Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls Recipe (2024)

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Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls - is there anything better to sit on the side of your dinner plate?

These rolls are the softest sourdough bread rolls ever and they will become a staple at your house (especially if you have kids who like soft squishy bread).

They are free from commercial yeast and egg.

You might also like to try these sourdough discard rolls or these sourdough skillet rolls with honey thyme butter.

Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls Recipe (1)

What if I told you that your sourdough starter can not only make amazing loaves of crusty sourdough bread - it can also produce these soft sourdough dinner rolls!

Squishy, soft, slightly sweet centres surrounded by a soft, golden crust.

Perfect simply buttered but begging to be filled with your favorite meats and cheeses these sourdough bread rolls are sure to be a crowd pleaser at your house.

You can choose to make them whatever size you'd like.

I find that this recipe makes around 12 rolls at 80g (I use a scale to ensure they are all the same size but you don't have to).

Alternatively, you could make 18 rolls at 50g.

You could make 6 larger rolls if you wanted to. They would make great burger buns at that size.

The easiest way to make them consistent is to weigh your dough at the end of bulk ferment.

Divide the weight of your dough by the number of rolls you'd like to make.

Then weigh each piece of dough as you shape them - adding or removing dough as necessary so they all weigh the same.

Ideally you want them to be within a few grams of each other for consistency.

Making your rolls all the same size will ensure they cook evenly in the oven.

Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls Recipe (2)

Baking Notes for Sourdough Bread Rolls

Here are a few tips, tricks and explanations for baking your sourdough dinner rolls:

  • You can use bread flour for this recipe, but all purpose is better. You'll get a softer roll as the protein content is generally lower. They will still be soft if you use bread flour, but will have a slight chew to the bite.
  • I choose to make these in a stand mixer because it makes them quick and easy to throw together. You can knead the dough by hand - you will need to knead it until it's soft and silky and still slightly tacky. It's very easy to work with so you shouldn't have any trouble. One tip for doing it by hand - do not add extra flour, just keep kneading until it comes together. Extra flour will alter the texture of the cooked rolls.
  • These soft sourdough dinner rolls are perfect to make in the Thermomix.
  • You can reduce the sugar if you want to but it will change the composition and flavor of the rolls. They are meant to have a slight sweetness to them.
  • You can bake these rolls in a square tin or a round tin - even a spring form tin, depending on how you want them to look. If cooking in a tin, place some parchment paper inside to stop them sticking. If I cook them in a baking dish, I generally just oil the dish. Do what works for you.
  • Placing these into a cold oven and then turning it on means that the crust will not form too quickly and won't burn (you'd be surprised how quickly it can burn if you have them too hot). They will puff up beautifully and be just golden on the top.
  • You don't have to brush with melted butter once cooked, that step is completely optional - but if you do like to use butter, why not try using a flavored butter like whipped honey cinnamon butter or whipped herb butter for a fun twist!
  • These soft sourdough rolls are best served warm. When you take them out of the oven, let them sit on a cooling rack for around 15 minutes before breaking them into individual rolls.
Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls Recipe (3)

Baking Timeline For Sourdough Dinner Rolls

This recipe has 100g of sourdough starter - you can reduce the amount of starter if you wish to ferment the rolls overnight.

I would not however recommend increasing the amount of starter as it will make the dough too sticky.

The dough is an enriched dough so it will take longer to ferment than a lean dough.

It's perfectly safe to ferment them overnight with milk in the dough.

You can read more about creating a baking timeline to suit you here.

Here's a sample timeline to help you manage your bake:


  • 1pm - Feed your sourdough starter.
  • 8pm - Mix and knead the dough.
  • 9pm - Bulk ferment the dough at room temperature overnight (remember this is enriched dough so it will take a while to bulk ferment).


  • 7am - Shape the rolls and allow them to proof for a few hours before you bake them. Remember you want them to be light and puffy.
  • 11am - Bake the Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls for around 30 minutes.

Serving Ideas for Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls

These squishy sourdough rolls are perfect just on their own - seriously try not to eat them all at once!

They will be the stars of your Thanksgiving table!

But just in case you need some inspiration, these are some of the ways that we use them in our home:

  • Fill with good quality deli ham and swiss cheese for a quick easy breakfast or lunch.
  • Instead of plain butter, brush them with whipped herb butter after baking and serve with your fave Italian dish.
  • Serve with a dish of flavored butter like whipped honey cinnamon butter or jalapeño honey butter to wow your family.
  • Perfect accompaniment to your favorite soup.
  • Serve instead of tortillas or taco shells next time you make pulled pork.
  • Make your dinner rolls into this cheesy garlic Sourdough Christmas Tree Pull Apart Bread.

When serving them at the table, I like to place a linen cloth or tea towel into a basket, pop the buns in it and then cover them with the cloth to keep them warm.

You could even place a wheat pack that's been heated in the microwave in the bottom of the basket before placing the cloth on top. This will keep the buns soft and warm.

Freezing & Reheating the Sourdough Buns

These soft sourdough buns can be frozen. I advise freezing once they are cooked and cooled thoroughly. If freezing, do not pull the rolls apart, leave them in one whole piece.

Place into a ziploc bag, seal tightly and freeze.

When they are defrosted, wrap them in aluminium foil and place into a warm oven until they're warmed through.

You can brush with melted butter just before you serve if you want to. Once warm, pull them apart.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I expect the bulk fermentation to take for these sourdough dinner rolls?

Like any sourdough, the bulk fermentation time will vary depending on the strength of your sourdough starter, the temperature of your kitchen and the amount of starter you use in the dough. Because the dough has milk and butter, it is considered an enriched dough which means it will take longer to ferment than a lean dough. My best tip is to practice making these ahead of time so you can create a baking timeline that works for you - that way you won't be stressed if you're making these for a special occasion like Christmas or Thanksgiving.

Do I have to put these into a cold oven?

Like any recipe - you don't have to follow it exactly. However, the reason these rolls are placed into a cold oven is that you don't end up with a crusty top and the rolls don't burn (which they are prone to given they contain sugar, milk and butter). Placing them into a cold oven means the rolls will finish proofing as the oven warms up - giving you the softest, squishiest rolls ever!

Can I add yeast to these rolls to make them rise faster?

You can add yeast to these if you would like a faster dinner roll. You will still get lovely soft rolls, but they will not have the tangy sourdough taste as they will not be fermented for long enough.

Further Reading

If you love this recipe, you might like these ideas:

  • Prefer hamburger buns? You might enjoy these quick sourdough discard hamburger buns.
  • If you're after a sweeter bun, these Hawaiian Sourdough Rolls are soft and sweet or perhaps these Sourdough Pumpkin Dinner Rolls are more your style.
  • Want to get a better result from your starter? Why not give it a boost!

These soft sourdough dinner rolls have been created using parts of my super soft sourdough sandwich bread - it's another soft sourdough recipe you might enjoy.

Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls Recipe (4)

Soft Sourdough Dinner Roll Recipe

Soft sourdough dinner rolls that can be used in a variety of ways. This recipe is a true sourdough recipe and also egg free.

4.42 from 92 votes

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Prep Time 30 minutes mins

Cook Time 30 minutes mins

Fermentation Time 10 hours hrs

Total Time 11 hours hrs

Course Bread

Cuisine American

Servings 12 Rolls

Calories 2546 kcal


  • Stand Mixer

  • Digital Scales

  • Baking Tray


  • 200 g Whole Milk
  • 80 g Water
  • 40 g Sugar
  • 10 g Salt
  • 500 g All Purpose Flour (see notes for using Bread Flour)
  • 100 g Sourdough Starter fed and bubbly
  • 50 g Butter Melted


  • Add the milk, melted butter, water, sugar and salt to the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix the ingredients together so that the sugar and salt are dissolved and the butter is mixed through the milk. It won't take long, like 30 seconds - you just don't want gritty sugar and salt through your dough.

  • Now add your flour and sourdough starter to the liquid in the bowl. Mix the flour and sourdough starter through the liquid so it just comes together.

  • Depending on the type of mixer you're using, you may need to add your dough hook on for the next step. You want to knead the dough using your stand mixer until it forms a silky, slightly tacky dough. The dough is enriched with butter and milk so will be glossy. It will generally come away from the sides of the bowl when it's done. It can take anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes depending on the type of stand mixer you're using.

  • Bulk Ferment:

    Once the dough is sufficiently kneaded you need to let it ferment and rise. You can leave it in your stand mixer bowl for this (saves washing up) or you can transfer it to another bowl if you like. Cover the bowl with plastic or a damp tea towel and let it bulk ferment. As always, the time it takes will depend on your starter and the temperature in your home. You want it to come to just under double.

    This is an enriched dough and will take a lot longer to bulk ferment than regular sourdough.

    On a side note - do not worry about leaving your dough out when it has milk and butter in it. Sourdough starter bacteria is wonderful stuff and it will not go bad - even if you leave it on your counter overnight. I do this often and I promise it will be absolutely fine.

  • Once your dough has risen you need to shape it into the rolls. This recipe will give you 12 rolls around 80g in weight.

    To shape the dough, tip it onto your counter (you won't need flour as it won't be a sticky dough). Using a metal dough scraper, cut the dough into 12 pieces. I like to use a scale to ensure that all the pieces are exactly the same. Gently shape each piece of dough into a round ball. Arrange the dough balls into a parchment lined tin or an oiled baking dish. They need to be just touching each other in the tin.

  • Second Rise:

    Cover the tin with a tea towel and allow the rolls to double in size. They will look puffy and squished - this is good! It will generally take around 2 hours for them to double - but of course will take longer if your house is cold (ideally you want to put them someplace warm).

  • Baking The Rolls:

    Once the rolls have doubled, spray liberally with water.

    Place the rolls into a cold oven set to 180C (350F) and bake for around 30 minutes. You'll know they're done when they are golden on top.

    Take them out of the oven and brush immediately with melted butter (this is completely optional but gives your rolls a lovely sheen).

    Once cooked, place your rolls onto a cooling rack to cool slightly before tearing apart and enjoying them! (As always, you know your oven, so if you need to adjust the temperature for your oven, go right ahead) - see notes below.


COLD OVEN - I put these rolls into a cold oven set to 180C because I find that it helps them puff up that little bit more before they actually bake. You can of course preheat your oven and pop them into a hot oven if you prefer.


Calories: 2546kcalCarbohydrates: 450gProtein: 61gFat: 52gSaturated Fat: 30gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 4335mgPotassium: 813mgFiber: 14gSugar: 51gVitamin A: 1574IUCalcium: 318mgIron: 23mg

Keyword Sourdough Recipes, Sourdough Rolls

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Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls Recipe (6)
Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls Recipe (7)
Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls Recipe (2024)


What makes sourdough bread soft? ›

Your sourdough crust goes soft after cooling because there is still too much moisture in your bread. The baking process should have removed this moisture, but if it's too short, the moisture remains in the crust and softens it as soon as the sourdough cools.

What is the secret to fluffy sourdough? ›

Keeping the lid on for the first part of baking allows steam to expand between the gluten fibers to rise the bread and create a fluffy loaf. Step 4: Remove the lid and bake for an additional 12-14 minutes or until the crust is crispy and golden brown. Once you take the lid off, the bread likely won't rise anymore.

How do you make sourdough rolls less dense? ›

Here are some tips to help you make your sourdough bread less dense:
  1. Use a ripe sourdough starter. ...
  2. Knead the dough for the right amount of time. ...
  3. Proof the dough for the correct amount of time. ...
  4. Use the right type of flour. ...
  5. Add the right amount of water. ...
  6. Score the bread properly. ...
  7. Bake the bread at the correct temperature.
Sep 9, 2023

How do you soften sourdough bread? ›

How to Soften Stale Bread
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 F.
  2. Wrap your bread tightly in foil to keep as much water in as possible. ...
  3. Then, heat it on the center rack of your oven for about 30 minutes for a whole loaf; or 15 to 20 minutes for a partial loaf, or if you have a long, skinny loaf like a baguette.
Mar 19, 2024

What is the secret to softer bread? ›

Bread Making Tips For Softer Bread
  1. Do Not Over-Knead Your Dough. ...
  2. Ensure Dough is Well Hydrated. ...
  3. Lubricate With Oil. ...
  4. Add Sugar. ...
  5. Add Eggs. ...
  6. Reduce Baking Time. ...
  7. Create Steam in Oven. ...
  8. Add Milk.
Mar 27, 2023

How do you make sourdough more firm? ›

If the dough isn't mixed or kneaded to full development (e.g., full windowpane), adding in sets of stretch and folds during bulk fermentation will help continue its progress toward a firmer, more cohesive dough that's able to trap gas and hold its shape all the way to bake time.

How do you make sourdough bread lighter and fluffier? ›

There are several ways to make sourdough bread lighter and less dense, such as:
  1. Increasing the hydration level of your dough, which means adding more water or using less flour. ...
  2. Switching up the type of flour you use, or using a mixture of different flours.
Nov 15, 2015

What is the best flour for fluffy sourdough bread? ›

All-purpose Flour

It strikes a perfect balance of softness and structure, making it an ideal choice for various recipes. Due to its wide availability and affordability, all-purpose flour is often my top recommendation for creating and maintaining a sourdough starter.

Why do you put baking soda in sourdough bread? ›

Baking soda or bicarbonate of soda can be used in sourdough bread to create a less sour loaf. Added after bulk fermentation, but before shaping, it can help to create a lighter, more fluffy loaf of sourdough.

Why are my homemade rolls so dense? ›

There may be several reasons for a dense, cake like texture in bread. It may indicate the kneading wasn't enough for the gluten to develop properly, or the dough was proved for too short a time or the dough may have been too dry. It is also worth checking the flour you used.

Why did my dinner rolls collapse? ›

Under-proofing: If the dough has not risen enough before baking, it may not have enough structure to hold its shape during baking. This can result in the dough sinking during baking. Over-handling: If dough is handled too much or too roughly, it can lose its structure and cause it.

Why is my sourdough bread so dense and heavy? ›

One of the most common mistakes is having a dough temperature that's too low for the starter to feed on all the flour in the dough, resulting in a crumb that's dense, with fewer openings. "Starter is happiest and most active at around 75 degrees. If it's a lot colder, the process will be much slower.

What does vinegar do to sourdough bread? ›

There are two main acids produced in a sourdough culture: lactic acid and acetic acid. Acetic acid, or vinegar, is the acid that gives sourdough much of its tang. Giving acetic acid-producing organisms optimal conditions to thrive and multiply will produce a more tangy finished product.

Why is my sourdough not soft? ›

If your bread is very compact and the crumb is super tight, it can mean that the hydration level was not enough for amount of flour used. Increasing the water content will help to alleviate this issue. If you're working with higher hydration dough, consider lamination for superior dough strength.

Why sourdough is the healthiest bread? ›

"Fermentation can improve mineral (and vitamin) bioavailability in sourdough bread compared to conventional bread," says Van Buiten. This occurs due to an enzyme produced by bacteria during fermentation called phytase, which breaks down phytic acid, an "anti-nutrient" that can reduce the absorption of vitamins.

Why is my sourdough bread so hard? ›

It might be cold dough. One of the most common mistakes is having a dough temperature that's too low for the starter to feed on all the flour in the dough, resulting in a crumb that's dense, with fewer openings.

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