Those who follow my baking adventures know that my favorite type of bread is a sourdough boule, medium to large size.  For some odd reason, when I want to bake small rolls, I always opt for recipes that use  commercial yeast, and result in a softer, more buttery bread.  That is now changed.  I used one of my favorite basic sourdough recipes to bake 6 small rolls, shaped exactly like a large one, and similarly scored.   They turned out so good, I might switch to this type of format for a while. Plus, each roll can be frozen for later, brought to room temperature for a few minutes, then placed in a very low oven (250 F) for 15 minutes or so.  Perfect bread whenever you feel like it! 😉

(adapted from Hamelman’s Bread)

for starter mixture (make 12 hours in advance)
100 g bread flour
80 g rye flour
110 g water
40 g active sourdough starter (at 100% hydration)

for the bread:
all sourdough made as above
700 g bread flour
20 g rye flour
470 g water
15 g salt

Prepare your sourdough mixture about 12 hours before making the dough.  Heat the water slightly in a microwave until it is lukewarm, and place it in the bowl of a KitchenAid type mixer.  Add the sourdough into the water and mix with your hands to dissolve it. Add both flours, and mix at low-speed until the ingredients form a shaggy mass.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.   Sprinkle the salt over, turn the mixer back on low-speed and knead for about 4 minutes.  Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and let it rise for about 2 and a half hours, folding the dough every 50 minutes. For a more detailed explanation on folding, click here. You will do a first folding cycle at 50 minutes, another one at 1 hour and 40 minutes, then leave it undisturbed for additional 50 minutes, for a total of 2 and a half hours fermentation.

Heat your oven to 450 F. Divide the dough in 6 equal pieces.   Shape each one as a small boule.  Place over floured parchment paper on a baking sheet, flour the surface lightly and cover.  Allow the rolls to proof for 45 minutes.  Score the surface,  and bake for 25 minutes (with initial steam) or until golden brown and the internal temperature over 205 F.   Cool completely on a rack.


to print the recipe, click here

risingComments:  Depending on the method of steam you use for your oven, these rolls can be a breeze to bake.  I decided to use my usual method of inverting a damp roasting pan over the rolls, and to do that I needed to bake three rolls at a time.  Let’s say it was a bit too convoluted and the second batch was slightly over-proofed.  Next time I might just go for a less complicated method, and use a baking pan with hot water at the bottom of the oven.  Whatever method you choose, the steam provides a nicer crust.

The crumb was moist and creamy, the way we like it, and the crust reminded us of the fantastic baguettes we used to enjoy while living in Paris…  What’s not to like?  😉

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting

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51 thoughts on “SOURDOUGH MINI-ROLLS

  1. Beautiful crumb and crust on these mini boules/rolls. I would be able to devour them in so many ways but I think I’d just start with some soft butter melting over the first one.

  2. What’s not to like, indeed! Those rolls in your opening photo are perfectly browned and their crumb is just the way I like it. And they’re sourdough? They just couldn’t get any better, Sally.

  3. I have tried similar rolls, this recipe looks great. These are good for filling with chicken salad, or such for a great lunch on the go. Cut off a little slice, scoop out, and fill. I’m eager to try your recipe, they look so beautiful. I am a certified sourdough enthusiast. Thanks for the post!

    • Glad to have inspired you! This full method of proofing and folding is my favorite – I adapt almost all my sourdough recipes and go with this, as I don’t even need to think much anymore, I set my timer in the beginning and go along. My inner clock now senses the passing of 50 minutes…:-) Plus, as you know, the timing is all pretty flexible, a little more never hurt any dough

      thanks for your comment!

  4. We would love these filled with soup. My shaping skills leave a lot to be desired. In particular, I have found rye breads difficult to handle so always just plop them into the cloche a very generous friend bought me. Will I find this dough a challenge?

    • this dough won’t be a challenge. If however you are a bit traumatized by rye, substitute whole wheat or spelt or go full all purpose, with the exact same amount of total flour. The little balls proof outside of the banetton, so no sticking. I simply cut the parchment with scissors and lift the bread to bake

  5. Hi Sally! Love the looks of these rolls! Something I tried recently for a steaming method with a batard is baking it INSIDE of my turkey roaster. (The type like made of a canning pot material with a lid). I have a real small one that fit the batard perfectly on parchment. Someone mentioned this method on the Fresh Loaf forum. if the dough doesn’t have high enough hydration to create enough of its own steam he actually baked his on a rack in his roaster with a small amount of water added to the bottom. I did not have to do that. I got great oven spring and nice ears. Anyway, thought I would share😉

    • what a great idea! Do you heat the roaster before, or place it in the hot oven at room temperature? (I hate handling the very hot roaster, but haven’t tried to put dough in it without pre-heating)

      I am definitely trying this on my next batard – thanks so much for the tip!

      • Hi Sally I did preheat it first. The roaster is such light weight material that it doesn’t take long to preheat and it really isn’t bad to handle again because it is so light weight. I am going to try the rolls in the medium one that I have. I will let you know how it works out.

  6. Mmmmmm. I would probably eat at least two of these in one sitting. I would even forego the rest of the meal to eat just the bread. These look delicious Sally. And you know how I feel about your bread making – always in awe. I have a feeling you could go toe-to-toe with a French baker.:)

  7. wow…beautiful!! do they really come out looking like that? i can imagine making this bread, taking it out fresh from the oven….letting it cool a bit, and cutting open the top and adding in some freshly made clam chowder!! with a sprig of parsley on top and voila…a long and tedious journey that will be devoured in minutes.

  8. Very very beautiful! I make 250g mini loaves quite often for similar reasons, if we are cutting back on bread (I know what you are thinking, but we don’t eat as much as we used to) they are a good size. Your bread is just so gorgeous looking these days. What flours do you use?

    • Joanna, I cannot believe I never replied to you… Well, I use for the most part King Arthur flour. Now that we moved to Kansas I’ve been using flour milled around here, but when this post was published it was pretty much always King Arthur

    • Sorry I have not noticed your question until now..

      I would not bake these in a loaf pan, I just think that when you form the loaf there is a tendency to compress the delicate structure of the bubbles too much. For this type of bread, I rather bake free-form, handling the dough as little as possible

  9. Pingback: Summer Goes On with Sourdough Mini-Rolls | hep-i-book'a

  10. These look great. For the starter mixture, you say to make it 12 hours in advance, but there are no instructions for how to store it for those 12 hours – cover/uncovered? refrigerator/room temp? Thanks!

  11. I just made my starter mixture to use in baking tomorrow (Wednesday), and then realized that I don’t want to bake the rolls until the day after tomorrow (Thursday). Can I refrigerate the starter mixture tomorrow morning and then take it out to get to room temperature the next morning (Thursday)?

    • You can definitely do that, or if you prefer you could refresh it again tomorrow, but then you would have to discard this starter batch or just keep it in the fridge to use later, refreshing it again.

      the starter will be ok kept an extra day in the fridge, especially if it was quite active and bubbly when you put it in the fridge… GOOD LUCK!

      • My sourdough starter is quite bubbly and ready to go, but the starter mixture is on the dry side. I guess it would be easiest to remake it, I just hate wasting:)

          • I meant just make the a new starter mixture, the one that you make 12 hours before the dough – but of course that would assume you have some e sourdough starter mixture (at 100% hydration) still hanging around to use…

        • I do think it might work well, and you might even end up with a great sourdough taste, better than “normal” – ok, here’s the thing, if this is for some important party or get together, refresh it again just to be safe, but I think I would try going for it – the yeast will not die in the fridge, simply take it out a few hours in advance, make sure it is at room temperature when you proceed with the recipe on Thursday…. let me know what happens, now you got me curious! 😉

          • Haha I’m SO sorry to be getting this confused— I do have sourdough starter left, and I agree with you that it could be extra yummy if I let it rest for longer. So what I’ll do is 12 hours before baking, take my starter mixture that I made tonight and…. add 40g of sourdough starter? Or am I misunderstanding?

            • Sorry did not see your reply until now… Ok the starter mixture contains:
              100 g bread flour
              80 g rye flour
              110 g water
              40 g active sourdough starter (at 100% hydration)

              I assume that is what you made and placed in the fridge and you would like to keep it there for longer than 12 hours – say 24 hours… So that is possibility number 1, use the mixture you already have and proceed with making the bread

              Possibility number 2 is re-making this exact same mixture again, 12 hours before you want to make the bread
              100 g bread flour
              80 g rye flour
              110 g water
              40 g active sourdough starter (at 100% hydration)

              but of course to be able to do that you need 40g of your sourdough starter culture at 100% hydration (which most people keep refreshing regularly when they bake often)

  12. Hi! Today is Tuesday night and I just made my starter mixture, and then I decided I don’t want to bake until Thursday. Should I leave the starter mixture out overnight, then pop it in the fridge tomorrow morning, and take it out Thursday morning to get to room temperature?

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