Super Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls

Looking for a soft and tender dinner roll? Look no further than these super soft sourdough dinner rolls. Made with 100% sourdough, these rolls take a little extra time but the result is worth it. Super soft sourdough dinner rolls are slathered with butter and then twisted into a fun knot and baked to perfection. These sourdough rolls are a family favorite that we love for dinner, Thanksgiving or just when we want incredibly delicious rolls to munch on. Made with a blend of 100% sourdough and potato flakes, each bite is better than the last, leaving you craving more.

Ingredients in Super Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls

Sourdough Starter: Use an active/ripe sourdough starter (doubled in size/bubbly/mild sour aroma) to mix the levain.

Potato Flakes: Use good quality potato flakes that only have potato in them. Potato flakes make these rolls extra tender and soft.

Milk: I prefer using whole milk in this recipe. You can use 2% milk in a pinch.

Shortening: Butter Flavored Crisco or shortening gives these rolls a soft and light texture. The rolls also tend to rise a little higher and hold their shape a little better. You can substitute butter in place of Crisco, if desired.

Sugar: These rolls taste fairly sweet. If you prefer a less sweet roll, cut the sugar in half.

Eggs: Eggs add a delicious richness to these rolls.

Bread Flour: I almost always use a 12.5% protein bread flour for any bread that I am kneading. The higher protein content and properly activating the gluten results in a lighter/springy baked good.

Sourdough Sample Schedule for Super Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls

A sample baking schedule helps me when baking with sourdough. Sourdough takes much longer to rise than traditional bread. This schedule helps me plan my bake.

A few notes: This schedule assumes the dough temperature will be maintained at 78 degrees F throughout the process.

Day 1Levain
8:00 PM – 8:00 AMMix Levain (1:10:10 ratio). Let rest overnight.
Day 2Mixing/Bulk Fermentation/Shaping/Baking
8:00 AM – 8:15 AMMix Dough
8:15 AM – 12:15 AMBegin Bulk Fermentation
12:15 PM – 12:30 PMEnd Bulk Fermentation
(Optional: Cold Bulk Fermentation overnight)
Shape Rolls
12: 30 PM – 3:00 PMLet rolls rise in a warm (78-80+ degree F) place for 2-3 hours until puffed up and touching. Do not bake unless dough has puffed up and risen.
3:00 PM
3:30 PM
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Bake rolls for 15-20 minutes until baked through.
Brush tops with melted butter if desired. Enjoy warm!

Looking for More Delicious Roll Recipes?

Mixing the Levain

I use a levain method for making sourdough. You can read more about that here.

For this recipe I use an overnight levain (1:10:10 ratio).

  • 10 grams ripe/mature sourdough starter
  • 100 grams all purpose or bread flour
  • 100 grams water

Before mixing, take the temperature of the sourdough starter and flour. If it is colder than the 75-80 degree range, use warm water to mix the levain. If the ingredients are warmer than 75-80 degrees, use cooler water. The goal is for the levain to be in the 75-80 degree temperature range. After mixing, cover loosely and let sit for about 10-12 hours (at 75-80 degrees F). If you want to mix levain the same day you mix the rolls, mix a 1:1:1 levain with 70 grams ripe sourdough starter, 70 grams flour and 70 grams water. Let sit for 3-4 hours until bubbly, doubled in size and barely beginning to fall back down.

Mixing the Dough

Set the bowl of a stand mixer on a kitchen scale. Warm the milk in the microwave or on the stove. Add the ripe levain and all the ingredients to the bowl. If you want to reserve a little of the flour to add in as you mix, you can to help account for excess liquid or humidity. Start the mixer and knead the dough together for about 8-12 minutes until smooth. Add a little extra flour as needed. This dough will be tacky, not super sticky. For an extra check that the dough is ready, the dough should pass the windowpane test before moving on to bulk fermentation.

Bulk Fermentation

Move the dough to a container for the bulk fermentation. Do your best to keep the temperature of the dough at 78-80 degrees F. I use a bread proofer in the winter to help the dough develop at the right temperature. Cover the container. The entire bulk fermentation will take about 4-5 hours (depending on the temperature of the dough). By the end of bulk fermentation, you may notice the dough is more cohesive, strong and aerated. It will have risen a little, maybe as much as 20-30%.

Cold Bulk Fermentation Option

If it is more manageable for you to split this recipe up into multiple days, you can refrigerate the dough after the 4-5 hour bulk fermentation. Place the covered dough in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. When you’re ready to shape the rolls, pull the dough out of the refrigerator and shape into rolls according to recipe directions. The dough may take a little bit longer to rise as it comes up to the 78-80 degree F dough temperature.

Shaping Super Soft Sourdough Rolls

Dump the dough onto a countertop. Lightly flour a pastry mat or countertop and roll the dough out into a 20 inch by 16 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the dough and fold the dough in half leaving you with a 20 by 8 inch rectangle. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 24 strips. Take each strip and tie it into a knot or double knot as seen in the photos above. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining rolls. I fit about 12 rolls per pan.

Proofing Soft Sourdough Rolls

Cover the rolls with a kitchen towel and let rise for two to three hours until puffed up and very soft. Keep them in a warm place; 78-80+ degrees F is best for optimal fermentation and rise. After a few hours, take a finger and press into one of the rolls. If the roll springs back immediately with no indentation left, the rolls need more time to rise. If the indentation springs back just a little, it’s time to bake. The rolls will be aerated and risen. They will not feel dense. Don’t bake them if they haven’t risen. Give them a little more time. I often place the pan in my oven with the light on. This provides a pseudo-proofing box for my rolls that keeps them warm and encourages a rise.

Baking Super Soft Sourdough Rolls

Once the rolls have risen, are touching and feel light and airy, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place a baking stone or baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven to prevent the bottom of the rolls from burning. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for about 15 minutes until baked all the way through. These rolls will be light in color. If you prefer a darker roll, bake for a few more minutes. Top with melted butter if desired, and enjoy!

Looking for More Sourdough Recipes?


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store leftover sourdough rolls?

These rolls taste best warm. I recommend freezing them in an airtight container or ziplock after they have cooled. Re-heat when you’re ready to enjoy them again.

Can I make these in a crescent roll shape?

Yes. Roll the dough out into a circle. Spread the butter on top and cut into 8-12 pieces. You can find my recipe for sourdough no knead crescent rolls here that shows the process.

I don’t like using shortening. Can I substitute butter?

I agree with you. I prefer to use butter over shortening. You can substitute butter for the shortening, but the rolls won’t be quite as soft. The shortening really does make these rolls super soft.

Super Soft Sourdough Rolls

Amy
Super soft and tender sourdough rolls are twisted into a fun knot and baked to perfection. These sourdough rolls are a family favorite that we love for dinner, Thanksgiving or just when we want incredibly delicious rolls to munch on. Made with 100% sourdough and potato flakes, these rolls are perfection every single bite!
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rise Time 19 hours
Total Time 19 hours 45 minutes
Course Bread, rolls
Cuisine American
Servings 24 rolls

Ingredients
  

Levain (1:10:10, overnight)

  • 10 grams active sourdough starter
  • 100 grams all purpose flour
  • 100 grams water

Super Soft Sourdough Rolls

  • 200 grams levain
  • 320 grams milk, warmed to 95 degrees F about 2 cups
  • 100 grams Crisco, butter flavored see recipe note, about 1/2 cup
  • 115 grams granulated sugar 1/2 cup
  • 15 grams salt 1 Tablespoon
  • 45 grams potato flakes see recipe note, about 2/3 cup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 780 grams bread flour about 5-6 cups

Butter for Spreading on Dough Before Shaping

  • 30 grams unsalted butter, softened about 2 Tablespoons

Instructions
 

Levain (1:10:10, overnight)

  • Mix together 10 grams of ripe/bubbly/active sourdough starter with 100 grams all purpose flour and 100 grams water. Cover and keep levain at 78 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 hours until bubbly, active and ripe.

Super Soft Sourdough Rolls

  • Warm the milk in the microwave (about 1 1/2 minutes full power) or on the stove. It should be around 90-100 degrees F, no warmer than that. To the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook mix together the ripe levain, warm milk, butter-flavored Crisco, granulated sugar, salt, potato flakes, eggs and bread flour. I like to reserve about a cup of bread flour and add it in as the dough kneads together, making sure that I'm not adding too much flour to the dough.
  • Knead together for 8-10 minutes, adding the rest of the flour as needed, until the dough is soft and smooth. The dough should be tacky to the touch, not overly sticky. If it is very sticky, add a little bit more flour about 20-30 grams at a time.
  • Bulk Fermentation: Put the dough in a container and cover. Set the dough in a warm, 76-78 degree F place for 4 hours. Take the temperature of the dough as needed to maintain the dough temperature right around 78 degrees F (I use this bread proofer to keep my dough temperature consistent). 78 degrees F is optimal for fermentation.
  • At the end of about 4 hours, the dough should be puffed up and feel very elastic. If it doesn't feel this way, let it bulk ferment for another half hour, and check again.
  • Overnight Option: At this point, after the bulk fermentation has finished, you can cover the dough and put it in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Proceed with the recipe the next day, shaping and proofing the rolls before baking.
  • Shaping: Dump the dough onto a countertop. Lightly flour a pastry mat or countertop and roll the dough out into a 20 inch by 16 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the dough and fold the dough in half, leaving you with a 20 by 8 inch rectangle. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 24 strips. Take each strip and tie it into a knot or double knot as seen in the photos above. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining rolls. I fit about 12 rolls per pan.
  • Proofing: Cover the pan with a dish towel and let rise in a 78-80 degree F place until puffed up and risen, about 2-3 hours. Do not bake these rolls if they have not risen.
  • Baking: Place a baking stone or baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven to prevent the bottom of the rolls from burning. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for about 15 minutes until baked all the way through. Top with melted butter if desired, and enjoy!

Notes

Butter Flavored CriscoCrisco or shortening give these rolls a soft and light texture. The rolls also tend to rise a little higher and hold their shape a little better. You can substitute butter in place of Crisco, if desired.
Potato Flakes: Use good quality potato flakes that only have potato in them. I have not tried using mashed potato, though you can try this recipe if you prefer using mashed potato instead of potato flakes. 
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