I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for another delicious dinner roll recipe. And I am always looking for creative ways to use up my extra sourdough discard (check out a few of my other favorite discard recipes, here, here and here). It’s one of the “hazards” of baking with sourdough I guess…always being on the lookout for somewhere to use that extra! . These soft white rolls with sourdough discard started out as a recipe to reduce waste and now…they are a reason I want to keep my starter fed. Just so I can have discard to make these rolls
Tender Soft Rolls with a Slight Sourdough Tang
Super soft, tender, light and a slight tang for the sourdough discard, these rolls are sure to be a hit in your family as well. My kids were all begging for seconds when I pulled these out of the oven and popped them on our dinner table a few weeks ago. And I couldn’t blame them. I may have sneaked another one as I was putting the leftovers in a ziplock bag and sticking them in the freezer. I love freezing my bread because it keeps it fresh and I don’t have to see it staring me in the face, begging me to just have one more pinch!
Smooth, Light and Slathered with Melted Butter
The dough for these rolls is very smooth and light. It may take a little longer to rise because it is often made with cold sourdough discard directly from the fridge, but don’t let that stop you from trying out this recipe. Once they are baked, these rolls are slathered with melted butter. I like to take my cold stick of butter and gently run it over the top of the hot rolls. This saves me from having to wash my pastry brush and an extra bowl (can you tell I’m all about saving on the dishes around here?!).
However you choose to eat these rolls: with your dinner, for breakfast with some jam and butter spread on top or as a mini turkey sandwich for lunch, you will love them. I hope you give them a try!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I store leftover soft white rolls with sourdough discard?
Once the rolls have cooled completely, store in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw and warm if desired to serve.
Can I substitute something else for the cornstarch?
Cornstarch make these rolls extra tender and light. You could substitute potato flakes or just leave them out.
Can I use the sourdough discard cold from the fridge?
Yes. Make sure the milk is warmed to counteract the cold and allow a little extra time for the dough to rise. Cold dough takes longer to rise, even with commercial yeast.
Soft White Rolls with Sourdough Discard
- 2/3 cup milk lightly warmed, 165 grams
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast 6 grams
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar 30 grams
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled, 55 grams
- 2 teaspoons salt 14 grams
- 1 cup sourdough discard 225 grams
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch 20 grams
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour 350 grams, see recipe note
- To a stand mixer (or a bowl if you are kneading by hand), mix together the yeast, sugar and warm milk. Let it sit for a minute and use your nose to see if the yeast is working (It will smell very "yeasty" once the sugar and warm milk are mixed in. Technically using instant yeast you can omit this "proofing" step and throw the yeast in the with the flour, but I like to double check that my yeast is working so I do it anyway).
- Add the room temperature melted butter. Make sure it is not too hot so it doesn’t kill the yeast.
- Add the sourdough discard, salt and cornstarch. Begin mixing with your dough hook as you add in the flour a cup at a time. Reserve the half cup of flour to mix in toward the end as you look for readiness of the dough. If the dough is pulling away from the sides, you may not need to add more flour. If the dough is still very sticky, add a little more flour until it is tacky, pulls away from the sides and rolls up into a ball in your fingers (a little stickiness is okay!). This post may help you to check for readiness of dough.
- Knead the dough for about 5 minutes in the stand mixer or 7-10 minutes by hand. I like to set a timer and let the dough hook or mixer do the work for 5 minutes or so.
- Add a drop of oil to a bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and place into the bowl. Roll the ball around until it is completely covered in the oil. (The oil keeps the dough moist as it rises and makes it easier to handle once risen). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size. If your sourdough discard is cold, it may take longer for the dough to rise. You may want to turn your oven light on and let the dough rise covered in the oven (just make sure not to turn the actual oven on during this process).
- Cover the bottom of two 8 or 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Alternatively, prepare a half sheet pan (affiliate link for my favorite pans) with parchment paper.
- After the first rise, turn the dough out onto the counter and punch it down. Using a bench scraper or a knife, separate the dough into 16 equally-sized pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball and place eight dough balls into each pan, for a total of 16 rolls. If you are baking on a half sheet pan, place all the rolls on the same pan. Cover and let rise again in a warm place for about an hour until just about doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 22-25 minutes until lightly browned on top. Cover the tops with melted butter (I take a stick of cold butter and lightly touch it on the tops of all the rolls). Enjoy warm or freeze for later!