How to Make Super Soft + Fluffy Sourdough Dinner Rolls

With a little patience and some basic ingredients, you can create soft sourdough dinner rolls that are perfect for any meal.

The key to success is to make sure your sourdough starter is active and bubbly before you begin and be patient. Like all the best sourdough bread recipes, this will take some time.

You’ll be rewarded with rolls that are beautifully shiny and golden brown on the outside and super soft on the inside.

Soft sourdough dinner rolls inside a white container.

Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls

These rolls are perfect for any occasion, offering a delightful combination of a shiny golden crust and a tender, airy interior.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rise Time 11 hours
Total Time 11 hours 50 minutes
Serving Size 12 rolls

Ingredients 

For the Dough

  • ½ cup activated sourdough starter it should be active and bubbly
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup milk warmed
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cup bread flour

For Shaping/Topping

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour used for dusting and shaping
  • 1 egg used as egg wash

Instructions 

  • Mix dough ingredients. In a large mixing bowl add the milk, sugar, salt, butter, and the active sourdough starter. Using a bread whisk or whisk, stir to combine. Once the ingredients are well combined add in 1 cup of the bread flour. Stir to combine. Then add in the rest of the bread flour. Stir to combine.
    Mixing the ingredients for the dough, with flour and butter in a mixing bowl.
  • Brief rest. Once combined, allow the dough to sit covered for 30 minutes. Keep in mind the dough will be pretty sticky. This is the correct texture of the dough.
  • First stretch and fold. Wet your hands with water (to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands) and grab one section of the dough. Stretch the dough out and fold it over. Turn the bowl by ⅓ and repeat this process. Turn ⅓ and repeat. Flip the dough over so the bottom is facing the top. Cover the bowl and allow it to sit for 30 more minutes.
    The dough after mixing, starting to come together in a bowl.
  • More stretch and folds. Repeat the stretch and folds process 2 more times for a total of 3 stretch and folds sessions.
  • First rise. After the 3 stretch and folds, allow the dough to rise for 10-16 hours. Overnight is best. Keep in mind that the rise time can vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
    Two-step sequence of dough after proofing, first sticky and shaggy, then smooth and elastic.
  • Shape. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish with some baking spray. Using the all-purpose flour, dust your working surface and turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Separate the dough into 12 equal parts and shape them into balls. You will want to use some of the all-purpose flour to help prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
  • Second Rise. Place the dough into the prepared baking dish. Brush the top of the rolls with some egg wash, cover, and allow to rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour in a warm place
    The dough after the first rise, showing its smooth and slightly puffy texture.
  • Bake. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake rolls at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving.
    Shaped dough balls in a baking dish, after the second rise.

Notes

I used white sugar for this recipe. It can be substituted for honey or brown sugar. 
Unsalted butter was used and can be substituted for salted butter or margarine. Reduce the amount of salt you use by half.
2% milk was used, you can substitute it with any milk you have on hand without any issues.
Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 335mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 171IU | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 0.4mg

I absolutely adore making these Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls. There’s just something about the smell of fresh bread wafting through the house that makes everything feel cozy and warm. My family can’t get enough of them either. They always disappear within minutes of coming out of the oven. I love serving these rolls with a hearty soup or a big salad for a simple, satisfying meal.

A close-up of a soft sourdough dinner roll, showing its airy and fluffy interior texture.

Trust me, once you try them, you’ll want to make them all the time!

Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls Tips

  • Temperature Matters: Make sure your kitchen is warm enough for the dough to rise properly. If it’s too cool, the dough may not rise well. A good trick is to place the dough in the oven with just the light on for a slightly warmer environment.
  • Active Starter: Ensure your sourdough starter is at its peak activity. Feed it 4-6 hours before you start the recipe and check that it’s bubbly and has doubled in size.
  • Handle with Care: When shaping the dough into rolls, be gentle to maintain the air bubbles created during the rise. This helps keep the rolls light and fluffy.
  • Egg Wash Perfection: Apply the egg wash just before baking to get a beautiful, glossy finish on your rolls. If you prefer a softer crust, you can skip this step.
  • Cooling Time: Let the rolls cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. This allows the texture to be set properly, making them easier to handle and more enjoyable to eat.

Key Ingredients and Tools

When making these rolls, a few important tools and ingredients can make all the difference. Here’s a quick rundown to help you succeed:

Ingredients for making soft sourdough dinner rolls laid out on a marble countertop, including flour, milk, butter, sugar, salt, an egg, and sourdough starter.
  • Activated Sourdough Starter. This is the heart of the recipe, providing the unique sourdough flavor and leavening. Make sure it’s active and bubbly before you start.
  • Bread Flour. This type of flour has a higher protein content, which helps give the rolls a better structure and chew. If you don’t have bread flour, you can use all-purpose flour with a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten as a substitute.
  • Digital Scale. Using a scale ensures precise measurements, which is crucial for baking. It helps you get consistent results every time.
  • Baking Spray. Greasing the baking dish prevents the rolls from sticking and makes cleanup easier. You can find this in the baking aisle at the grocery store.
  • Egg Wash. This gives the rolls a shiny, golden crust. Simply beat an egg and brush it over the rolls before baking.

These items help make the process smoother and the final result even better.

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Serving Suggestions

Serve with creamy tomato soup, a hearty main course, and a delicious vegetable side dish.

Troubleshooting and Help

Can I use whole wheat flour instead of bread flour?

Yes, you can substitute whole wheat flour, but keep in mind that the rolls might be a bit denser. If you prefer a lighter texture, you could use half whole wheat and half bread flour.

What if my dough isn’t rising?

Don’t worry! Make sure your kitchen is warm enough, around 70-75°F. If it’s too cool, the dough may take longer to rise. You can also try placing the bowl in the oven with just the light on to create a warmer environment.

How do I know if my sourdough starter is ready to use?

Your starter should be bubbly and have doubled in size after feeding it. If it’s not bubbly, give it more time to ferment and become active. You want it at its peak activity for the best results.

Can I make the dough ahead of time and bake it later?

Absolutely! You can prepare the dough, let it rise overnight, and then shape and bake the rolls the next day. Just make sure to keep the dough covered in the fridge if you need to slow down the rising process.

What’s the best way to reheat leftover rolls?

The best way to reheat them is in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes. This will help them regain their fresh-baked texture and warmth. You can also microwave them for a quicker option, but the texture might not be as crisp.

Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions or need more tips on making this recipe just right!

Storing Leftovers

Room Temperature:
Store leftover rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. This keeps them fresh and ready to enjoy.

Refrigerator:
If you need to keep them a bit longer, place the rolls in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat them in the oven or microwave before serving.

Freezing:
These rolls freeze well! Here’s how to do it:

  • Allow the rolls to cool completely after baking.
  • Place the rolls on a baking sheet and freeze them for about 30 minutes. This prevents them from sticking together.
  • Transfer the frozen rolls to a freezer-safe container or a resealable plastic bag. Label with the date.
  • Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reheating Frozen Rolls:
When you’re ready to eat, preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the frozen rolls on a baking sheet and heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are warmed through. This helps them taste freshly baked again.

By following these storage tips, you can enjoy your rolls whenever you like!

I hope you enjoy making and eating these Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls as much as I do. They’re a great addition to any meal and are sure to impress your family and friends. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients and find what works best for you. Happy baking!

Freshly baked soft sourdough dinner rolls in a baking dish, displaying a beautiful golden brown crust.
How to Make Super Soft + Fluffy Sourdough Dinner Rolls
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