The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dinner rolls

John H's picture
John H

Dinner rolls

I've been working on making dinner rolls.  Loosely based on floydm's kaiser rolls (which are based on the BBA rolls).  What I've done though is use my sourdough starter to build the recipe.  

The basics:

90 gm 100% hydration starter (20 gm starter + 35 gm AP flour + 35 gm water - about 8 hours at room temp)

454 gm KA unbleached AP flour

200 gm water

Autolyze 30 minutes.    This is one issue - the flour/starter/water is pretty stiff.  I had a difficult time mixing in the final water/salt/etc.

9 gm salt

14 gm sugar

10 gm malt powder

14 gm oil

27 gm final water

1 egg

1 egg white


mixed in KA mixer and flour added until the dough formed a decent ball.  Probably 40-50 gms added flour.  I had to break up the autolyzed dough by hand, the mixer and dough hook weren't getting it done.


2 hour bulk proof

Separated and rest for 10 minutes

Formed into 8 rolls - flattened slightly and folded to center.

1 hour rest top down on parchment paper with poppy seeds

Turned over, covered with plastic wrap and retarded overnight in the refrigerator.


25 minutes on a baking stone at 425F


Very tasty - a little dense.  Decent amount of oven spring, but the rolls are somewhat flattened, not roundish like the hard rolls I remember.   I'm not sure I saw a 2x doubling on the 2 hour bulk proof.  I need a better proofing container and / or a better eye I guess.



cerevisiae's picture

Your dough seems to be somewhat drier than the recipe you're basing it off of; not including the egg and egg white, your dough is ~50% hydration, while the kaiser rolls are about 64% hydration. That's pretty significant, and it's no wonder your Kitchen Aid had trouble with it.

Also, since you want them rounder, you could just shape a round roll instead of folding them like a kaiser, and then just dip them in poppy seeds and proof them right-side-up. I suspect the upside-down for an hour thing is helping them be flatter. That step is supposed to encourage the preservation of the folded shape, which will discourage them being too round/spherical. (Although they look pretty round to me in the picture)

For applying the seeds without an hour long proof, put a (nearly sopping) wet clean kitchen towel on a plate or sheet pan or some other flat surface and put a bowl or plate or other container next to it with a good solid layer of seeds in it (a 1/4 inch should do), and a baking sheet with parchment next to that.

Shape a roll into a round, dab the top of it on the towel to moisten the surface, then dip in the seeds, and place seam side down on the baking sheet with the seeds facing up. Let the rolls do their proof and bake on this sheet.

Breadandwine's picture

I sometimes wonder if we don't over-complicate matters in our breadmaking efforts.

I must admit I'm at the other end of the spectrum, and maybe I over-implyify the process.

But, as I tell my students, breadmaking is a simple, everyday activity. You put flour, yeast, salt and lukewarm water together and you can't stop it rising .

I was watching (supervising a little) yesterday as my grandson and a friend made bread rolls with chocolate drops and slices of banana. They mixed a mug of flour with a dsp of sugar, and added 1/3rd mug of water and a tsp of yeast. This was quickly mixed into a dough, kneaded until smooth - about 2 minutes, then they began shaping the rolls.

With no further input from me the youngsters (8 yrs old) shaped about half a dozen rolls, some with chocolate drops and banana in the bread some studded with a few chocolate drops, with banana placed here and there. I regret I didn't have the wit to take any pics - but they did look a little odd. After proving and baking - while the kids played outside - the rolls were consumed. I myself had two straight off  - they were so tasty! And my grandson's friend took what was left home to his mum with great pride.

I might start a conversation on the subject of over-complication or over-simplification shortly - look out for it!

Happy breadmaking, folks! Whatever method you use! :)

cerevisiae's picture

I know that for myself, I enjoy some of the complications. Bread can be very simple, or very complex, and if you're mostly looking for food on your table, simplicity has a lot of appeal. But complexity makes for greater mental engagement, and often, greater bread. It can be food, but it can also be art and a chance to learn.

Breadandwine's picture

You’re right, of course, cerevisiae. I know myself the thrill and enjoyment to be had from building a good bread over a day or so. To the extent that there's often a feeling of anti-climax when the bread comes out of the oven.

Obviously, there’s a place for both ends of the spectrum – and all points in between.