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What Are Bolillo Rolls?

Not everyone associates Mexican cuisine with baking, though people who do not probably do not happen to live in a city with a large Mexican population. As it happens, there is just as much of a tradition of baking in the Mexican culinary tradition as there is in any other kind of cooking.

It’s not just limited to tortillas either; wheat was introduced to the Americas by the Spanish and it quickly caught on, with Mexican cooks taking to baking with wheat flour and producing breads, cakes and other baked goods, both inspired by European styles as well as recipes with more of a New World pedigree.

So, what are bolillo rolls? One especially popular type of bread in Mexico is the bolillo roll. These oblong rolls are used to make the Mexican sandwiches known as tortas and are also eaten as you would a dinner roll, warm out of the oven with a pat of butter or on their own. They are a great, simple yeast bread which has a lot of different uses.

Because these bread rolls have so many uses and can be served alongside pretty much any entrée you can imagine, filled with anything from peanut butter and jelly to egg salad, or eaten as a quick snack, you do not have to consider Mexican side dishes or Mexican entrées to go with them, unless you especially want to.

Instead of that, simply enjoy the freshness of these. Home-baked bread is always amazing. The kitchen will smell wonderful, and the flavor of the bread fresh from the oven is simply amazing. Perhaps you are lucky enough to have a Mexican bakery nearby where you can indulge in sweet and savory baked treats, but if not you can always make your own bolillo rolls.

Mexican Bolillo Rolls
Summary: Bolillos are typically Mexican and these can be split and filled or served with entrées. These simple rolls are incredible served warm from the oven with your favorite accompaniments or fillings.
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 10
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 package yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 egg white
  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate large mixing bowl, gently mix the yeast into two cups of warm water.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the water a little bit at a time until it forms a soft dough.
  4. Turn the dough out into a greased bowl and cover with a clean towel.
  5. Leave in a warm place to rise for one hour.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, punch it down, and knead for about ten minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  7. Divide the dough into ten equal balls and roll into an ovoid shape between your hands.
  8. Cover again and allow to rise for half an hour.
  9. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and brush the rolls with egg white and score each twice across the top lengthwise (the scores should be about 2 inches long and around a quarter inch deep).
  10. Bake for half an hour or until the rolls are slightly browned and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Photo Description:

This bolillo roll recipe may be just as easy as any other kind of yeast bread, but they are incredibly delicious and are wonderful as dinner rolls or for making tortas or any other kind of sandwiches you like. Fresh out of the oven, there is nothing better than a fresh baked bolillo and if you are feeling like making your own tortas, there is no reason not to simply bake your own rolls ahead of time so that they are of the highest possible quality. Any sandwich tastes best on fresh baked bread and since this recipe is so easy to make, you will never have to suffer with grocery store rolls again.

7 Responses to What Are Bolillo Rolls?

  • I always wanted to learn how to make bolillos. Now I can thxs so much.

  • How can I store these and for how long? Can I freeze after the second rise and then bake from frozen? Would I need to adjust temperature in oven? Time? Thank you. I just made half a batch. Waiting for them to cool a bit before handling to make tortas.

    • Best Suggestion is as follows:

      Cooked bolillo rolls can be frozen for up to a month and then just sprayed with water and baked at 400F for 20 minutes, but we have not tried freezing the dough.


    • I just got a box of frozen bolillo dough from somewhere. After you’ve mixed the ingredients, turned it out and let it rise for that 1 hour.

      Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, punch it down, and knead for about ten minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

      Divide the dough into ten equal balls and roll into an ovoid shape between your hands.

      Place shaped dough onto a tray that you can put into a freezer and freeze the shaped dough. Once frozen, place these in a plastic bag. When you are ready to use them, take out the amount you want, place on a cooking tray and let defrost and then rise.

      Once risen, bake as you would normally.

      Hope this helps!!

  • The taste and smell of fresh baked bolillos are one of the things that mexicans living outside Mexico miss the most. When I was in high school we used to buy fresh bolillos, still warm from a nearby bakery, and then go to a taco truck and filled them out with carnitas and very hot salsa. Best lunch ever.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to I have endeavored to gather as many delicious South of the border recipes here for you, including Mexican-inspired as well as traditional Mexican, and also some Tex-Mex and Mexican fusion dishes. Food is very important to our family's lives and Mexican food is certainly a favorite around here.

We have everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, drinks, entrées, and much more. You will find everything from mild dishes to super-spicy ones, simple recipes based on fresh ingredients up to more complex ones suitable for a dinner party.

Home cooks just starting out with Mexican cooking tend to be surprised how much of the emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs and spices. Forget the typical ideas about Mexican food being all beans, cheese and beef (that applies a little more to Tex-Mex), take inspiration from authentic Mexican dishes based on fresh ingredients, and inject all your passion into cooking South of the border food, for perfect results every time.

Thanks for visiting,