Bolillos (Mexican Rolls)


Before I share today’s recipe– scrumptious, crusty Mexican rolls called Bolillos that are like little football-shaped baguettes— let me reveal the winner of last week’s giveaway of Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s new book, Vegan Pie in the Sky. Thanks to all of you who participated and took the time to Facebook and Tweet the giveaway. You’re all winners in my book, but alas I have just one copy to give away. And it goes to, hold your breaths: MikeC.

MikeC, congratulations and please send your mailing address to so the publisher can mail you a copy of the book and you can start making some vegan pie!Bolillos

As for the rest, I have something for you too–  these Bolillos are my new favorite bread because not only are they delicious being all crusty on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, but they are really cute to look at too. These are the breads used famously to make tortas, or sandwiches, sold all over Mexico. You halve them, dig out some of the soft, fluffy bread to make a shallow hole, stuff it with something equally delicious like refried beans, guacamole and salsa, and then stuff your face. Heaven.

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy, all!


Cook time
Total time
Bolillos: (Makes 12 rolls)
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 12 rolls
  • 2¼ tsp or 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 - 4½ cups high-gluten bakers' flour (alternately use bread flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vegetable shortening
  1. Mix the sugar, water and yeast and set aside to froth and bubble, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the shortening broken into small pieces, salt and 3 cups of flour and mix by hand or in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook at a low setting.
  3. Add more flour, a little at a time, until the dough comes together and is smooth but not sticky. Knead by hand or in a stand mixer on a low setting for 10 minutes. You should have a really soft, smooth, very supple and beautiful ball of dough at the end of it.
  4. Spray some oil on the inside of a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, turning over once to coat the top with some oil.
  5. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot (I put it in a cold oven with the light turned on) for about an hour or until it has doubled.
  6. Remove the dough to a platform. Knead briefly, and then divide into 12 equal pieces.
  7. Roll each piece between your palms to make an oval, about 4 - 4½ inches long, and taper the sides.
  8. Place the rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet, at least 3 inches apart. Cover with a kitchen towel and let them rise in a warm spot for 30-45 minutes or until puffy and almost doubled.
  9. Using a sharp knife or blade, score the rolls from one tapered end to the other, leaving about 1 cm on either side. Brush the tops with some oil for a pretty golden color.
  10. Place the rolls in a preheated 375-degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden. When you tap on the bottom of a roll, it should sound hollow-- that's how you know it's done.
  11. Remove to a rack and let them cool a little before eating. These reheat really beautifully.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

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  1. says

    Tiffany, Uma, Panchamrutham, Thanks!

    Yvonne, Spelt should work fine– if possible, add a couple tablespoons of vital wheat gluten to give it a boost.

  2. says

    I haven’t come across these ever ( not a keen observer..) but one look at the picture, all I can say is “nom…nom…nom”
    They look so very very good!

  3. says

    I see bolillos all the time but don’t care to buy any because they are limp and whitebready.
    Yours however are proper bolollos,CRUSTY and fluffy inside.
    I often put a pan of hot water in the oven to get a good crust.
    I know you wouldn’t use a certain wash on these, but let me say these photos are sensational.

  4. says

    Rajee, Thanks!

    Anthony, thanks! I believe that a cornstarch wash works pretty well for these breads too.

    Bek, Usha, Thanks!

    Veganola, these would be perfect as dinner rolls for Thanksgiving.

  5. says

    Just heard about your blog through the 21 day kickstart. So excited, sensory overload. These rolls look delicious and I can’t wait to try them.

    Lovely blog

  6. says

    If I had read these comments a few years ago I would have thought that you are all living under a rock to have never seen or heard of bolillos. But after I moved out of Cali to Oklahoma I completely understand you guys. I haven’t seen a real bolillo in years out here. I’m sure it is like that in many places. If you have a Mexican panaderia (Mexican Bakery) nearby it is a 100% garantee they have some for sale. They are delicious you can eat them with milk, hot chocolate, make a torta (Sandwich), or anything you can think of. I can’t wait to try and make these I’ve missed bolillos so much. There is no other bread like it. *Drooling*

  7. Anonymous says

    Just a question, on the yeast, when you said 2 1/4 tbsp, is it the one that comes in blocks? (, like the butter ones )

  8. Nisha Tiwari says




  9. SS says

    Hi Vaishali. Is it possible to use regular white/wheat flour? Also instead of veg shortening can I use butter?

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