Friday, April 4, 2014

Mexican Bolillos: Crusty Rolls

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Mexican bolillo recipe pan frances
Many years ago, long before the Internet era, my dear college friend Alma sent me an important letter. I could feel her excitement for the little surprise she was sending in that letter. It had two recipes, one for the famous sweet bread (“conchas”), and the other for the bolillos. She described how she spent an entire Saturday at her neighborhood bakery learning how to make them and wanted to share the recipes with me, knowing how much I enjoyed cooking. At the beginning when I started to work with this recipe my bread was a mess, but throughout the years, with practice and tweaking the recipes, I finally have bread that resembles the one sold in Mexico. I still have to keep practicing with it, since it’s not that easy to make a bread exactly like those sold in bakeries in a home oven without the commercial flours and enhancers, but the texture, smell, and even the crunchy sound is there.

pan frances
This bread is also known as “Pan Francés”; the French baguette recipe was transformed in Mexico and became ours as the “bolillo”. It is also known as “Birote” and “pan blanco” in some areas of the country. It is very common in my hometown to have this bread sliced and toasted in the griddle/comal with butter. Every Sunday we have coffee with bread and butter in our home, sometimes even in bed.
Enjoy!



MAKES 10 BOLILLOS
INGREDIENTES:

STARTER
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant or active yeast*
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
DOUGH
  • 3 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon instant or active yeast
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/4 cup of shortening melted and cooled.
  • 1 cup of warm water (NOT HOT)
NOTES:
  • If using active yeast, dissolve first with the water, mix well and let it proof for 5 minutes.
  • You will need a large baking sheet, a metallic pan to place in the oven with water, a spray water bottle, and plastic wrap.
  • I use a Baguette Panfor my bolillos, but a baking sheet or cookie sheet does the same job.
  • Baking with yeast requires time to let the dough rise. Plan your day ahead of time to get the best results.
                                   


Mexican Bolillos recipe
DIRECTIONS:
Mexican Bolillos recipe
1. FOR THE STARTER: 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 counter top 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.

Mexican bolillos recipe
2. BAKING DAY. In a large bowl or your heavy-duty 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. IMPORTANT: If you live in a very humid place, you will need to reduce the amount of water by about 2 tablespoons less than indicated.  If using a mixer, knead for 7 minutes on speed 2; if kneading by hand, knead the dough for about 15 minutes. The dough will separate from your mixing bowl like it shows in the above picture while kneading.
3. Remove dough from the bowl and place on your working surface to form a ball. It should look soft but still a little rough.

Mexican bolillo recipe
4. Grease a large bowl with shortening, oil or PAM spray. 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.  If you live in a warm and humid weather this step will take less time.
5.  After the dough has doubled in volume, gently push your fist in to deflate it. Divide the dough in 10 pieces. (About 110 grams each). Place the pieces of dough into your slightly greased working surface and cover with a greased plastic wrap and let them rest for 15 minutes to allow gluten to develop and help to shape your bollillos/rolls easier.

Mexican bolillo recipe
6. 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 1/3 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 the ends are sealed.

Mexican crusty rolls bolillos recipe
7. 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.

mexican bolillos crusty rolls recipe
8. Place each bolillo/roll 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 1 and 1/2 hour.
9. Before the end of the rising period, turn oven on at 450 degrees F. Place the metallic pan for the water on the oven floor.
10.  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.

mexican bolillos recipe
11. Spray the rolls with warm water, place them in a preheated oven and add 1 1/2 cup 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.

Bolillo recipe
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 degrees F oven until crispy. About 12-15 minutes until warm and crunchy.

Please leave all your questions on the comments section, I will be happy to answer them.





32 comments:

  1. Gracias por compartir la receta, le mando un cordial saludo desde la Florida !
    manteca se refiere a mantequilla o a manteca vegetal ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Jocabet,
      A manteca Vegetal.


      Saludos!

      Delete
  2. Mely excelente tutorial! Muchas gracias! Se que te has metido hasta donde están los panaderos haciendo pan, con tal de mejorar tus bolillos!

    Besos

    ReplyDelete
  3. Have you ever tried freezing the dough before baking, or parbaking the bread and then freezing? I love freshly baked bread, but there's no way we could eat all of this before it got stale. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Karyn,

      Yes, after the first rising sometimes I freeze the dough. Or just bake the rolls for 15 minutes and the cool before freezing.

      Delete
  4. Wooo Mely que buena entrada, un pan imprecindible en la mesa mexicana, me encantan.

    ReplyDelete
  5. wow, love it. I am not that much into baking but would love to try. So nice of your friend to share her experiance with you

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mely, te quedaron indénticos!!! :O ... la manteca es la INCA?
    Los quiero hacer :)
    Saludos
    PILY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Si Pily, es la manteca vegetal. Puede ser INCA o de otras marcas.
      Que te queden muy ricos!

      Mely

      Delete
  7. Muy bien Mely! Yo tengo una receta de bolillos que me regale una señora have años pero nunca Los he preparado. Ahora con la tuya y las explicaciones tan Clara's a ver is me animo.
    Saudos.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mely,
    Me encanto que compartieras la receta y las instruciones estan excelentes. Tambien podrias compartir con nosotros la receta de las conchas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Ligia,

      Gracias por tu comentario. Con respecto a la receta de las conchas, ya estoy trabajando en ella. La tengo en borrador y solo me falta volverlas a hacer para tomar las fotos. El único problema con las conchas es que me las quiero comer todas!

      Mely

      Delete
  9. Nicely done, I can't wait to try these!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Recien llegada al blog me encanto la receta del bolillito... Pues en este pais es dificil conseguir buen bolillo, he tratado de conseguir la Manteca vegetal pero no la encuentro en los super Mexicanos en q area esta o alguna tienda en especial? Lastima en Mexico en todos lados la soñaba ji ji!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Doris,

      La manteca vegetal la encuentras en la sección de los aceites o en la de las harinas. La marca Crisco es la mas famosa, ya sea en barras como la mantequilla en contenedores pequeños o en botes.

      Saludos!

      Mely

      Delete
  11. Hola Mely,

    Ya los hice 3 veces y queri compartir contigo que como no tenia manteca vegetal a la mano y tenia manteca de cerdo los hice con la d e puerco y quedaron bien, no se distingue el sabor de la manteca. Y hoy los hice con mantequilla, estoy esperando a que terminen los 15 min antes.de.darle forma. Ah!!! La unica vez no me gustaron lo hice con una harina miltigrano (de la india, un mezcla de maiz, trigo, garbanzo y otros granos) necesite casi 2 tazas de agua porque esa harina absorbe mucha agua y quedaron secos y fuera del.dia que salieron el horno, pues nadie se los comio asi qu los hice budin y asi se acabaron. :)
    Si no quedan buenos con mantequilla te aviso.
    Gracias por tus recetas!!!!

    Elena

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Maria Elena,

      Gracias por compartir tu experiencia con la receta. Puedes usar margarina, mantequilla y hasta aceite vegetal o de oliva.
      Cuando uso manteca el pan es mas suave y eso le gusta mucho a mi familia, sobretodo si después queremos hacer tortas. La misma textura la obtienes usando margarina. Con la mantequilla la corteza del pan queda mas crujiente y le da sabor al pan. Con el aceite la masa cambia un poco la texture, se poco un poco dura. Visitan el Instagram de mexicoinmykitchen para que puedas ver la ultima foto de los bolillos, eso los hice con aceite de oliva, la masa se pone algo dura para trabajar pero los bolillos como quiera quedan hermosos.

      Cuando hago integrales solo le pongo 25% de harina integral y 75% de harina normal (all purpose)

      Saludos y feliz horneada!

      Delete
  12. Mine are in the oven as I type. I found that I needed more water than your recipe called for but this may have been because I weighed the ingredients. So far they smell great, look perfect and I doubt that they'll disappoint. They are to be used for the Tortas Ahogatas I am making for friends. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Rick,
      Actually, when making bread, I prefer to weight the ingredients but since not everyone has a kitchen scale, I decided to post thsi recipe using cups instead of grams.

      I hope you tell us your experience with the recipe.

      Happy baking!

      Mely

      Delete
  13. After cutting the slit, my bolillos deflated. After baking they remained flat. What did I do wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello les,

      Probably, you let them rest for too long. The dough takes less time to rise during the hot summer days. If let for too long the dough becomes to airy and can easily deflate when you make the cut.

      That is something that you learn with practice and you get to know the dough. Is this your first time making them?

      Please don't give up.

      Delete
    2. Yes, this is my first time. I won't give up I am going to try again, thank you for replying.

      Delete
  14. Thank you for this recipe! I tried it out, and a few of my bolillos did deflate while making the cut, like the person above, but they still taste just as if they came from the panaderia. My grandmother and grandmother will be proud.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Michael,
      That happened to me a few times while getting the feeling of the dough. Once you keep practicing you learn to know when the dough is ready for the oven.

      Thank you for testing the recipe.

      Delete
  15. Please, Mely, can you give me the measurements in grams instead of cups? I can't wait to try your recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Also, Mely, can I use bread flour instead of ap flour?
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helo Margaret916,

      I'll post the measurements in grams this week. And, yes! you can use bread flour, as a matter of fact that is the flour used at the bakeries, but not everyone has access to bread flour in their area.

      Enjoy!

      Delete
  17. Hi, thanks a million for the recipe, I just bought my heavy duty mixer and being from Guadalajara, the first thing I want to do is birote, and I am a little confused as to which type of bread your recipe is about, because they're is the bolillo that you can find all around the country or there is the birote that you can only find in Guadalajara and is the one used for the typical tortas ahogadas, and that is the recipe I would love to have. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Paulina,

      This recipe is for the most common bread called: pan francés or bolillo in México. Birote made in Guadalajara, according to bread makers outside Jalisco, it is not easy to recreate. It seems that humidity and other local conditions are key to the end result of birotes. Anyway, this is a rather simple recipe for a good substitute. Have fun baking!

      Delete
    2. The traditional birote of Jalisco is a sourdough, not a commercial yeast bread.

      Delete
  18. you didnt say what temperature to set the oven to before you bake them??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Britanny,


      Check step 9. Happy baking!

      Delete

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