This is without a doubt Mexico’s favorite bread. This bolillo recipe will make a bolillo with a crusty exterior and soft pillowy center that will be perfect for making tortas, molletes, and pambazos.
Did you know it was the Spanish that introduced wheat into Mexico?? With it came cakes, pastries, bolillos, and flour tortillas. Corn was the basic grain for the indigenous people of Mexico and in many ways it still is, but with the arrival of the Spanish a mestijaze or mixture of cultures happened with the introduction of wheat. Today, some of the most delicious Mexican delicacies like buñuelos, mantecadas, and empanadas are a result of the combination of skill, taste, and ingenuity of two cultures.
This bread is also known as “pan frances” or French bread and there are several variations like telera and birote. Telera is generally softer and wider than a bolillo and is a very popular option for making tortas. A birote is a larger and saltier version of bolillo native to Guadalajara. It is used to make the famous tortas ahogadas!
In our family, we love eating bolillos straight out of the oven with vegan butter or making tortas with them. Whenever I visit Mexico I make sure to go buy some freshly made bolillo. The bakeries there make sure to bake them every few hours so that there is almost always a new, warm, and crispy bolillo to bite into.
The Recipe: Mexican Bolillo
If you’ve never baked bread before, this is the perfect starting point. This is a pretty straight forward recipe, easy, and you only need flour, sugar, yeast, and water.
- A baguette pan or perforated sheet tray would work great with this recipe.
- If you are kneading this by hand, knead an additional 5 – 10 minutes or until the dough comes together and is stretchy, but not overly sticky.
- These are best eaten the same day, but if you must save the for the next day keep them in a plastic bag.
Mexican Bolillo Recipe
- 1 pack Active dry yeast (7 g)
- 3 ⅓ cups All-purpose flour (480 g)
- 1 tsp. Sugar (4 g)
- 1 tsp. Salt (7 g)
- 1 cup + 1/3 Hot Water (225 ml)
- In a small bowl, combine yeast with 1/3 cup warm water, and 2 tbsp of flour. Whisk to combine and let sit for 20 min.
- In the meantime, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a mixer bowl and mix on low with the dough hook until combined. Add yeast mixture and continue to mix on low.
- Add remaining cup of hot water slowly ( the hottest water that comes out of your faucet), and increase speed to medium-low. Continue mixing for 15 minutes or until the dough comes together and is stretchy, but not overly sticky.
- Place dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rest in a warm place for 30 min. to an hour or until it doubles in size. (This will depend on how hot it is where you live.)
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into 6 equal pieces.
- Take each piece and roll with your hands to form an oval shape. Pinch edges to make the characteristic pointy ends of the bolillo.
- Place on a parchment lined sheet tray ( a perforated sheet tray or baguette pan would be even better). Cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 450°F at least 20 minutes before baking. Place a metal cake pan or pie pan on the bottom rack of the oven.
- Once the bolillos have doubled in size, and right before placing them in the oven, make a ½ inch deep cut using a razor blade or sharp serrated knife at a 45° angle.
- Spray bolillos with warm water and place in the oven. Add 1 ½ cups of water to pie pan in oven.
- Bake 20 - 25 min. or until the bolillos are golden brown and they sound hollow when you tap on them.
- Remove from oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
Although dorastable.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates.