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Super Soft Sourdough Bread Rolls Recipe

The recipe for these sourdough rolls have been put up on request from a fellow instagram buddy (shout out to Blanketsandbread – this one’s for you!)

These super soft sourdough bread rolls have a mild yoghurt like flavor with hints of creaminess. The texture is extremely soft and not overly chewy. What I love about this recipe is how versatile the rolls are. They taste good with sweet or savory fillings.

When preparing these, it is best to expect the dough to rise much more than you normally would your sourdough breads (so use a large enough bowl!) The dough will at first seem too little an amount to be able to split up into 12 rolls, but it grows a lot in volume due to the added acidity in the kefir (or buttermilk if you don’t have kefir on hand).

This is the one sourdough bread recipe that we eat fresh out of the oven most often. It’s just too tempting as they are so fluffy it’s like biting into a cloud!

If you don’t want a super soft crust, leave the rolls uncovered during cooling time.

You do need quite a bit of starter to make these so if you’re used to keeping only a small amount of starter, you may want to make a preferment. I have never used a preferment for this recipe though, and my rolls have come out perfect everytime.

The recipe is quite versatile with different types of flour too. I have tried it using half whole grain and half white and they still come out just as fluffy and soft.

I often bake these to go with homemade burgers. I slice them in half and smother the inside with juices dripping from the cooked burgers and lightly broil them. This lightly toasted version is perfect for keeping the burger sauces in place!

The only gripe I have with this recipe is that it has to be kneaded every hour for the first 3 hours, so it means I can only make them when I know I’m going to be home during the day.

These rolls super awesome in my opinion. I only wish I could make them more often.

Recipe for Super Soft Sourdough Bread Rolls

This recipe makes 12 rolls and can be easily doubled or halved if desired. The recipe requires quite a bit of starter, so if needed, plan ahead and make a preferment (i.e. feed your starter enough the day before to be able to have enough for the recipe).

I prefer to measure my ingredients by weight rather than by volume as this gives a more accurate and consistent result.


480 gramsSourdough Starter
450 gramsWhite Bread Flour (or a mix of whole grain and strong white works well too)
115 gramsWarm Water
75 gramsDairy Kefir (Buttermilk is a good alternative if you don’t have kefir on hand)
25 gramsMaple syrup
10 gramsSea Salt
50 gramsMelted Butter


Add the starter into a very large mixing bowl, then add all the other ingredients (melted butter last) and combine until you have a very soft, evenly mixed dough. The dough at this stage may be very slightly sticky, which is fine.

Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rest for an hour.

After an Hour the Dough is Ready for Kneading…

Stretch and fold the dough – one side is pulled and dragged over to the other side. Turn the bowl by a quarter and repeat.

Now it’s time to knead the dough. This dough doesn’t need to be kneaded as such. It should be given several ‘stretch and folds’.

Here’s how:

Leaving the dough in the bowl, grab the top upper part of the dough, and stretch it all the way over to the bottom and push down. This is one stretch and fold.

Turn the bowl by a quarter, and repeat the stretch and fold from top to bottom. Turn again, and stretch and fold again. Repeat this step 10 times. You have completed the first ‘kneading session’. Cover the bowl and leave to rest for another hour.

1 Hour Later the Dough is Kneaded Again…

Complete another kneading session as before (i.e. 10 stretch and folds), and then cover and leave to rest for another hour.

Another Hour Later; Time for the Dough to be Kneaded one Last Time…

Repeat the 10 stretch and folds again for a third time. Now the dough is ready for bulk fermentation. Leave the dough in a warm area on your countertop to rise for a minimum of 4 hours.

After 4 Hours its Time to Divide and Shape the Dough…

Once the dough has risen to about double its volume it is ready for shaping.

Weigh the dough and divide it into 12 equal parts (mine usually divides up at around 85 – 95 grams each.

Once divided, take one section at a time and shape them into round neat balls

How to Shape the Rolls

On a well floured surface, stretch and fold each ball of dough a few times using the same technique as before, until you have a rough ball shape.

Turn it over so that the smooth side is up, and tighten each ball further by turning the ball with the edge palm of both hands while tucking the rough side of the dough in further underneath. You should end up with a ball of dough with the top side nice and smooth.

Repeat this with each ball and place them directly onto a greased deep roasting pan. I use a deep cast iron roasting dish like this one.

Each ball should have a couple of inches of space to grow.

Leave the Rolls to Rise Again…

Leave the dough to rise again for the final time for around an hour or so. This may be a good time to preheat your oven to the highest temperature it will go.

Once the shaped buns have risen to around double, cover the pan with a heavy oven tray.

I cover my pan with an oven tray, with my Dutch oven lid on top to help weigh it down and keep all the steam in.

I do this to help retain steam and give a better rise to the rolls. Alternatively, you can add hot water to a tray at the bottom of your oven.

Place the rolls in the preheated oven, and immedietely turn the temperature down to 430 F (220 C) and bake for 40 minutes.

Take rolls out of the oven and tap the bottom of the buns. If the sound is hollow, it is ready to be cooled. If not, pop back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so until ready.

If you want a super soft crust, wrap the rolls in a damp cloth while they cool.

QUICK TIP: These rolls taste amazing warm and fresh out of the oven, and they also freeze really well!

Time Schedule for Making Sourdough Rolls

Here’s an example of a time schedule which works with this recipe if you would like to make the rolls on the same day like I do.

The mixture can be put together in the morning, and the rolls baked just in time for dinner the same day!

NOTE: If you need to make a preferment, make it the night before and it will be ready by the morning to add to your dough instead of starter.

8:00 amMake the dough
9:00 amFirst stretch and fold
10:00 am2nd stretch and fold
11:00 am3rd stretch and fold
3:00 pmDivide and shape the dough
4:00 pmBake!

Check out my Baking Tools section for information about the equipment I use to make great sourdough bread.

My brand new online sourdough baking course is now live and open for enrollment! You can learn more about it here.

Hi, I’m Aysha

I love spending time making the most helpful content I can so you can become a better sourdough baker.

If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve learned, consider saying “Thanks!” by leaving me a tip here. I appreciate your kindness and support 🙂 


Monday 25th of March 2019

You are brilliant! I love all of the wonderful tips you have included with this recipe!! Thank you so much for posting and for the shout-out! Can't wait to make these for family burger night! This will hopefully be my go-to recipe for that!!! :-) Wish we were closer in distance, as I would love to attend a class! Some day I will hopefully visit that lovely land!! Cheers!

Tuesday 26th of March 2019

Thank you so much for your kind words, you are very welcome! :-) Who knows, maybe one day I will visit your neck of the woods to hold my classes!

Do let me know how they turn out, and any tips you learn along the way; pictures and all!