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Really Crusty Dinner Rolls from Your Bread Machine

Use your bread machine to make these Really Crusty Dinner Rolls with soft and chewy interiors. The secret is in the cornstarch glaze.

You can still make these even if you don’t have a bread machine. Read the notes at the bottom of the recipe for details.

REALLY CRUSTY ROLLS a bread machine recipe

Who can resist a freshly-baked yeast roll with a thin, crisp, crackly, crumbly crust surrounding soft and chewy bread?

Not me, for sure. Show me some marshmallow-soft salted butter, and I’m good for dinner.

But, be warned. Really Crusty Dinner Rolls can be messy. Crumbs may scatter everywhere as you slice or tear these rolls, but I have a solution. 

How can I avoid a mess when slicing crusty rolls or loaves?

See the picture below for a special slotted cutting board designed to catch the crumbs? It also makes a convenient cooling rack and/or serving tray.

Rolls. on slatted bread board

What’s the secret to the crispy crust?

The glaze is a cornstarch and water mixture, microwaved until thick, then cooled. For me, it’s easier than spraying water into my oven or using oven tiles or other special equipment to produce crusty bread.

You’ll want to eat Crusty Bread Rolls hot out of the oven. Whatever you don’t eat the first go-round should get a quick trip back into the oven just before dinner to re-crisp. Bake about 5 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Turn off the oven, and leave the rolls inside for another 5 minutes. Works great in a toaster oven, too, when you are only doing one or two rolls.

Click here to sign up for a FREE 6-day Quick-Start email course: “Make Marvelous Bread with Your Bread Machine.”

Part Two: How to make bread bowls with this recipe.

Don't miss these recipes if you like crusty bread:

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pinterest image of really crusty rolls

Did you try this recipe and enjoy it? Consider helping other readers (and me) by returning to this post. Leave a rating on the recipe card itself underneath the picture. Although always appreciated, comments aren’t required.

If you have a question or tip to share, please leave it in the regular comments after the recipe so I can answer back. Or, email me privately: paula at

Thank you for visiting!

Really Crusty Rolls

Really Crusty Dinner Rolls from Your Bread Machine

Yield: 8 large rolls
Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes

Crusty dinner rolls with a soft interior--cornstarch glaze is the secret.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 -1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1-1/2 cup bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon bread machine or instant yeast


  • 1/4 cup water + 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch mixed in 2 cup pyrex container and heated in a microwave for 20 seconds on HIGH or until thick.


  1. Heat 1 cup tap water in the microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Pour into bread machine pan with the blade in place.
  2. Add olive oil, salt, sugar, flour, and yeast to the pan. Select the dough cycle. After 5 minutes, check the dough. It should stick to the side and pull away. Add flour ,1 tablespoon at a time if the dough is too sticky, or add water 1 tablespoon at a time if dough is too dry (dough slaps against the side)
  3. When dough cycle has finished and bread has risen to double the original size, remove the dough onto a floured surface.
  4. For dinner rolls divide dough in half (2 pieces), then cut each half in half (4 pieces) and finally, divide each of those pieces in half again resulting in 8 rolls. Form into balls.
  5. Cover a cookie baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Lightly scatter cornmeal over the sheet before placing the round dough balls onto the cookie sheet--evenly spaced from each other.
  6. Cover dough balls with a tea towel and set in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until risen almost double.
  7. Brush rolls with cooled cornstarch glaze. Use a serrated knife to make a small gash in the top, if desired, but it's not required.
  8. Bake in 375 degree pre-heated oven for 35 minutes until crust is crisp and brown.


  • To my fellow yogurt-makers: For a faux sourdough flavor, try substituting whey drained off yogurt to produce Greek yogurt for the water in this recipe.

Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:

  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer, add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on low to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Using dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3 and continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape rolls as indicated in recipe.
  • If making by hand, combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic, a process that will likely take 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. Place dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate dough gently and shape rolls as indicated in recipe
  • Please note: If you substitute regular yeast for instant or bread machine yeast, you must dissolve it first before adding to the dry ingredients. Stir it into about 1/4 cup of the lukewarm liquid called for in the recipe. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Add to other wet ingredients and then add dry ingredients. Proceed as directed to knead and shape rolls.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 roll
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 170Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 399mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

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Friday 29th of May 2020

I made these yesterday. They were excellent with a tender inside and crunchy crust. I appreciated your tips for troubleshooting the dough's consistency.


Friday 29th of May 2020

Hi Renee,

Good deal. Always happy to hear when a recipe works out for you. Thank you for writing.


Friday 15th of May 2020

Hi! I’m going to be making these rolls tomorrow- very excited! Was just wondering, if I knead the dough by hand how long should I allow it to rise until it is double in size?


Friday 15th of May 2020

Hi Nicole, It's difficult to tell you an exact time as it depends on several factors: the temperature of the dough when you start the rising process, the ambient temperature where the dough is sitting, and the kind of yeast you use. In general, it takes about an hour to an hour and a half. Check it after an hour to see if it has doubled in size.

Do you know how to check if the dough has risen enough? Poke two fingers into the dough and pull them back out. The holes should start to fill in SLOWLY when the dough is ready. If the holes don't fill in at all, the dough has risen too much already. If the dough bounces back and the holes disappear almost immediately, it needs to rise some more. I hope that helps. Happy Bread-eating!


Thursday 30th of January 2020

Hi Paula! Greetings from Nova Scotia, Canada! Can I refrigerate this dough overnight after the dough cycle ends? If so what would I need to do the next day? Do I need the cold dough to warm up before shaping (like your pizza dough) into rolls or do I shape them cold and allow to rise if so for how long? Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I would love to adapt this recipe into an overnight refrigerated all-purpose dough. Thanks so much!


Thursday 30th of January 2020

Hi MJ, I have never tried it with this dough, but in general, you can do it with most dough recipes. Worth a try. I would not think it is necessary to wait for the dough to warm before shaping into rolls. However, if you shape the cold dough into rolls, it might take an additional hour or two for them to proof until almost double in size. I can't give you a specific time. It will depend on the ambient temperature where your rolls are rising as well as the size of the rolls, how long you took to roll them out, how cold your baking container is, etc. There's a good chance that refrigerating overnight will improve the flavor of your rolls.


Monday 1st of April 2019

Can you ever over-proofed these babies?? Because I’ve forgotten to set my timer ?


Monday 1st of April 2019

Yes, Ju, you definitely can over-proof. If that is what happened, push the dough down and let it rise again, just not as much. When your bread is over-proofed, it will usually collapse on top and/or the sides. Hope this helps.


Sunday 27th of January 2019

When I type the fonts so light that I can barely read and so made a spelling error, is it your website or soething wrong on my side! The spelling should read Followed Thanks