If there is anything that you should learn to make, apart from bread of course, that would be the bread rolls. Be it simple dinner rolls, fancy hot cross buns or versatile burger buns, it is a skill any baking enthusiast would love to have.
I have tried many recipes and tutorials, prior to my culinary education and bakery experience. To be honest, I struggled to get it right mainly because I didn’t know what I was looking for. I wasn’t even trying sourdough versions.
That was 7 years ago and a lot have changed since then. You can actually find good, quality resources on the internet. But, I may have slightly different approach/method, so here is my journal. I will try to mentions every little detail along the way, but feel free to reach me for questions/clarifications either through comment here or IG.
Ingredients and alternatives:
You can of course use any glutenous flour or a combination. All purpose, strong bread flour should be the base. You can mix other flour verities to change texture, flavor at 5 – 20% ;
Fat is what makes rolls softer and help keep soft for longer.
Fat is usually introduced as fat itself, but eggs and milk has fat too. Keep that in mind when you mix and match. You can use any of the fats below;
Oil (Vegetable, canola, olive oil, grape seed, avocado)
Bacon fat ( Inna @flourfloozy should get credit for this idea)
Adding eggs is optional. You can totally skip this process or opt to add just egg yolk for a richer texture. You can also use tofu instead of eggs and get all the effects of adding eggs. 1/4 cup tofu is equal to an egg, but make sure to drain well to remove excess water out.
Optional again. Milk, just like eggs adds extra richness. Increases softness, and sweetness. Keep in mind different milks have different sweetness and flavors. So use a in less % if you are not sure. Use following alternatives;
Cows milk (any fat %)
Nut milk (check if it is sweetened)
Coconut milk (beware of flavor and fat content)
Need only very little. Interchange with any of the following;
Rice malt syrup etc.
Water is the most basic and easy solution here. Feel free to use alternatives as replacement or mixed with water to get extra flavor;
Coconut water etc.
Use either eggs or milk to brush the top. This gives a nice color and shine. Use any of the following to decorate or keep it plain;
Line seeds etc.
Mix everything except the water and start to mix. Add water gradually, until a soft dough is formed. Use a stand mixer with dough hook or use a spatula. Once everything comes together kneed a further minute until dough is smooth. Take the dough out on to a floured surface. Finish kneading by hands. Its okay if the dough is bit sticky. Fold the dough to create a smooth dough ball. check next picture.
Use flour to stop the dough from sticking to your hands. Once it looks smooth like in the picture, place it in a lightly greased bowl.
Cover the bowl loosely with a lid or a tea towel and place in a warm place for the bulk fermentation. (3-4 hours)
I use my oven for this, with a cup of boiling water placed on the bottom rack. Replace with new boiling water once every 1.5 hours.
This is how the dough would look after the bulk. We are looking for a softer puffed up dough which has almost doubled the original volume.
Punch down the dough and fold it back to a tight ball and place back in the same bowl. Cover tightly and place in the fridge until next day.
You can continue to make rolls without retarding. In that case let it ferment a little further and continue the rest of the steps.
Next day, take the dough out and let it thaw for about an hour. When the dough is soft enough to handle, you can move to the next step.
Divide the dough in to 8 equal pieces. The total dough weight might be different each time so weight the whole dough and divide that by 8 to get how much a piece should weigh.
Let the dough pieces rest for about 10 minutes once divided
Shape them into tight rolls. Check this video to get an idea on how to shape rolls. Make sure to get most of the air out from the dough as you roll.
Place the rolls on a tray and once everything is shaped, press each roll to squash it to flatten a bit. (press down on the roll with your palm or fist) check the picture. Notice they are a bit flatter than the roll in the picture above.
Now loosely cover these and place in a warm place until doubled. ( 3 – 4 hours again or might be longer)
Once proofed, place a pizza stone/cast iron tray and preheat the oven to 425 F 0R 220 C. It’s okay if you don’t have a pizza stone, you can still get good results.
Once the oven is ready, egg wash the rolls and decorate the top with sesame. And place the rolls in the oven.
Spay a little water using a spay bottle to create a bit of steam. This is optional.
bake for about 10 minutes, rotate the tray, reduce temperature to 400 F and bake for a further 5 minutes.
Once fully baked, remove from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool.
- 400 g bread flour
- 6 g salt (1 teaspoon)
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 80 g fed starter
- 40 g butter (softened)
- 130 ml milk
- +/-100 ml water
- egg yolk and 1 tbsp water to egg wash
- some sesame seeds to decorate
- Weigh everything except for the water in to a bowl ( or bowl of a stand mixer)
- Start mixing and add water gradually
- When everything starts to come together, continue to mix until a dough is developed
- This dough might be a little sticky
- If too sticky add some flour or let it rest for 10 minutes
- Then mix/knead for another minute or two
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface and finish off kneading by hand
- Use slap and fold motion
- Use a little flour to help if necessary
- make into a smooth dough ball and place in a bowl
- Cover and place in a warm place for bulk fermentation
- This may take about 4 hours or longer in a cooler place
- Once dough is almost double in size, punch it down
- Round up the dough to a tight ball place in the same bowl, cover tightly and place in the fridge until next day
- Next morning, take the bowl out and let it thaw for about an hour until the dough is soft
- Then divide in to 8 equal pieces
- Let these rest for 10 minutes and shape in to rolls
- Once shaped, place on a tray and press rolls lightly to flatten a bit
- Cover and leave in a warm place again until they are doubled in size
- This may take about 4 – 5 hours
- Then preheat the oven to 425 F or 220 C
- Place a baking stone if you have one, this is optional, but would give better oven spring
- Once the oven is ready, egg wash the rolls and sprinkle with sesame seeds and place in the oven
- Spray a little water using a spray bottle (use whatever method you usually do to get steam)It’s okay to note have steam
- Bake for 10 minutes and check
- Reduce temp. to 400 F and bake for a further 5 minutes if they are not done extend for a further 5 minutes
- Once baked, let the buns cool on a rack
Very well explained, step by step and all the alternatives too . Thanks for sharing
Thanks Priti 🙂
These are amazing. Even though my main oven failed on me and I had to use a combination one that only does 200C they still came out great. Best burger buns I ever had!
That’s awesome. Thanks for your feedback.
Excellent recipe, and explained in detail. Thank you so much. Just started my sourdough baking journey. Definitely going to try this soon.
Thank you 🙂
Hey Very Nice recipe
We tried it came our beautiful
We have guest coming over is there any egg substitute available they are vegetarians
You can skip the egg in the dough and may be use extra milk(dairy or plant based)/water to replace the moisture.
Instead of the egg wash on top you can brush with milk(dairy or plant based)
Great sourdough buns and prefect directions! Making my second batch today. We love them and they freeze great!
Thank you Vindi for sharing your recipes!
You are welcome! This recipe has never failed me 🙂
Hi loveed your recipe and want to know more about sourdough
Thank you 🙂
Making this today =D I have rendered chicken fat, I have been wanting to use this in a burger bun. No milk though… I used it up just now for Clever Carrot’s Sourdough Banana Bread =D! I’ll go with IPA. Can’t waiiit!
Ooo Chicken fat! sounds YUM
Thank you for making this so easy to understand. My daughter and I made these this weekend and they were so yummy! I’m already back, checking out more of your SD recipes 🙂
Aww I’m stoked to hear that! 🙂
Hope you’ll find other recipes interesting too.
This recipe is a keeper for sure! Made these today and they are absolutely amazing
Thanks Belinda. Yes this recipe has never failed me.
I am back 😀
I did this a couple of times last year with lovely result but now I wanted to report a success, I was brave and did half white bread flour and half wholemeal.
They are gorgeous…
Hope to do them with rye also..when I find some rye flour here in the middle of nowhere :))
Have a great weekend!
That’s wonderful Alice 🙂
Yes, these are great with whole meal or even wholegrain(high extraction). Good job!
When using Rye however, may be try 10% at first and then increment overtime to find the perfect balance. Rye makes he dough extremely sticky.
I made a double batch is past weekend! They came out picture perfect and everyone agreed the hamburgers were delicious because of the buns!! I love your passion for baking, clear and thorough directions and I hope for more videos!!
Thank you Anita. I am so glad that they turned out perfect 🙂
This recipe has never failed me!
Did a batch today, it was awesome. The best burger buns I’ve had so far 🙂
I mixed 100gr whole wheat flour with 300gr APF, the texture was so good.
Thank you for sharing the recipe.
Amazing! Well done with the whole wheat addition! This recipe is very versatile