This is a recipe for freshly baked rohlíky, Czech bread rolls made from yeasted dough. These homemade rohlíky are feather-light and melt in your mouth!
What Are Rohlíky?
Rohlík is a type of white bread, shaped in a crescent, very popular in the Czech Republic. Czechs eat rohlíky (plural) for breakfast, snacks, or even a quick dinner.
Rohlík tastes best fresh with butter. If you like sweet foods, add jam or honey. To make the rohlík salty, you decorate it with salami, ham, or a slice of cheese.
Well-made rohlík’s crust is nice and crispy, while the inside is super soft and spongy. The surface is sprinkled with coarse salt, caraway, or poppy seeds.
Rohlík is also a perfect accompaniment to Czech deli-style salad with mayo, Pochoutkový salát.
I recorded short audio on how to pronounce the Czech word "rohlíky".
You don’t need any fancy ingredients to make rohlíky. Here is everything that is required:
- All-purpose flour; in Czech hladká mouka
- Pork lard (vepřové sádlo); softened at room temperature, optional unsalted butter
- Milk; lukewarm
- Instant yeast
For topping caraway or poppy seed, coarse salt.
This recipe is similar to Czech braided rolls (housky).
However, in this recipe version, I used instant yeast instead of fresh yeast and pork lard (sádlo) instead of butter.
The first important step is a perfectly kneaded and raised dough. And secondly, you need to make a nice shape of rohlíky.
Hint: Both step 1 and 2 are easy!
- Place the flour, instant yeast, lukewarm milk, pork lard, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Combine all ingredients. Start with a fork or a wooden spoon, continue with your hands. Knead the dough properly until soft and slightly sticky to the touch, but it should not stick to clean fingertips. If the kneaded dough is too sticky, dust it with extra 1 tsp flour a time until it stops sticking.
- Let the dough rise for 20 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Flatten each part out in a disc. Cut the circle like a pizza into triangles. Roll the rohlík from the wider side to the tip, bend in half in a crescent shape.
- Let rohlíky shapes rise for a further 45 minutes in a warm place.
- After that, brush the surface with a little warm water (no milk, no egg wash), sprinkle topping on top of rohlíky.
- Bake in a well-preheated oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.
TIP: When you make a rohlík shape from a triangle, roll it a bit while slightly pressing down. Rohlík will have a better consistency and won’t untangle while baking.
Rohlíky Dough: Should I Use a Stand Mixer or My Hands?
I have to admit that I don’t have any stand mixer at home. I make any dough the old-fashioned way (I mean, I use my hands).
I always start mixing the ingredients with a fork or a wooden spoon until all ingredients are well combined.
After that, I pull the mass out of the mixing bowl on a worktop and continue kneading the dough with my hands until just fine. Keep in mind it will take a little longer to knead by hand, though.
Of course, if you’re used to the stand mixer, you can use it to prepare rohlíky dough!
If you make & bake rohlík as a straight shape, you can cut it into round pieces and use it for making jednohubky.
The yeast dough needs a warm environment to rise, which may pose a problem in few households, especially in winter.
Here’s a piece of advice on how to create a perfect environment:
- Place a small pot with hot water in the bottom of an oven (turned-off).
- Close the oven door.
- Place the dough in a bowl into the oven without any cover.
Warm humid environment does all the magic for perfectly risen dough!
Another option is to cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it leaven in a warm place. Don’t forget to dust the dough with some flour in this case, so it doesn’t stick to the plastic wrap.
Rohlíky – Czech Bread Rolls
- 4 cups (520 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 oz (55 g) pork lard or unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
- 1 and ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp instant yeast (or 20 g fresh yeast)
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk (lukewarm)
- Coarse sea salt, caraway, poppy seeds
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Start mixing them with the help of a wooden spoon, then pull the mass out of a bowl and put it on a worktop. Knead the dough with hands properly until smooth and elastic.
- Let the dough rise for 20 minutes, ideally in an oven, where you have put a pot with hot water before. A steamy and warm environment is the best for raising yeast dough.
- After 20 minutes, divide the dough into 2 parts. Roll each of them out into a disc (about ⅕ inch – 5 mm thick).
- Cut the disk-like pizza into 8 equally sized triangles. Start rolling each triangle from the wider side to the tip, stretch a tip while rolling a bit.
- Roll the rolled rohlík some more while pressing on the dough. Rohlík gets a bit longer, and it’s less likely to untangle during baking.
- Bend the prepared rohlík into a crescent shape.
- Transfer rohlíky onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Let them rise for a further 45 minutes. Make sure to leave some space in between the rohlíky to rise.
- If you let the rohlíky rise on a worktop, dust them with a little flour on the top and cover the rolls with a kitchen towel (the surface of the rolls will not get dry).
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 °F (230 °C). Put a small pot with hot water in the bottom inside the oven. Rohlíky need to be baked in a steamy environment.
- After rohlíky finish rising, brush them with a little water and sprinkle the top with poppy seeds or a mixture of coarse salt and caraway (ratio 1:1).
- Place rohlíky into the preheated oven and bake for about 8 minutes until golden brown.
- You need to bake rohlíky in a well-preheated oven for a crunchy crust and a soft inside. It takes only a few minutes until they are baked!
- Rohlíky taste the best fresh. Eat them the second day after baking them, then they start getting harder.
DISCLAIMER: Because I come from Central Europe, my recipes are based on metric units such as grams or milliliters. Check out how I convert metric units to the U.S. system:Conversion chart
The original recipe was published in the famous Czech cookbook by Roman Vaněk.