The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


baybakin's picture

Living in San Diego for school, I gained a love for the little rolls brought from the local panaderia down the street.  Like little mini batards, pulled from the oven and placed in bins alongside racks of pan dulces.  Alas, here in the oakland hills the closest panaderia is a 15-20 minute drive away, and the bolillos just aren't quite like the ones I used to get in San Diego.

Most of the recipies I've seen are straight-dough, and being that I can't leave well enough alone, I have developed the following recipe, based off of the Poolish Baguettes in Hamelman's Bread.  The percentages of fat and sugar are from a bakery near mexico city (I don't remember quite where).

166g Flour
166g Water
Pinch of yeast (less than 1/8 tsp)

Let poolish sit overnight or at least 8 hours, untill poolish begins to pucker in the middle.

Final Dough:
All of the Poolish
334g Flour
164g Water
15g Fat (Lard or shortning)
10g Salt
10g Sugar (unrefined cane or honey)
2g instant yeast

Mix everything but the salt together into a shaggy mass.  Let autolysis for at least 20 mins.  Add salt and kneed dough untill it passes a windowpane test.  Let rise until doubled.  Divide into 6-8 pieces, preshape into rounds and let bench rest for 10 mins.  Shape into ovals and place into a floured couche like you would for baguettes.  Preheat oven to 500F at least 45 minutes before baking.  Slash bolillos once lengthwise and place into oven. Bake for 5 mins with steam at 500F then turn down oven to 450F for 10 mins (or untill a dark hazlenut color is achieved).  Remove breads and let cool (if you can).  Enjoy with some avocado, pickled jalapenos, ham, and farmers cheese, or just with some butter.


Bread behind is some oakland sourdough, made with Central Milling's type 70 high extraction flour.


holds99's picture

 Mexican Bolillos - Oval Rolls

Bolillos - Mexican Oval Rolls - Exterior

 Bolillos - Mexican Oval Rolls - Interior

Bolillos - Mexican Oval Rolls No. 2 - Interior

I was rummaging through some of my baking books, looking for something new to bake, and found this recipe for Bolillos (Mexican oval rolls), and decided to give them a try.  They're close to the ones I remember from traveling in Mexico.  I made the dough a little bit wetter than the recipe called for, trying to get a better interior.  They're slightly sweet as a result of a small amount of honey in the dough and are very good at breakfast... and the dough makes really good hamburger and hot dog rolls.  Of course, the Mexicans would probably want to "shoot the Gringo" if they heard me say that.  Anyway, I really enjoyed the baked goods in Mexico.  They make great rolls and fairly simple but terrific pastries and in the smaller towns the bakeries (and bakers) are quite good.  We think of tortillas as being the staple of Mexico, and they are, but they also make some very good bread, rolls and pastries down there.

These Bolillos were made using the direct method with yeast, no pre-ferment.  Although I did stretch and fold the dough as opposed to punching it down (as the recipe suggested), which, I think, gave me a better interior.  They have a small amount of oil in the dough which makes them slightly softer than French style rolls and, of course, a little sweeter as a result of the honey.  Since I sort of winged it with these, if anyone else out there has made Bolillos I would really appreciate hearing about your recipe, how you made them and how they turned out.


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