These sourdough rolls are proofed overnight and then slathered with honey butter and baked until golden. So long, store-bought rolls.
These rolls are fluffy with just a slight touch of floral sweetness from the honey. They’re incredible right out of the oven, slathered with butter and more honey. The secret to their soft texture is letting them proof until they fill an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking tray and have a texture similar to marshmallows.–Hanna Dela Cruz
For the dough
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1/2 cup whole milk warm
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2/3 cup active sourdough starter
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 4 tablespoons (2 oz) unsalted butter cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces, softened
For the topping
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter
Make the dough: Day 1
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, milk, water, honey, active starter, and salt. Mix on low speed until all the flour has been hydrated and the dough is well-combined.
- Add the butter into the dough, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until it's fully incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
- The dough should feel less sticky, appear smoother, and be much easier to work with. Turn on the mixer and let it knead the dough for 5 minutes.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume, 5 to 6 hours.
- Have an airtight container ready. Deflate the dough by pushing down on it, then shape it into a round, tight ball and place it in the container. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator overnight.
Make the dough: Day 2
- Line an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 9 equal portions, each weighing about 3 ounces (85 g). Shape each piece into a tight ball and evenly space each ball in your baking pan.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let it rest in a warm place to proof until the dough has doubled in volume, filled the pan, and has a texture similar to marshmallows, 5 to 6 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Make the topping
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the honey and butter and microwave the mixture for 30 seconds at 50% power to melt the butter.
- Stir the honey and butter to recombine and then brush it onto the tops of the rolls. Bake until the rolls are evenly browned, 25 to 35 minutes. Brush with any leftover honey butter.
- Demolish the rolls while still warm. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These soft and fluffy rolls were a nice treat and very different from the usual crusty sourdough loaves I usually bake. If you’re new to sourdough baking, these are very easy and worth a go.
They are very low fuss and can be mixed by hand (I did this) but next time, I may even use my stand mixer for this one. They are delicious right out of the oven (I nearly burned my mouth and fingers because I just couldn’t wait) and equally good at room temp. I made one into a killer breakfast sandwich.
They have a gooey bottom, similar to a cinnamon bun. My husband would have preferred them without the gooey honey, but I quite liked it. If that’s not your thing, simply omit the last step of brushing honey butter over them, and you’ll have a more dinner-roll appropriate bun.
These are gorgeous rolls. They would be magnificent for an Easter meal or to accompany any roast. Very clear and concise directions. Noting the timing and also the look and feel of the dough is crucial in bread, and this was really helpful. The taste- just a hint of sourdough, but the honey and butter are the star.
I think they are best made in roll form but you could easily change to a loaf format if preferred. As stated in the direction- eat warm- I agree! If you have any leftover for days to come, which is unlikely, pop in the toaster and enjoy with more butter and honey or as my daughter prefers with jam. The smell filled the house and has reignited my sourdough journey.
This is a wonderful base recipe, and if you really want to have no issues, use a veteran starter to ease the process. These were so delicious I made another batch 3 days later, and subbed 1 cup of wholemeal flour for some of the A/P flour, also beautiful results. This makes lockdown learning so much sweeter.
Originally published January 30, 2021