I think I invented the most perfect dinner rolls recipe ever! That sounds a bit too dramatic, but trust me, that’s how I felt when they came out of the oven. They smelled so good and tasted even better with a slathering of butter, still warm and fresh.
These are NOT super enriched, brioche style buns. But they are soft, aromatic, nutty and wholesome. I think these are the perfect side to serve with your main or the bread and butter course it self. They don’t taste overly sweet, jut a touch of honey, so the thyme flavor is the real hero here. Just 10% each of wholemeal and rye makes a world of difference, by adding that nutty texture and the tiny brown color speckle to the crumb.
Lastly, this is a recipe that can be stretched well over three days and the dough is very forgiving. So you don’t have to be precise about fermenting duration and retardation. I will mention this at each step.
To start with, as usual, with any sourdough recipe, you need the fed starter. I’m using a 100% hydrated fed, ripe starter for this recipe. If you want more details about starter head over to this link.
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Infuse butter by heating the butter with a bunch id thyme over medium heat. Let the mixture come to room temperature before removing the thyme stems.
Mix everything as described in the recipe until a dough is formed, Knead it by hand until smooth. Place in a closed container and let ferment until almost doubled in size.
Once the dough is almost doubled, punch down lightly and refrigerate over night ( or at least 10 hours) You can extend this time up to 24 hours.
You can continue to bulk for another 2 hours and move onto dividing.
Divide the dough in to pieces and let them rest, covered for 15 minutes before shaping
To make small dinner rolls, divide into 58-60g pieces
Shape the dough pieces in to rounds or cylinders and place them in the baking dish/tray leave space around
Shaped into cylindrical shape and stacked in a deep loaf tin works too
proofed dough (after 6-8 hours depending on the temperature) The slower the proof, the better the flavour
proofed long buns. once the buns are proofed, preheat the oven, brush the buns with a whisked egg, and bake for 20 minutes
Once baked let the rolls cool on a wire rack
Baked rolls (long)
These rolls are perfect served warm with butter.
These rolls can be kept in a air-tight container at room temperature for up to two days. You can freshen them up in the microwave (20 sec), then will be soft and lovely as good as new.
If you wan to freeze them, seal them tightly in a freezer bag before freezing. To serve the frozen rolls, first let them come to room temperature and warm them in microwave (20 sec) or in a moderate oven (10 minutes).
I guess these can be infused with other herbs you like, so go ahead and try with your favorite herb like rosemary, sage etc. I have used a mild honey because I wanted to hero the thyme flavor. You can substitute honey with sugar, or maple syrup.
- 140 g ripe sourdough starter
- 200 g bread flour
- 200 g all purpose flour
- 50 g rye flour
- 50 g wholemeal flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cups milk
- 1 stick butter (110 g)
- a bunch of thyme
- 1 egg to egg wash
For the infused butter
- Place the stick of butter and a hand full of thyme(with stems) in a pot and melt over medium heat
- Stir until butter melts
- Once the butter is melted, let it simmer for two minutes and take off the heat
- Let the mixture cool to room temperature
- Once cooled, remove the thyme stems, leaving some of the leaves
For the dough
- In to a bowl of a stand mixer, add all the flours and salt
- Lightly mix to combine
- Add the eggs, honey, starter, butter mixture and 1/2 cup of the milk and start to mix
- Add the rest of the milk as you go, to make a soft dough
- Once the dough comes together, bring it over to an oiled surface and knead by hand until smooth (for about a minute or two)
- Place the dough in a plastic tub (non reactive container) close the lid and set in a warm draft free area to ferment
- The dough need to be roughly doubled in size (should take about 5-6 hours or more)
- Once the dough is bigger, punch it down slightly, place in the same container and refrigerate overnight (minimum of 10 hours)
- When you are ready, take the dough out and let it come to room temperature and soften up (should take about 4 hours)
- Place in a warm oven (27 C – 30 C) to speed up
- Once the dough is soft, divide into pieces ( 14 pieces of 70 g or 12 pieces of 80 g)
- Cover and let these rest for 10 – 15 minutes
- Then shape them in to rounds or cylinders (shape of hot dog buns)
- Once shaped, place them in on a lined tray or a greased deep baking dish
- Leave about 1/2 inch gap all around for the will grow bigger as they prove
- Now cover them with plastic wrap and place in a warm draft free place for the final rise(may take several hours ~6 or more)
- To speed up place in a warm oven (27 to 30 C)
- When they are proofed, preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C)
- Lightly egg wash the buns on top, and bake for about 20 minutes or until top is golden brown
- Once baked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack
- Serve warm
Microwave for 20 seconds to warm these buns before serving
Store then in an air-tight container for up to two days at room temperature or freeze in a freezer bag
Thaw frozen buns ans microwave to freshen them up