Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (2023)

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Learn how to make traditional Mexican bolillos with this very easy recipe and video below. Making the classic crunchy oval rolls is easier than you think.

Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (1)

What is a Mexican Bolillo?

Bolillos are the most popular savory bread in Mexico. It’s the Mexican daily bread, and we eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Bakeries, or Panaderías as we call them in Mexico, bake them several times a day.

Without a doubt, a bolillo is the savory bread of choice in Mexican kitchens. Its versatility, like the tortilla, lends itself to a multitude of dishes from the traditional Mexican sandwich, called the torta, to a delicious mole.

Conventional wisdom says its popularity grew during the time of Porfiriato, when the French influence was at its highest in Mexico. Because of this, the bolillo is sometimes compared to French breads.

Some bolillo variations are the “birote” which is just longer (even though in some parts of Mexico the term is interchangeable) and the “telera” which is made with the same ingredients, but the shape is flatter and divided into three sections.

Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (2)

Tips for a Perfectly Baked Crunchy Bolillo

The perfect bolillo is crunchy outside and soft inside. I practiced this recipe quite a bit and this is what I learned:

  • Be patient, bread has a life of its own, weather and humidity affect the rising time. Be patient, it’s worth it.
  • Don’t over mix the dough, I cannot stress this enough, the less you touch the dough the better. My bolillo recipe just requires 6 minute total kneading time, no more.
  • Make sure that the dough rests in a warm (not hot) place away from drafts.
  • Always add a container with water on a rack at the bottom of the oven . This will help make that amazing crunchy crust.
  • Always lightly spray the bolillos with water right before you put them in the oven. This also will help to develop the crunchy exterior.

An Easy Bolillo Bread Recipe

The original recipe usually calls for a starter made of flour, salt, water, a little bit of yeast and sometimes a little bit of sugar.

I’ve tried different methods, some with the starter some without it. Some with a lot of kneading, some kneading the dough just a little, and I think I’ve found the perfect balance between less work and big flavor.

The active work in the recipe is just 25 minutes plus 20 minutes for baking. Most of the total time is allowing the dough to rise which develops all the flavor in the bread.

I recommend starting early in the morning if you would like to eat them by lunch.

Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (3)

How to Re-heat Bolillo Rolls

Bolillos are best if eaten the same day they’re baked; however, they will keep somewhat soft if you store them in a closed plastic bag for a couple of days.

Re-heating them is easy, turn the oven to 350 °F and heat for 5 minutes, or you can toast them on a comal or slice them in half and put them in the toaster.

I don’t recommend warming bolillos in the microwave, they will become soft, but will lose their crunchiness. Also they tend to get hard fast as they cool off.

Recipes with Bolillos

Bolillos are perfection in tortas. Try my chicken nugget torta or my breakfast egg and bean mini-tortas. I love them as molletes, which include beans, salsa, and queso fresco.

Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (4)

They are the featured star in the Mexican capirotada (sliced bread cooked in a sweet syrup) or in the popular pambazo filled with potato and chorizo and dipped in a hot red sauce.

Dipped in a cup of Mexican hot chocolate, they are divine. They are the perfect companions to chicken broth or soup. Of course, I love them toasted, then slathered with butter, sugar, and cinnamon, or topped with strawberry preserves and sweet cream.

For me, there is nothing like a freshly baked bolillo, just plain, and still a little warm out of the oven. It’s a humble bread, but unmatched.

How to Make Mexican Bolillos

Makes 8 (7-inch bolillos ) or 16 mini-bolillos (5-inch long)

Prep time: 4 minutes – Process: 45 min – Resting time: 3 hr 30 min

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour (approx 500 gr)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (approx 15 gr)
  • 2 teaspoons active yeast (approx 7 gr)
  • 1 1/3 cups lukewarm water (approx 300 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Oil of your choice to grease bowl

Equipment

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In a medium-size bowl, mix flour and salt until combined. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast.

Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (5)

Pour a little bit of the water on top of the yeast and mix with a fork or with your fingers until dissolved, add the sugar and mix a little more. Add the rest of the water and using your hands, mix it in the bowl.

Tip for Kneading: When kneading the dough, only use one hand, it will help to have one clean hand to add ingredients, flour work surfaces, answer the phone, et cetera.

Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (6)

Pour out the dough onto a clean surface and mix with one hand (using the other hand to push the flour with the bench scraper) until all the ingredients are integrated, no more, please don’t over mix. This will take about 5 minutes.

Tip: take a little bit of flour with the clean hand and rub your hands together to detach the dough stuck to your hand.

Form a ball. This ball will look and feel very rough and lumpy. Put it inside a greased medium bowl, cover with plastic or a wet towel.

Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (7)

Place in a warm space away from drafts and let it rest until doubled in size. Depending on the weather and humidity, this can take 1-2 hours.

Tip for getting your bread to rise: If your house is cold, drafty, or the climate is very dry, you can create a space in your oven. Turn on the oven for a half a minute on the lowest setting, just to warm it a little. Turn it off completely and make sure the temperature is below 100 °F or 37 °C. Now you can use it for your bread to rise.

  • Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (8)
  • Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (9)

Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a clean, lightly floured surface. Gently punch it and knead it for a few seconds, just enough to form a ball or roll.

Divide it into 8 pieces for 7-inch bolillos or into 16 pieces for mini-bolillos

Roll each piece to form balls, cover them, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This will help to relax the dough.

  • Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (10)
  • Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (11)

Flour a clean surface and start shaping the bolillos. Take one ball, turn it over and with your fingers start rolling the dough (see video above) tightly.

Fold edges toward the center and keep rolling. Then, with your pinky fingers, push and roll at the same time, about half an inch from the edges, to form the rounded ends of the bolillo.

  • Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (12)
  • Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (13)
  • Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (14)
  • Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (15)

Then, with your fingertips, push the center of the dough to flatten it a little. Repeat and place them on a baking sheet (you don’t need to grease it).

(Video) Bolillos Caseros Receta Facil | Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe | French Bread

Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a light kitchen towel and let them rest until double in size. Depending on the weather and humidity this can take between 1 and 1.5 hours.

Once they have doubled in size, pre-heat the oven at 450 °F (230 °C) and place the small baking sheet (or oven-proof container) with water in the lower rack of the oven.

  • Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (16)
  • Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (17)

Right before baking, sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the bolillos, and, using a very sharp knife or razor and holding it at a 45-degree angle, make a long cut from one side to the other. (I like using a serrated knife).

Finally, before placing them in the oven lightly spray them with water. This is important, the water on top and the warm water in the baking sheet already in the oven will create steam which will make that beautiful crust on the bolillo.

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown top and bottom. Take them out of the oven and immediately transfer to a cooling rack.

Important note for baking: If you make mini-bolillos, start checking them after 18 minutes because they could be done sooner since they are smaller.

Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (18)

Enjoy!

Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (19)

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4.35 from 29 votes

How to Make Mexican Bolillos

Learn how to make these traditional Mexican rolls with this easy recipe. Mexican bolillos are soft inside and crunchy outside, ideal for making tortas (Mexican sandwiches).

Prep Time4 mins

Cook Time45 mins

Resting3 hrs 30 mins

Total Time4 hrs 19 mins

Servings: 8 bolillos

Calories: 209kcal

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour (approx 500 gr)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (approx 15 gr)
  • 2 teaspoons active yeast (approx 7 gr)
  • 1 1/3 cups lukewarm water (approx 300 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Oil of your choice to grease bowl
  • * Measuring cups

  • * Measuring spoons

  • Kitchen scale (optional)

  • Medium size glass bowl

  • Bench scraper. (I have two one plastic bench scraper for mixing and one metal bench scraper for cutting the dough)

  • Plastic wrap or kitchen towel

  • 1 big or two medium baking sheets

  • A small baking sheet or oven proof container

  • 1 very sharp knife or razor

  • Small spray bottle

  • Kitchen rack

  • Oven thermometer

  • In a medium-size bowl, mix flour and salt until combined. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast.

  • Pour a little bit of the water on top of the yeast and mix with a fork or with your fingers until dissolved, add the sugar and mix a little more. Add the rest of the water and using your hands, mix it in the bowl.

    (Video) Traditional Mexican Bolillo Bread Recipe

  • Pour out the dough onto a clean surface and mix with one hand (using the other hand to push the flour with the bench scraper) until all the ingredients are integrated, no more, please don’t over mix. This will take about 5 minutes.

  • Form a ball. This ball will look and feel very rough and lumpy. Cover with plastic or a wet towel.

  • Place in a warm space away from drafts and let it rest until doubled in size. Depending on the weather and humidity, this can take 1-2 hours.

  • Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a clean, lightly floured surface. Gently punch it and knead it for a few seconds, just enough to form a ball or roll.

  • Divide it into 8 pieces for 7-inch bolillos or into 16 pieces for mini-bolillos

  • Roll each piece to form balls, cover them, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This will help to relax the dough.

  • Flour a clean surface and start shaping the bolillos. Take one ball, turn it over, and with your fingers start rolling the dough tightly (see video above).

  • Fold edges toward the center and keep rolling. Then, with your pinky fingers, push and roll at the same time, about half an inch from the edges, to form the rounded ends of the bolillo.

  • Then, with your fingertips, push the center of the dough to flatten it a little. Repeat and place them in a baking sheet (you don't need to grease it).

  • Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a light kitchen towel and let them rest until double in size. Depending on the weather and humidity this can take between 1 and 1.5 hours.

  • Once they have doubled in size, pre-heat the oven to 450 °F (230 °C) and place the small baking sheet (or oven-proof container) with water in the lower rack of the oven.

  • Right before baking, sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the bolillos, and, using a very sharp knife or razor held at a 45 degree angle, make a long cut from one side to the other. (I like using a serrated knife).

  • Finally, before placing them in the oven spray them with water. This is important, the water on top and the warm water in the baking sheet will create steam which will make that beautiful crust on the bolillo.

  • Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown top and bottom. Take them out of the oven and immediately transfer to a cooling rack.

Nutrition Facts

How to Make Mexican Bolillos

Amount per Serving

% Daily Value*

Fat

1

g

2

%

Saturated Fat

1

g

6

%

Sodium

586

mg

25

%

(Video) PAN BOLILLOS | Easy French Bread Recipe | Bolillos Caseros | Bake With Me

Potassium

83

mg

2

%

Carbohydrates

41

g

14

%

Sugar

1

g

1

%

(Video) How to Make Bolillos (Mexican Rolls) | Full detailed instructions

Protein

8

g

16

%

Calcium

8

mg

1

%

Iron

1

mg

6

%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course: Breads

Cuisine: Mexican

Keyword: easy Mexican bolillos recipe, How to make Mexican dinner rolls

Tip for getting your bread to rise: If your house is cold, drafty, or the climate is very dry, you can create a space in your oven. Turn on the oven for a half a minute on the lowest setting, just to warm it a little. Turn it off completely and make sure the temperature is below 100 °F or 37 °C. Now you can use it for your bread to rise.

Tip for Kneading: When kneading the dough, only use one hand, it will help to have one clean hand to add ingredients, flour surfaces, answer the phone, et cetera.

Tip: take a little bit of flour with the clean hand and rub your hands together to detach the dough stuck to your hand.

Important note for baking: If you make mini-bolillos, start checking them after 18 minutes because they could be done sooner since they are smaller.

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Traditional Mexican Bolillos Easy Recipe (21)

FAQs

What are bolillos made of? ›

A bolillo is a small loaf of plain white bread, crusty on the outside with a soft interior.

Are Birotes and bolillos the same? ›

What is this? Some bolillo variations are the “birote” which is just longer (even though in some parts of Mexico the term is interchangeable) and the “telera” which is made with the same ingredients, but the shape is flatter and divided into three sections.

What is the inside of a bolillo called? ›

It is roughly 15 centimeters (5.9 in) long, in the shape of an ovoid, with a crunchy crust and a soft inside known as migajón (Spanish pronunciation: [miɣaˈxon]).

Are bolillos healthy? ›

Rich in vitamins and minerals (9.2%/cal) - a good source of Selenium, Iron, Vitamin K and Phosphorus. Contains a moderate amount of risky components that may include saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugars (0.01%/oz). Good source of proteins (21% of DV/100g).

What do you eat bolillo with? ›

You can toast the bolillo or not, you choose. Then spread some mayonnaise and add your fillings: Choose your preferred meat and cheese, add sliced tomatoes, avocado, and jalapenos and you're all done. Dinner – Bolillo is the savory bread of choice to pair with your dinner or traditional dishes like mole or birria.

What are the most common ingredients in Mexican food? ›

The most popular Mexican ingredients are beans, rice, avocado and limes. They're utilized in nearly every dish, from hearty enchilada casseroles to creamy drinks like horchata.

What do bolillos taste like? ›

Like a baguette, it has a crunchy crust and soft interior. However, it is often shorter, wider and oval shaped whereas a baguette tends to be long and skinny. The bread itself has a savory, mild flavor similar to a baguette. There are some variations of the bolillo recipe that do have a sweeter flavor.

How do you toast a bolillo? ›

First, slice the bolillo bread rolls in half lengthwise, and spread a little butter on each slice. Place them under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the bread and firm it up a bit. Next, top with refried beans and cheese. Broil one last time for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese and that's it!

How do you cut a bolillo? ›

How to Make Bolillos | Mexican Sandwich Bread | Tortas - YouTube

How many calories is a bolillo? ›

198 calories

What do you call Mexican bread? ›

Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread)

Can Vegans eat bolillos? ›

Bolillos are famously used 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.

Does Bolillo have sugar? ›

Roll, bolillo, Mexican contains 242 calories per 76 g serving. This serving contains 4.4 g of fat, 8.1 g of protein and 42 g of carbohydrate. The latter is 2.7 g sugar and 1.7 g of dietary fiber, the rest is complex carbohydrate.

How much protein is in a Bolillo roll? ›

H-E-B White Bolillos
TOTAL FAT2g3%
DIETARY FIBER2g8%
SUGARS2g
SUGAR ALCOHOL0g
PROTEIN8g
6 more rows

What type of bread is used for tortas? ›

Mexican tortas are defined by two types of bread: bolillos and teleras. 1. Bolillos are torpedo-shaped rolls similar to a soft baguette. Tortas made on bolillo rolls are sometimes called lonches.

What is a molete roll? ›

This open-faced Mexican sandwich is made with toasted bolillos layered with refried beans and shredded cheese, then baked until the cheese is melted perfectly.

What are the 3 main ingredients in Mexican food? ›

But, keeping in mind the country's unique culinary traditions, it's fair to say that Mexican cuisine depends on three core staples: corn, beans, and chiles.

Who invented Bolio? ›

Emack & Bolio's
IndustryRetail
FounderRobert Rook
HeadquartersUnited States
Area servedChina, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, USA
ProductsIce cream, chocolate, hot fudge, smoothies
3 more rows

Where did bolillo come from? ›

Etymology. From Mexican Spanish bolillo (“bread roll”).

What is the difference between telera and bolillo? ›

Bolillo is usually used for making Mexican bread pudding, dunking in hot chocolate and sometimes making tortas. Telera has a flatter shape and is sectioned in three pieces. The outside of this roll is much softer compared to a bolillo. There is no difference texturally between the inside and the outside of the roll.

What bread is served with pozole? ›

Bolillos go great with coffee or horchata and eggs for breakfast! Toast the bolillos on a griddle with some butter for breakfast. Serve the bolillos with a salad and some Mexican pozole! You could use the bolillos as open sandwiches/tortas with layers of meat or other Mexican flavors for lunch!

How do you heat torta bread? ›

Slice the bread in half and toast both halves lightly. You want them warm and crispy without being burnt. If your bread of choice is too thick for the toaster, use a dry, non-stick pan to toast it! It does pay off to toast the bread, the torta will taste so much better if you do!

How do you pronounce bolillo roll? ›

How to Pronounce Bolillo - YouTube

Is Mexican bread healthy? ›

Relatively rich in vitamins and minerals (5.6%/cal) - a good source of Selenium and Iron. Contains a moderate amount of risky components that may include saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugars (0.02%/oz). Good source of proteins (17% of DV/100g).

How do you eat Mexican bread? ›

Chefs around the U.S. have added these Mexican sweet breads to their menus. Some dip and soak them in hot chocolate at breakfast. Others eat them with sour cream and black beans.

What is on banh mi? ›

Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that's made up of an odd sounding combination – crusty bread rolls smeared with pate, mayo, suspicious looking Asian ham, pickled vegetables, green onion, coriander/cilantro, a mighty wack of fresh chillies and drizzle of seasoning.

How many calories should I eat a day? ›

How many calories should I eat a day? Adult females need anywhere from 1,600 to 2,400 calories a day and adult males need anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 calories a day, according to the USDA's latest “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” report released in 2020.

How many carbs are in Mexican bread? ›

Mexican Sweet Bread (1 piece) contains 45g total carbs, 45g net carbs, 13g fat, 5g protein, and 320 calories.

How many calories is an avocado? ›

Okay, so one whole avocado contains 322 calories, according to the USDA. That may seem like a lot, but a single serving of the fruit actually racks up only about 107 calories.

Why is Mexican bread so dry? ›

This is a concha, it is supposed to be dry. So that the crust stays yummy and not mushy. We (Mexicans) actually go to great lenghts to keep the breath fresh but not humid.

What is the most popular bread in Mexico? ›

Conchas or Mexican Sweet Bread is one of the most popular Mexican Breads. They are sweet, fluffy, and absolutely delicious.

What is the most common bread in Mexico? ›

MAIN INGREDIENTS

Tortilla, originally a corn flatbread, is one of the essential bread varieties that has been present in Mexican culture for thousands of years.

Can Vegans eat French bread? ›

Is French bread vegan? When we talk about French bread, we usually mean baguettes—long loaves with crispy outsides and soft insides. In general, these breads are vegan.

What are Mexican pastries called? ›

Mexican pan dulce can encompass pastries, sweet breads and even cookies, and are typically purchased from a panadería, or bakery. Popular kinds of pan dulce that you're probably familiar with may include varieties such as conchas, sweet empanadas, cuernos, and puerquitos or marranitos.

How many calories are in a Bolillo? ›

H‑E‑B White Bolillos
CALORIES220
CALORIES FROM FAT20

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