This Italian roll recipe is perfect for a bread basket for dinner, slathered in butter and only requires 5 simple ingredients! Or these sandwich rolls are great to serve with your favorite cold cuts for lunch.
These rolls. Oh my. Magic? No. Delicious? Absolutely. And what I love even more about that is the simplicity of making with just a few basic pantry ingredients that cost you very little. Let me break it down for you.
A five-pound bag of flour costs $2.99 at Trader Joe’s. It’s unbleached, all-purpose. If I want to take my baking up a notch, I can buy the white whole wheat flour for $3.99.
This, my friends, plus a little oil, water, and yeast, can bring you many meals of utter enjoyment. Of course there’s pizza, but there’s also homemade baguette, and of course sweet little Italian sandwich rolls.
For the unschooled, please know that there are “about” 16 cups of flour per bag. Since the average bread, pizza dough, or roll recipe calls for about 4 cups of flour, this means that for a buck plus the oil and yeast, you can make yourself a load of deliciousness.
Case in point: these rolls. They were NOT difficult to prepare. The aforementioned ingredients have a party in the bread machine. I walk away. They don’t need me. Once they’ve danced the night away, I cover the pan and slip it into the fridge overnight.
In the morning, I form the sticky dough into rolls and again, walk away. An hour later I slide them into a hot oven. Mere minutes later, piping hot rolls appear.
Do I need to use a bread machine to make this Italian roll recipe?
I’ve included directions for both, so nothing can stop you from whipping up these Italian rolls for your family!
What kind of yeast should I use?
Active or instant will work just fine in this recipe.
If you are unsure whether or not your yeast has expired or not (and therefore, still active) you can add the yeast to some of the water called for in the recipe and wait to see if it bubbles. If it does, then you’re good to go!
Ingredients for this Italian roll recipe:
- olive oil
Seriously that’s it. And yes you can use half whole wheat flour, or white whole wheat flour if you want to make these more nutritious.
How do I make this Italian roll recipe?
How do I store these Italian rolls?
You want to allow these rolls to cool completely before storing. Baked and cooled rolls can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for longest storage (up to 3 months). Then thaw at room temperature before serving.
What do I serve these Italian rolls with?
I served these as sandwich rolls. You can turn these into an Italian Sub Sandwich.
But you could easily just pass them in the bread basket as a side to tonight’s dinner. Serve them alongside my Bulk Batch Supreme Meatballs, My Favorite Slow Cooker Pot Roast, or keep it lighter and pair with a Pear and Blue Cheese Salad with Maple Spiced Pepitas. The batch makes 16 rolls. That means the normal family will have leftovers.
We, of course, are not normal. They were gone in one sitting. But, they are easy enough to make again.
How much does it cost to make your own rolls?
They’re good cheap eats! Here’s my price break-down for these rolls:
- oil $0.35
- flours $1.00
- allowance for leavening $0.25
Per batch: $1.60, or about 10 cents per roll.
Some of my favorite bread machine recipes include:
- Honey-Sweetened Raisin Bread in the Bread Machine
- Wholesome Energy Bars
- Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels
- Garlic Focaccia
- Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls
- Easy Garlic Breadsticks
- Hot Cross Buns
- Pumpkin Onion Rolls
- Hot Dog Buns
- Pita Bread
How to make this good and cheap:
You know I don’t typically want to make something if I can’t make it good as well as cheap. Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When I find regular kitchen staples on sale, I buy a lot. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money. For this recipe, keeping an eye on the price of flour and olive oil can help keep the price down.
- Buying in bulk – It’s rare that I would buy small bags of flour. I also have gotten into the habit of buying cases of flour from Bob’s Red Mill or VitaCost so that I always have baking supplies on hand.
How I make this recipe easy:
This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.
Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:
- stainless steel mixing bowls
- glass measuring cup
- Rubber spatula
- parchment paper
- sheet pan
- Oster Bread Machine
Italian Sandwich Rolls
- 1 ½ cup water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour (you can use unbleached, all-purpose or white whole wheat)
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
To make the dough in a bread machine
- Combine the water, oil, flours, salt, and yeast in the pan of your bread machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. Set on the dough cycle and start the machine.1 ½ cup water, ¼ cup olive oil, 4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- When the machine beeps or the dough has doubled in bulk, Refrigerate overnight to develop the flavors or proceed to the next step.
To make the dough by hand
- Place the water and oil in a medium saucepan and warm slightly. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the yeast. Stir and allow the yeast to proof for 5 minutes.1 ½ cup water, 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- Add the flour and the salt. Stir to combine well.4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoon salt
- Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead. Continue kneading for 5 minutes to create a smooth, elastic dough, adding more of the all-purpose flour as necessary.
- Transfer to a greased bowl and turn the dough ball to coat. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
To form the rolls
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Remove the dough from the pan and divide it into sixteen equal parts. Form each part into a short, thin oval and place equi-distance apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Allow the rolls to rise for 20 minutes or longer, until doubled in bulk.
- Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a rack before serving.
- Baked and cooled rolls can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for longest storage. Thaw at room temperature before serving.