Sourdough Dinner Rolls
This no-knead recipe for sourdough dinner rolls makes delightfully soft, pull-apart rolls with amazing flavour. Serve warm with a smear of butter for a perfect side for any meal.
We love everything about these rolls. And with sourdough growing in popularity, this recipe is a great alternative to traditional dinner rolls. With their golden crust, fluffy crumb, and great sourdough flavour, who wouldn’t love one of these to accompany a hot soup or stew, or stuffed with charcuterie for a quick bite.
Tips Make the best Sourdough Dinner Rolls
USE AN ACTIVE STARTER
We used an active 100% hydration rye starter for this recipe, but any active full hydration starter will work. An active (bubbly) starter will ensure a good rise on your rolls, and can also cut down on proofing time if need be.
If you haven’t yet been introduced to the wonderful world of sourdough starters, here’s our simple tutorial on how to make your own. PSA: it’s easier than you think!
USE A FLOUR BLEND
For this recipe, we use a blend of bread flour and all-purpose flour. Bread flour contains slightly more gluten than all-purpose flour and will help in shaping your rolls and enhance their final texture. However, if you don’t have bread flour, all-purpose will be just fine.
For maximum flavour and texture, we recommend an overnight fermentation in the fridge. Cover the rolls with a slightly damp tea towel and large plate for a plastic-free way to keep your dough from drying out in the fridge.
SHAPING THE ROLLS
When shaping the rolls, a good dusting of flour on a clean work surface is essential. We share photos below of how to fold and shape the dough before their final proof.
Basically, you need to lightly coat one side of each dough ball in a dusting of flour. Then, fold from the floured side in, stretching slightly, to bring the dough around and in to form a tight ball.
Next, turn each ball over onto a lightly floured surface and using both hands, rotate and pull the dough ball counterclockwise to create surface tension on the top of the ball. This will form a taught ‘skin’ on the outside of the dough which will help the rolls keep their shape during the final proofing and baking stages.
NO EGG WASH NEEDED
Surprise! You don’t need an egg wash to get a beautiful golden crust on these rolls. And, we actually recommended not using one- it can prevent the rolls from rising fully during baking.
Baking Schedule: When to Start the Rolls
This recipe makes a great weekend bake, assuming you have two consecutive days off. If time is an issue, you have the option to leave the dough in the refrigerator for a longer bulk fermentation of up to 24 hours. Below, we break down the baking schedule for ease of reference:
6:00PM: Mix the dough. Over the next half hour, stretch and fold the dough several times, with a few minutes between each round. A minimum of three stretch and folds is needed to help develop the gluten.
6:30PM: Cover and refrigerate the dough.
9:00AM (or when you get up): Separate the dough into balls and form the individual rolls (see images and notes above for a visual reference). Place the rolls into the baking dish and cover with a slightly damp tea towel. Allow the rolls to rise at room temperature.
11:00 – 12:00PM: The rolls should be about doubled in size and ready to bake. After baking, brush with additional butter while still hot, and serve.
Time Saving Tips
If your starter is very active, you can use a shorter initial proofing time of about 4 hours. As stated above, a longer fermentation time is better for both to flavour and structure, but these rolls will still work if you’re short on time. Also, if you prefer a mild sourdough flavour, use a shorter bulk proof at room temperature or in a warm, draft free spot.
Did you know that sourdough stays fresher longer than regular bread? As a result, you can bake these sourdough dinner rolls a day in advance, store them in an airtight container, and they will have virtually no change in texture or flavour. A quick warm up in the oven before serving will also make these rolls seem as through you’ve just baked them.
Storing Sourdough Dinner Rolls
You can store any leftover rolls in an airtight container, bread bag, or tightly wrap and freeze them up to 3 months. defrost them in the fridge and simply reheat before serving.
Moreover, if you have any leftovers that aren’t at peak freshness, don’t toss them out – cut them up and make sourdough croutons for soups or salads.
Dairy-Free Sourdough Dinner Rolls
If you prefer not to use butter for this recipe, simply use a 1:1 ratio of either plant-based butter or margarine to make these dairy-free.
Need more Sourdough Recipes like this one?
If you love sourdough as much as we do, or simply want to try something new, we have a great collection of sourdough recipes for you to try. Here are a few popular recipes:
- ¾ cup (180ml) whole milk, room temperature or slightly warmed
- 1 cup (200 grams) active sourdough starter
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 ½ cups (375 grams) bread flour
- 1 cup (150 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar
- 1 teaspoon (8 grams) sea salt
- ⅓ cup (75 grams) softened butter, plus more for brushing
Day One: Making the Dough
- Add the milk to a large bowl. Add the starter and whisk to combine, then whisk in the eggs until well mixed. Place the butter into the bowl and stir to combine. The butter will be in small pieces but that's fine.
- Add the bread flour and all purpose flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl. Use a wooden spoon to mix, making sure to incorporate all of the flour, until a shaggy dough has formed.
- Cover the dough with a tea towel, and, every 10 minutes for the next half hour, do stretches and folds. Use your hand to take one edge of the dough, stretch it up toward yourself, then fold it toward the centre of the bowl. Turn the bowl and repeat until all of the dough has been stretched. Repeat this process two more times with a 10 minute break between each.
Day One: Bulk Fermentation
- Place a lightly damp tea towel and a large plate over your bowl, then place the bowl into the refrigerator for the bulk fermentation. This should take about 12 hours, and your dough should double in size. If, at the end of this time, the dough hasn't doubled, simply take it out to rise at room temperature until it has.
- Alternatively, if your starter is very strong, you can likely do a shorter initial rise (about 4 hours) at room temperature instead.
Day Two: Shaping the Rolls
- Lightly flour a clean surface and turn the proofed dough out onto it. Separate the dough into 16 approximately equal pieces. Grease a large baking dish with butter and set aside.
- Take each piece of dough and repeat the stretching and folding motion from earlier. Lightly coat one side of the piece in flour, then gently stretch one edge and fold it in to the middle of the piece. Rotate, repeating the motion, until a ball has formed.
- Place the ball onto the lightly floured surface and use the outer edge of both little fingers to rotate the ball counterclockwise. This will help the roll to form a skin on the outer layer so that it keeps a nice shape when rising and baking.
- Repeat this until all of the rolls are shaped, placing each roll into the baking dish as you go.
Day Two: Second Proof
- Cover the rolls with a tea towel and set them aside to rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours, or until almost doubled in size. If you want to extend the fermentation time even longer, you could refrigerate the shaped rolls overnight again.
Day Two: Baking
- Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C, then place the rolls into the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until dark golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and brush the tops with a generous amount of melted butter. This both softened the rolls and adds even more flavour.
- Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. The rolls will keep well for a few days in a sealed container at room temperature and freeze well.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 214Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 314mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 6g
This is an approximation of the nutrition offered in this recipe, and is created using a nutrition calculator.
If you made our no-knead sourdough dinner rolls, we’d love to hear all about it! Tag us on instagram at @baked_theblog and #bakedtheblog. We’d also love to hear from you in the comments below.