Italian Bread Rolls

When you think of panini, what immediately comes to mind is likely the popular grilled/pressed sandwiches stuffed with meats, cheeses and vegetables. But in reality, panini is the plural of panino, which means “little bread rolls” in Italian. I myself did not realize this until I came across a recipe in my Betty Crocker Italian Cooking for Little Bread Rolls.

Italian Bread Rolls
AKA, Panini. I’ve made this recipe several times since Jay got me this cookbook a couple years ago, and I love it because it’s simple, easy, and compared with a lot of bread recipes, it doesn’t seem to take too long.

Italian Bread Rolls 2
And fresh from the oven, they are divine. Crusty on the outside, warm and soft on the inside. They’re big enough that as much as I love my bread, I usually split one with the bambino. Unless a delicious red pasta sauce is a component of the main meal–Then I have a tendency to go overboard with sopping up any leftover sauce with the bread. But it’s worth slipping into a carb-coma at the end of dinner.

Yield: 6

Italian Bread Rolls

Italian Bread Rolls
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes


  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 C warm water (between 105 & 115 degrees F)
  • 3 C flour
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all the ingredients except the water. Mixing on low speed, slowly stream in the water until the dough forms. Continue kneading for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth without feeling sticky.

Shape the dough into a ball, and place it on a lightly floured surface. Cover, and rise for an hour, or until doubled in size (the dough will be ready if you press 2 fingers into it, and the indentations remain).

Grease a baking sheet and set aside. Deflate the dough, then divide into 6 equal pieces. Roll each part into a 2 1/2-inch ball, tapering the sides slightly. Dust the tops and bottoms of each roll before placing on the baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

During the second rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the rolls for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with butter or olive oil and dipping spices, or cool on a wire rack.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag it on Instagram using #tramplingroserecipes

I’ve made these both in the stand mixer (which is much easier) as well as the more traditional way, but I think what I love most about this recipe is just how easy it is. There’s no rolling or patting out of the dough or making fancy shapes. If you can make a ball from a piece of bread dough, you can make these rolls. And I highly recommend that you do.

Italian Bread Rolls 3
Buon appetito!

Disclosure: This post uses an Amazon Affilate link.