Deli-Style Hard Rolls

These hard rolls are crisp on the outside, and light and airy inside, with satisfying chew. Top them with sesame or poppy seeds for that authentic "deli look." Split and stuff them with your favorite sandwich fillings, if you'd like to make them a meal.

15 mins
22 to 26 mins
2 hrs 7 mins
6 large rolls
Deli-Style Hard Rolls - select to zoom
Deli-Style Hard Rolls - select to zoom
Deli-Style Hard Rolls - select to zoom


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  1. To make the dough: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Mix and knead the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a smooth dough.

  2. Cover the dough and let it rise until it's noticeably puffy, about 1 hour.

  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into 6 pieces (about 3 1/4 ounces each). Shape into balls.

  4. Dip the top half of each roll into water, then into the seeds.

  5. Place the rolls into the cups of a lightly greased hamburger roll pan, or onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Press gently to flatten.

  6. Cover the rolls and let them rise until puffy, 30 to 40 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F.

  7. Bake the rolls until they're a deep golden brown, 22 to 26 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

  8. If desired, just before serving, reheat the rolls in a 375°F oven for 5 minutes or so, to crisp.