Chewy Italian Rolls

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 8 rolls

Recipe photo

Based on our recipe for Asiago Ciabatta, these rolls offer the taste and texture of that traditional Italian bread. Thanks to their spongy nature, they'll soak up every last drop of your favorite soup or saucy dish.

Chewy Italian Rolls

star rating (36) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time: Overnight,
Yield: 8 rolls
Published: 12/13/2013




Tips from our bakers

  • We don't recommend kneading this dough by hand, but you can mix it in a bread machine set on the dough cycle, and transfer it to a greased bowl when the machine has finished the kneading process.
  • To bake these rolls without a stone, put the rolls on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for 13 to 15 minutes.


1) To make the biga: Mix all of the ingredients until well blended. Cover the bowl, and let rest at room temperature for 12 to 20 hours, until the mixture is very bubbly.

2) To make the dough: Mix the biga with the remaining ingredients for 2 to 4 minutes, using an electric mixer set on slow speed. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for about 4 minutes; the dough will be soft and slightly sticky. Add additional water or flour if necessary.

3) Let the dough rise in a greased bowl, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, until very puffy.

4) Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and shape it into a 6" x 12" rectangle. Using a bench knife or pizza wheel, cut out eight 3" square rolls. Place the rolls, floured side up, onto parchment paper. Let them rise for about 45 minutes, lightly covered, until they're puffy.

5) Place a baking stone in the top third of your oven, and preheat the oven to 450°F.

6) Bake the rolls for 13 to 15 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Yield: 8 rolls.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 roll (109g) Servings Per Batch: 8 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230 Calories from Fat: 5 Total Fat: 0.5g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 580mg Total Carbohydrate: 48g Dietary Fiber: 2g Sugars: 0g Protein: 8g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 04/20/2015
  • Lily from central Ct.
  • Have added herbs to the dough and everyone loved them! A basic go to recipe for any occasion, have shared it with many.
  • star rating 03/10/2015
  • YD from Clifton Park, NY
  • These rolls are delicious! I have made this recipe many times and it's now my go to recipe! I've made these into sub rolls, or made them bigger for sandwiches, also have made it into a big loaf. I have started to use this dough as a pizza dough, delicious as well! I normally brush garlic butter on the hot rolls and sprinkle parmesan cheese or herb mix on top.
  • star rating 03/01/2015
  • Betsy from St. Louis
  • Easy and delicious! AND, I don't have a stand mixer - did it by hand and they came out wonderful. Will definitely make again!
  • star rating 02/27/2015
  • member-kmo16481 from KAF Community
  • I made this recipe again with an awesome twist. Made a bigger rectangle, put a thick layer of chunked dark chocolate in....I used dark bulk chocolate from Putnam Pantry...and folded the bread over then cut the squares for the second rise. The result was phenomenal. I had a similar bread made with a sourdough bread in NYC but I thought this was even better.
    It sounds like you made your own variation of a chocolate babka with this recipe! Thanks for sharing your sweet twist and providing a bit of baking inspiration to us all. Good luck and happy baking as you create even more recipes your own. --Kye@KAF
  • star rating 02/21/2015
  • danem from KAF Community
  • Love this recipe. Makes great sandwiches. I decreased the salt from 2 tsp. to 1 1/2 tsp. I recommend this to EVERYONE.
  • 02/16/2015
  • Angelique from San Pedro, CA
  • This was a process but I loved the outcome. I'm excited to eat my own rolls.
  • star rating 02/16/2015
  • Dawnsyogaflow from KAF Community
  • This was easy enough. My first time try with rolls. I am wondering how I would incorporate my sourdough starter that I have going into this recipe? Into the start of the recipe? Ideas?
    These rolls begin with a biga or overnight starter - that provides a different flavor profile than using the sourdough starter culture. In other yeast bread recipes you can replace 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup water with 1 cup of unfed starter for flavor. Happy Baking - Irene@KAF
  • star rating 02/10/2015
  • John B from Upstate NY
  • I don't "review" too many thing since I am far from someone who is well versed in the kitchen to give opinions but these rolls are easy to make and I love the taste and texture. I might try cutting the rolls larger and make a sandwich bread out of them. Follow the recipe and you can't go wrong
  • star rating 02/10/2015
  • docsimonson from KAF Community
  • I'm giving this recipe full stars even though my interpretation of it was probably closer to three stars. I am sure that with practice on my part, I will be turning out rolls like those seen in the photo here. Mine were sad looking, the flavor was wonderful! My whole family enjoyed them very much. The problem stems from me not having baked bread outside of a bread machine. Everything went well until I had to form the rolls and then somehow get them from the sheet to the baking stone. I am wondering if my choice to try to avoid using parchment may have been the problem. Can parchment go in a 450 F oven?
    Working with a slack or wet dough can be a real challenge at first. Yes, KAF parchment can be used once up to 500' and used multiple times up to 450'. We hope this is helpful - you can always call our Baker's Hotline at 855-371-2253 and we can help with the rolls shaping/baking process. Happy Baking - Irene@KAF
  • star rating 02/10/2015
  • metronomic from KAF Community
  • A question from a novice bread baker - the instructions call for you to: "Mix the biga with the remaining ingredients for 2 to 4 minutes, using an electric mixer set on slow speed. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for about 4 minutes." So, do I use a dough hook or paddle in my stand mixer for mixing? I tried both and either way, the dough crept up the attachment and seems to just whirl around stuck on the attachment and slam a bit on the sides of the bowl. I thought the paddle was doing a better job so I used that for most of the mix time. Then the dough didn't rise much at the next resting step, even though I let it sit for 2 hours. I'm sure this had to do with the mixing, the biga looked beautiful. The rolls were still decent, but I think could have been better if the mixing went more smoothly. Any tips appreciated. Thanks, -t

    For a stiff dough, use the paddle. Dough likes to creep up on the hook, so scrape it down occasionally and finish the biga with a few hand turns on the counter. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

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