieces (about 4 oz / 110 g each). Place the pieces of dough into your slightly greased working surface. Cover with a greased plastic wrap and let them rest for 15 minutes to allow gluten to develop and help to shape your bolillos easier.
To form the bolillos rolls, dust your work surface with flour very lightly, flatten one piece of dough with the palm of your hand and fold ⅓ of the dough towards you and press down with your fingers, sealing it very well. Fold the dough again, repeating the sealing process until you form a roll, pinching the dough tightly. Make sure all the ends are sealed.
- To shape the rolls, place your hands over the dough and press gently but firmly, cupping your fingers, rolling back and forth. While doing this, press the heel of your hands to leave some dough uncovered to form the traditional bolillo ears.
- Place each bolillo seam side down on the greased baking sheet and cover with a greased plastic. Allow them to rise until they’ve doubled in volume. About 90 minutes.
Before the end of the rising period, turn oven on at 450 F / 230 C. Place the metallic pan for the water on the oven floor.
- Once the rolls have doubled in volume, make a deep cut using a sharp serrated knife or a razor blade, holding your hand at a 45-degree angle.
Spray the rolls with warm water, place them in a preheated oven and add 1½ cup (400 ml) of cold water to the metallic tray you placed on the oven floor. The steam will create that beautiful thin and crunchy crust.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until they are golden, remove form the oven, and let them cool on a wire rack.
The bread keeps well for a couple of days in a plastic bag, or it can be frozen for up to a month. To reheat: thaw bread lightly, spray water, and place in preheated 400 F / 200 C oven for about 12 to 15 minutes until warm and crunchy.