Soft sourdough dinner rolls are everything you ever dreamed of!
These amazing, pull-apart style dinner rolls are soft and fluffy with just a touch of sweetness. Just like our sourdough ciabatta rolls and sourdough sweet potato rolls, you won't believe how easy they are to make!
Hi guys, I'm so excited to bring you this simple recipe for soft sourdough dinner rolls. We've been in the kitchen testing dinner roll recipes for weeks and we are finally ready to share it with you!
These sourdough dinner rolls are the pull-apart kind of rolls that everyone goes crazy for.
The taste reminds me of a cross between the sweet yeast rolls that they used to serve at restaurants like O'Charleys® and the little rolls that you get at Chik-fil-A® with the chicken nuggets for breakfast.
Serve these rolls alongside dinner or turn them into ham and cheese sliders for a delicious lunch or appetizer.
The dough can be mixed in the morning and baked up fresh for dinner the same day.
They are so easy to make and are completely irresistible!
What you need
Here are a few ways to modify this recipe if needed.
- bread flour - All-purpose can be substituted for bread flour.
- sugar - The recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of sugar but it can be reduced if needed to 1 tablespoon.
- milk/butter - Non dairy butter and milk can be used for a vegan option.
Sample baking schedule
The following baking schedule has been tested in a kitchen with an ambient temperature of 68°F (20°C).
- 8:00 PM: Feed sourdough starter.
- 7:30 AM: Melt butter, milk, salt and sugar and allow it to cool down to room temperature.
- 8:00 AM: Mix dough and lest rest 1 hour.
- 9:00 AM: Stretch and fold dough, cover and let rest 30 minutes.
- 9:30 AM: Stretch and fold dough, cover and let rest 30 minutes.
- 10:00 AM: Stretch and fold dough, cover and let rest 2 hours.
- 12:00 AM: Divide dough, place in baking dish, cover and let rise 3-4 hours or until puffy.
- 4:00 PM: Bake.
NOTE: Warmer kitchens need less time to rise, colder kitchens will need more time to rise.
How to make them
Let's go over the steps needed to make these amazingly soft sourdough dinner rolls.
Step 1: This recipe calls for active sourdough starter so you will need to have your starter active and bubbly when you go to mix the dough. I feed my starter the night before I want to make the rolls.
Step 2: Melt the butter, milk, sugar and salt over low heat in a saucepan. Allow it to cool completely. Mix the liquid with the sourdough starter and flour in a mixing bowl. Cover and let rest 1 hour at room temperature.
Step 3: Perform 3 sets of stretch and folds, spaced 30 minutes apart. After the last set, cover the bowl and let the dough rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
NOTE: The dough is ready to shape when it has risen by about 50%. Adjust the rising time according to the temperature of your kitchen.
Step 4: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Each piece should weigh approximately 65g using a kitchen scale.
TIP: If you don't have a kitchen scale, gently press the dough into a rectangular shape and use your best judgement to cut into even portions.
Shape each piece into a ball by gathering up the sides and pinching them together.
Turn the dough over so that the seam side is down on the work surface and gently form a smooth ball.
Place the dough balls into a lightly greased, glass baking dish. Cover the rolls with a kitchen towel and allow them to rise at room temperature for 3-4 hours.
TIP: If you'd like to prepare the dough and bake the rolls at a later time, shape the rolls, cover the dish with plastic and keep in the fridge for up to 36 hours. When ready to bake, allow them to have the second rise at room temperature until puffy and proceed with baking.
The picture below shows the rolls when they are first shaped on the left, and after they have risen for 3 hours on the right.
Step 5: Bake the rolls in a 375°F (204°C) for 25-30 minutes. The top of the rolls should be light golden brown and a digital thermometer inserted in the center should read at least 190°F (88°C).
Brush the tops with melted butter after they come out of the oven. Carefully remove the rolls from the baking dish and serve hot!
Tips for success
- kitchen temperature: It's very important to take the ambient temperature of your kitchen into account when working with sourdough. Our recipes are tested in a kitchen that is 68°F (20°C). If your kitchen is warmer, you will need to reduce your rising time in the first and second rise to avoid over-proving the dough.
- baking dish: Baking the rolls in a glass baking dish gave us the softest rolls. They can be baked in a 9" x 13" metal tin but you will need to bake them at 400°F (204°C) for less time. Check on the rolls around 22-25 minutes to make sure they don't over-bake.
How to store them
- Store the baked dinner rolls in a bread bag or wrapped in a tea towel at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- The baked rolls can be frozen for up to 3 months, stored in a freezer-safe bag.
More simple sourdough recipes
When it comes to sourdough, simple is the name of our game! Check out our delicious sourdough recipes that are made for home bakers. Each recipe comes with step-by-step instructions so that you can make delicious sourdough baked goods with confidence.
Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls Recipe
- 9" x 13" glass baking dish
Ingredients to make ½ cup (100 g) of Active Sourdough Starter
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) sourdough starter
- ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon (50 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 ½ tablespoons (50) water
Feed Your Starter
- 8 PM Feed starter: 12 hours before you plan to mix the dough, add the ingredients to make ½ cup (100 g) of active sourdough starter to a clean jar. Stir until combined, loosely cover the jar and let the starter rise at room temperature. (The ingredients will create a total of 115 g active starter but, because some of it will stick to the sides of the jar during the transfer, we are making a little more than needed.) The sourdough starter is ready to use when it has doubled in size and there are plenty of bubbles on the surface and sides of the jar.
Make the Dough
- 7:30 AM Melt butter: In a small saucepan, melt the butter, milk, sugar and salt together over low heat. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and allow it to cool down to room temperature.
- 8 AM Mix the dough: Add the flour and active sourdough starter to the bowl and stir with a spatula until the ingredients are combined and there are no dry bits left in the bowl. Cover the bowl and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
- 9 AM First rise: Perform 3 sets of stretch and folds spaced 30 minutes apart, keeping the bowl covered between sets. To perform a set, pick up the dough on one side and stretch it up and over itself. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat this step until you have turned the bowl a full circle. After the final set, cover and allow the dough to rise for 2 hours or until it has risen by 50% in size. (See notes.)
- 12 PM Shape and Second rise: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide it into 12 pieces, approximately 65 grams each. Shape each piece into a ball by gathering up the sides and pinching them together. Turn the dough over so that the seam side is down on the work surface and gently form a smooth ball. Arrange them in a lightly greased glass baking dish. Cover the dish with a tea towel and let rise for 3-4 hours.
- 4 PM Bake: About 20 minutes before you are ready to bake preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake for 25-30 minutes or until they are golden brown on top. The internal temperature of the rolls should be 190°F when fully baked. Brush the top of the roll with melted butter and serve.
- It's very important to take the ambient temperature of your kitchen into account when working with sourdough. Our recipes are tested in a kitchen that is 68°F (20°C). If your kitchen is warmer, you will need to reduce your rising time in the first and second rise to avoid over-proving the dough.
- If you'd like to prepare the dough and bake the rolls at a later time, after shaping the rolls in step 4, cover the dish with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 36 hours. When ready to bake, allow them to have the second rise at room temperature until puffy and proceed with baking.
- If using a tin baking sheet bake rolls at 400°F. Rolls can also be baked in a muffin tin for 23-25 minutes.