Marraquetas: Chilean French Bread Rolls

Bread variety called Marraqueta paceña, from La Paz, Bolvia.
Meibit/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0
Prep: 3 hrs
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 3 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
173 Calories
2g Fat
34g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 173
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 425mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 51mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

La marraqueta is probably the most popular bread in Chile, and una marraqueta is something many Chileans enjoy every day. Marraquetas (also known as pan chileno, pan frances, and pan batido) are crusty rolls made with flour, water, yeast, and salt, similar to French bread. Marraquetas are known for their distinctive shape which allows them to be easily divided into four parts. They are often rather large, about the size of two bagels, and are broken in half to make sandwiches.

Chileans enjoy marraquetas for breakfast, as sandwich bread, toasted and spread with avocado, or as a dinner roll to dip or spread with pebre, a pepper sauce. La marraqueta is also traditional in Tacna, Peru, where they're served with the local specialty, picante a la tacneña, as well as the cities of La Paz and El Alto in Bolivia.

The dough for these rolls is easy to make (and can be started in the bread machine), but shaping marraquetas can be a bit tricky. Basically, two balls of dough come together to form one large oval-shaped roll, with a long "corte" (or cut) lengthwise down the middle. Bakeries in Chile have special equipment that turns out perfect marraquetas, but you can make a reasonable facsimile of the same shape at home.


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water, more as needed

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 tablespoon oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. To make this dough in the bread machine, place all of the ingredients in the machine according to the manufacturer's directions. Run the dough cycle, and let the dough rest in the machine until ready to use (up to 12 hours). The longer the dough rests, the more complex the flavor will be.

  3. To prepare the dough in a mixer: Place the flour and yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer and use the dough hook attachment to mix them together briefly. Add the remaining ingredients, and using the dough hook attachment, begin to knead them together.

  4. Knead until the dough comes together into a ball, adding a tablespoon or 2 of water if necessary, or some extra flour if the dough seems too wet. The dough should form a stretchy yet firm ball. Continue to knead the dough until it is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky, about 10 minutes.

  5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. The dough can be refrigerated overnight at this stage, which will also improve the flavor.

  6. Punch down the dough and divide into 10 equal pieces (100 grams each). Roll each piece into a smooth ball.

  7. Take 2 balls of dough and place them side by side, touching closely, to form an oval. Roll the oval on the counter, horizontally, to help stick the 2 balls of dough together. Let the paired balls of dough rest for 5 minutes, covered with a damp towel.

  8. Position two racks in the center and lower position in the oven and heat to 400 F. Place a large rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack. Use a rolling pin to flatten the paired dough balls into a flat oval shape, by rolling over them lengthwise in both directions. Turn the oval 90 degrees and run the rolling pin over it again. Place the flattened dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.

  9. Use a pizza cutter to make a line from end to end, lengthwise, cutting deeply but not all the way through. Repeat with the remaining dough, until you have 5 flat, double rolls on the baking sheet.

  10. Just before placing the rolls in the oven, use the side of your hand or the tips of your fingers to press down on the cut made with the pizza cutter, pressing down firmly to completely flatten the dough along this groove.

  11. Place the rolls in middle rack in the oven. Scatter 1 cup of ice cubes in the large rimmed sheet on the bottom rack of the oven to create steam. Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden and crusty.

  12. Enjoy.