The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Please help to improve a recipe for morning rolls

ianb's picture

Please help to improve a recipe for morning rolls

Hi, I hope someone more knowledgeable can advise me. I'm trying to make the soft white rolls that I can buy in Scotland (nothing better for a bacon sandwich). The recipe I use is

200ml water

50ml milk

300g plain white flour

150g strong white flour

25g butter

tsp sugar

tsp salt

sachet of dried yeast

Mix, let rise an hour, knock back, shape into rolls, let rise another hour, bake at 180C for 20 mins or so.


The texture and taste are good, pretty close to the real thing, but the problem is the crust - it's, well, let's say solid-ish. Not unacceptable in, say, an italian roll, but for a morning roll, not good enough.


Would a shorter, sharper firing help - say, 200C for 15 minutes? Or, is there a better solution?



Boron Elgar's picture
Boron Elgar

If it's baps you are trying to make, there is a good recipe with full technique and photos at the link below. I think the crust will be what as you seek.

flournwater's picture

Brush the tops with whole milk (you may have to repeat that a time or two during the baking cycle) and see how that works for you.

csimmo64's picture

Try brushing with melted butter or an egg wash consisting of 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk, and a pinch of salt. Those will keep the crust shiny and soft like what I thnk youre looking for.

PaddyL's picture

I can give you a recipe for those, and they are delicious.  The big thing with Baps is, after they've risen, you press down in the middles with your thumb, then brush with milk and dust with flour.

ianb's picture

Many thanks for the suggestions.


@Boron Elgar, I've seen that recipe, but I can't get "Better for Bread" flour here in France. To reduce the protein content, as advised, I may try a higher proportion of plain flour to strong white flour, and see if that helps.


@flournwater, thanks, I'll try milk


@csimm064, thanks but scottish morning rolls traditionally have a natural, non-glazed finish.


@PaddyL, yes other people call them baps, but in Scotland they're just called rolls, or morning rolls if you're posh. I'll try the milk and flour treatment on my next batch



POLLARD's picture

Hi ianb

Scotch morning rolls are based on a lean dough and long final proof

Strong White Flour......100%


White Shortening........2%

Yeast........................0.3% (variable)

Water........................55 - 60% depending on flour used

Mix all ingredients to a well developed dough and leave in bulk for 2 hrs

Scale at 75 - 80g and mould round

Proove 12 - 18 hrs in an ambient moist atmosphere about 85% humidity

Dust with semolina before putting in the oven



MaMaLyn's picture


 I am doing the same but just cannot get it?  they turn out like Baps Not Rolls ??

ianb's picture

Mamalyn, after a lot of trial and experiment, this is the recipe I use. The rolls are still a bit heavy, a bit too bap-ish, but it's pretty close.



Makes about 10/12 rolls


First make the overnight sponge


5g fresh yeast
130g water (at 20°C)
150g strong white flour


Dissolve the yeast in some of the water and add it to the flours with the rest of the water. Mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. There is no need to knead the sponge, since time will develop the gluten sufficiently.


Put the sponge in a bowl large enough to allow it to expand to at least three times its original size. Cover with a lid or polythene bag and leave it at ambient temperature for 12 to 18 hours. If ambient happens to be more than 25C, find somewhere a bit cooler so that the yeast does not start fermenting too quickly.


Next, make the final dough


the overnight sponge
250g strong white flour

100g plain flour
1tsp salt
200g milk (semi-skimmed) or milk/water mixture
20g butter, lard or olive oil


Mix all the ingredients together into a soft dough. Knead until it is silky and slightly stretchy. Leave to rise for an hour.


Roughly knock down the dough then divide it into 10/12 pieces. Mould each one tightly by rolling it on the work surface. As soon as each piece is moulded, dip it in flour, making sure that the whole piece is covered.


Place the floured rolls about 2cm apart on a non-stick baking tray. Line them up so each has an equal space in which to rise. If you want to make a flatter roll, let the freshly moulded and floured dough pieces stand for about five minutes and then roll them out until they are about 50 per cent wider than before.


Cover the whole tray with a loose polythene bag to create a warm, moist atmosphere in which the dough can rise easily. The rolls are ready for the oven when they have risen and are just touching their neighbours.


Bake in a very hot oven (230°C), turning down the heat after five minutes to 210°C. They may take as little as 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven.


Bonne chance!


MaMaLyn's picture

Will let you know how it goes, FYI I have a great Recipe for Square Sausges  and I mean GREAT !!! so if you want it let me know



ianb's picture

Would be very interested - have just bought a semi-pro mincer, so I'm looking for things to mince and cook.



MaMaLyn's picture




Lorne Sausage (square Sliced Sausage)







    * 450 grams  minced beef

    * 450 grams sausage meat

    * 150 grams fresh white breadcrumbs

    * 115 mls water

    * 1 teaspoon salt

    * 1 teaspoon pepper (more if you prefer it spicier)

    * 1 teaspoon ground coriander

    * ½ teasppon ground nutmeg




    * Mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly, line a loaf tin with clingfilm press the mixture into the tin and cover with clingfilm, place in the refrigerator or freezer until firm.

      Remove from the refrigerator and cut into slices about a half-inch thick and cook.

      Square sausage is either deep or shallow fried in oil or placed under a grill for about ten minutes.

      Serve and enjoy we like ours with black pudding, eggs, and fresh toast or on a fresh crusty roll.



Emelye's picture

Elizabeth David, in her book, "English Breads and Yeast Cookery," has a number of traditional bread formulas  from the British Isles.  Perhaps you can locate a copy (I read the one that my local lending library has) and find what you are looking for?  Just a thought . . .

Michaelw's picture

This is a recipe for Rowies which I think may be the same as Morning Rolls.

It has been sitting in my recipe archive for some years and I haven’t tried it otherwise it would be converted to sensible measures. Also this  is not my recipe and I cant remeber where I got it from.

 Any way here is the recipe please let me know how you get on.



  1     lb  Plain flour

 1     oz  Yeast or

 1/2    tbl  Dried yeast

 1    tbl  Sugar

 7 7/8     oz  Butter

 3 5/8     oz  Lard

 3/4     pt  Water at blood heat

 1    pch  Salt


Mix sifted flour and salt in basin.

 Cream yeast with sugar.

 When it bubbles, add to flour with water.

 Mix well, cover, set in warm place until bulk doubles; about 1/2 hour.

 Cream butter and lard together, divide into three parts.

 Put dough on floured board, roll out into long strip.

 Dot first third of fats on top third of pastry strip.

 Fold over like an envelope as when making flaky pastry.

 Roll out, repeat with other strips until all butter mixture is used up.

 Roll out, cut in small oval shapes or rounds.

 Lay on floured baking sheet, leave 2 inches between each to allow for expansion.

 Cover as above, let rise 3/4 hour. 

Bake for 20 minutes at 375 F (160 C) - 400 F (205 C).

 Makes about 15 rowies.




ianb's picture

@mamalyn, sounds like a good recipe for square sausage - I'll give it a go.


@MichaelW - an interesting recipe. I'm not sure it's for rowies (what Aberdonians call plain rolls/baps) though. With that fat layered into the dough, it sounds more like butteries (a cross between a roll and a croissant, for those who don't speak Doric). Could be tasty, though, whatever the end result is.



MaMaLyn's picture

Will try the Rowies