mexican bolillo bread & bread tips


Bollilo bread,  a popular Mexican bread with a crunchy crust and a soft inside similar to a french baguette.

Most commonly used to prepare tortas (Mexican sandwiches) and molletes, a tasty breakfast dish that involves beans, chihuahua cheese, pico de gallo, and the option of crumbled Mexican chorizo.

I’ll take this over eggs and pancakes, any time any day.

There are various recipes for bolillo, some involving lard, oil, or honey, some not.  This is as basic as it can get.

Bolillo Bread (15) ::

  • 1000g AP flour
  • 20g dry active yeast
  • 60g sugar
  • 20g salt
  • 600mL water

In a small jar combine yeast, 200mL of water, and 10g of sugar.  Shake well, set aside, and allow to froth.

Measure out dry ingredients and place half the (sifted!) flour in a mixing bowl along with the remaining sugar.

After the yeast mix has rested for 10ish minutes add it to the mixing bowl with the flour and sugar.  Mix well with your hands.  Add the second half of flour, salt, and remaining water and mix til well incorporated.  Knead for 10-12 minutes until a smooth ball is formed and the dough jumps back once pressed with your finger.

Place in large bowl, cover, and set aside to rest for minimum of one hour.  While your dough relaxes check out this video on how to roll our the bolillo bread and make the recipe without using yeast.


Preheat your oven to 400-450°F and line a baking sheet with wax paper.  Roll out your breads, place them on the lined baking sheet and pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes til golden brown and crusty on the outside.

Bolillo bread is best when eaten fresh.

*Some bread baking tips from 100 Great Breads by Paul Hollywood-

-You do not always need to dissolve yeast in warm water; just throw it in.

-When mixing the ingredients, avoid contact between the yeast and salt:  salt kills yeast, which means the bread wont rise.

-You do not always need to use warm water when making bread;  the bread will rise anyway, even in the refrigerator.  The slower the rising (proving) time, the more flavor the bread will have.

-When rolling out and kneading the dough, do not coat the counter in inches of flour.  The dough will pick it up and tighten up too much.

-I do not normally cover the dough when it is resting;  a little skinning on the top should be incorporated back into the dough.

-ALWAYS preheat your oven so that your bread has somewhere to go when it, and not you, is ready!

-Put the breads onto a cooling rack when they come out of the oven- this is to prevent the bread from sweating and going soft.

-Do not store baked bread in a refrigerator- it will go stale three times quicker than if left in a bread bin.


  1. Ivan says

    Bread-Roll, imperfection
    Bolillos, pronounced boh-lee-oh, are basically a white-bread roll, not circular in shape, more oval in shape. When correctly made they split on the top in the center during baking and open quite a lot. When something is not right they don’t split on top … or they are out of shape … or appear to have not risen sufficiently and are quite hard. I have always wanted to know why this is happening so frequently, yet most of the time things are fine. The people still buy them all, probably out of desperation, because they always mumble insults when this happens. I walk away and if I have time I’ll wait for the next batch.
    I live in Mexico and have tried asking the persons in the bread/cake dept. of the supermarket WHY this is the case, when I come across this ‘imperfection’. I only buy these rolls a few times a week yet I come across this irritating imperfection so often. How many times does it happen during the course of every day?! When I bring this to their attention and ask Why, they give all sorts of answers which are obviously lies that they’ve dreamnt up at the spur of the moment; either they are afraid of losing their job, or are ashamed, or simply apathetic liars. I raise my arms in desperation and they give that He is a Gringo look apologetically. Even though I am not American!
    Its driving me nuts. There must be an explanation. I want to go to the management and bring this to their attention. But I have to know the cause and solution. Once I was told that there is a moisturising system within the baking-ovens … but the way it was described to me: a tray of water in the oven which humidifies the process… a tray of water sounded primitive to me … I’d expect a vaporizing system if humidity is part of the process.
    Anyway, you’ve got my point. Please, there must be someone out there who knows, and can explain all this to me. I’m sick of it.

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