Soft White Rolls

by formerchef on August 23, 2010

Post image for Soft White Rolls

A while back I needed to make some soft white rolls to go with some incredible smoked pulled pork my mother made. I searched the recesses of my brain…had I ever made rolls or buns before? Sure, but it had been a while and I needed to make enough for a crowd, in advance. So, I pulled out my favorite bread book and while it didn’t have a specific recipe for the type of rolls I needed, I thought the recipe for “Soft American Style White Bread” would work.

For those of you not familiar with the “no-knead” method of making bread, you might want to check out my posts on the Master Bread recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day or the Whole Grain Bread Master recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I really like this method because it’s easy to always have dough on hand, and more importantly, the bread tastes great. This recipe includes melted butter (don’t leave it out!) in it and the leftover rolls stayed nice and soft for a couple of days after in a zip lock bag.

I wish I had a photo of the pulled pork sandwiches, but alas, we were too busy stuffing our faces for me to remember to take a photo. Next time, I promise…

Soft White Rolls Recipe
Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day 
Printable Recipe in PDF
Makes 24- 4″ rolls

3 cups warm water
1.5 Tbsp yeast (1.5 packets)
1.5 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
4 oz unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 Tbsp for brushing the tops of the rolls
7 cups unbleached all purpose flour

Making the dough:

1. In a large container or 5 quart bowl with a lid (not airtight), mix the water, yeast, salt, sugar and 4 oz melted butter.

2. Measure out the 7 cups of flour and add them all at once to the liquid. Use a large spoon to combine, stirring until all the flour is incorporated (this will get a little harder at the end). Do not knead the dough, just make sure all the flour is mixed in.

3. Cover the container (not airtight) and let the dough rest at room temperature until it doubles in size, about an hour.

At this point you can refrigerate it if you want to bake the rolls (or use for loaves) later. I usually refrigerate my dough because it makes it easier to handle later. However, if you are using fresh, unrefrigerated dough, it does not have to rest as long before baking.

4. When you are ready to bake the rolls, lightly grease two sheet pans, or use parchment paper, or do what I did which is use my Silpat baking mats.

To form the rolls, pull out a small handful of dough, about 2 oz, and form it into a small ball, pulling the surface of the dough down around the sides (as you would for a larger loaf in this method). Repeat, spacing them a couple of inches apart on the pan. I used the whole batch of dough and got 24 rolls which fit on 2 pans, 12 rolls on each, but you could make as many or as few as you’d like to bake at one time.

Freshly formed rolls, left. After resting for 1 hour 20 min, right.

5. Let the rolls rest at room temperature for 1 hour and 20 minutes (or 30 minutes if using unrefrigerated dough). After an hour (or, 20 min before baking), preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

6. Before putting the rolls in the oven, dust the tops with flour, cut an “X” on the top of each one with a serrated knife and then brush the tops with the remaining 1 Tbsp melted butter.

7. Bake the rolls in the center of the oven for 30-35 minutes, until they are golden brown.

1 KevinQ August 23, 2010 at 6:49 am

Those look incredible. I’ll have to remember this recipe.

Quick question: How long should the initial rise take?


2 formerchef August 23, 2010 at 7:21 am

Thanks Kevin! The first rise (in the container), takes about an hour. It could take longer, depending on the temperaure in the room. I’ll add that in to the recipe.

3 Myra August 23, 2010 at 8:32 am

This is just the recipe I needed. These rolls look perfect for school lunches. Husband lunches, as well.

4 Angela@spinachtiger August 23, 2010 at 10:00 am

These would be perfect for sliders too. It’s so hard to find just the right rolls. I like the 5 minute artisan bread. I have both books.

5 formerchef August 23, 2010 at 10:03 am

Yes, they would be good for sliders. You really can make them as small or as large as you want, just adjust the baking time.

6 Charles G Thompson August 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm

They look PERFECT for a pulled pork sandwich. Very nice!

7 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking August 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Mmm, those look so light and fluffy, and I love the idea of using them for sliders. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Kristina! I’ll definitely be trying these soon.

8 May August 26, 2010 at 7:02 am

Hi there! I’m totally new to bread making, so please pardon my ignorance. am thinking about making this, but half the recipe. if i were to half it, does the resting time remain the same? Thanks!

9 formerchef August 26, 2010 at 7:27 am

Yes, I think it would. For the first rise, you just want it to double in size and flatten out on top then put in the refrigerator.

10 dena September 3, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Always love a new roll recipe … thanks!

11 Loretta December 26, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Hi, this may sound silly, but new to bread making, love the no knead idea—looking for soft (make in loaf pan) white bread, could this recipe be made in loaf pan????and could I use milk instead of water or 1/2 water, 1/2 milk????thanks

12 formerchef December 26, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Sure, I think this could be made in a loaf pan. I don’t know how milk would change it.

13 Loretta December 27, 2013 at 10:29 am

Thanks for the reply, I have been looking for just a good soft white bread, will give this a try, thanks

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