French Boule Rolls with Garlic Dipping Oil

Now, I know what some of you are thinking - you don't bake bread, right?  Well, let's change that because this is a super simple bread recipe that you cannot mess up.  I promise.  No kneading and no mixer involved.  Seriously, you make the dough, let it rise and then shape into rolls like I did here, or you can make 4 small round loaves instead.  This is one of those recipes that will impress your family and friends so please don't run away.  Enjoy these French Boule rolls with a garlic infused dipping oil that is also simple to make.  The boule recipe is from Grace at Anderson Family Farm and the dipping oil is family recipe that my Dad perfected.  Let's get started!
French Boule Bread with Garlic Dipping Oil

for the bread
3 cups warm water
1 ½ heaping Tablespoons of dry active yeast
1 Tablespoon honey or sugar
1 Tablespoons coarse salt (like Kosher)
6 cups flour (half bread flour, half whole wheat)
for the dipping oil
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon dried parsley, or 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped fine)

Measure your water in a large measuring cup.  You want the water to be warm, but not hot!  Add your yeast to the warm water with the honey or sugar and set aside for a minute or two. If you don't buy yeast in bulk, you can use one of the little packets (just measure the yeast out of that). Put the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add water mixture to dry ingredients and stir by hand until there are no dry pockets.
The dough should be quite sticky and wet, if it is not then you were too heavy on the flour and you’ll just need to add more water. No kneading, remember?
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to rise at room temperature for about an hour or longer.  Once it doubles in size and starts to collapse you know it is ready.  But this is easy, remember, so if you can't tell if it is doubled or starting to collapse, just go for it after an hour or so.
This is what my dough looked like after an hour and a half.  Perfect. Now preheat your oven to 450 degrees and place a stoneware pan in the oven (if you don't have one you can use a baking sheet upside down).  Place an oven safe pan (metal - don't use glass!) on the bottom rack, underneath the rack with the stoneware pan.
Flour your counter really well and scoop your dough out onto the counter.
Use a sharp floured knife to cut the dough in half, and then in half again, giving you 4 quarters.
Cut each quarter into 4 equal sized pieces, giving you 16 pieces of dough total.  They don't have to be exact, just eye it and no worries if some end up a little bigger or smaller than others.
Place a piece of parchment paper on top of an upside down baking sheet (or a baking peel if you have one, I don't) next to your work surface and start shaping the rolls.  Using well floured hands roll each piece of dough into a round ball, pinching the bottoms together towards the center.  Do this step pretty quickly, taking only about 20 seconds per piece of dough so you don't overwork it.  Place the round balls of dough, seam side down, onto the parchment paper.  Continue with remaining pieces.
Sprinkle the tops of the rolls with a little more flour and let them rise for about 20 minutes.
After about 20 minutes they should start to look puffy and they are ready for the oven.  Add a cup of cold water to the metal pan on the bottom rack of the oven.  This will create steam inside the oven, giving your rolls a nice crisp chewy texture on the outside. 
Slide your parchment paper full of puffy rolls off the baking sheet and onto the hot stoneware pan, being careful not burn your hand!  Bake the rolls for 20 minutes.
Now while the rolls are baking you can make the dipping oil.  It is sooooo good.  Add about 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil to a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Heat until you warmed through.
Add one clove of minced garlic to the oil and shut the heat off and let it sit and mingle for a few minutes.  You don't want to cook the garlic, just infuse it into the oil.
Grate about 1/4 cup of fresh Romano or Parmesan cheese.
Measure out 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and 1 Tablespoon of dried parsley (or double of fresh parsley).
 Add the crushed red pepper flakes and parsley to the garlic infused oil.
 Mix well.
In little bowls, place 1 Tablespoon of the freshly grated cheese.  Pour the oil mixture over the cheese and mix.  The smells are going to overwhelm your senses here and you might drool.  Apologies in advance.
Take your rolls out of the oven and let them cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before you dig in, if you can.  I usually can't.
Enjoy with the dipping oil and marvel that you just made a wonderfully impressive French bread.
The dipping oil is the perfect condiment for these delicious rolls.  See the chewy crust all around the edges of the roll?  That steam in the oven really gives you a professional bakery result.  See the herbs and cheese in that oil?  Seriously amazing flavors. Are you drooling yet?
I told you this was easy, and these step by step pictures (taken by friend Travis) will help you along the way. 



  1. These looks SO yummy! What's the reason behind the no glass pan rule? Is there something else I can use...I don't have any metal pans aside from muffin tins LOL!


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