These Sourdough Discard Rolls are so unbelievably soft, pillowy and plush, they might steal the show at your next dinner celebration. I’ll show you how you can have freshly baked homemade sourdough rolls in less than 2 hours by using a combination of sourdough discard and instant yeast.
Why I love this recipe
I love the convenience of this recipe, it comes together so quickly and is perfect for a holiday meal or dinner parties when I have a lot of other dishes to prep. Great for when I want the flavor of sourdough at the last minute and don't want to settle for store bought bread.
- Quick and easy to make with no special equipment needed
- Fluffy, pillowy texture with a soft crust
- Sourdough discard adds a delicious flavor to homemade rolls
- Great recipe for home bakers new to sourdough
- Perfect for times when you want homemade rolls with sourdough flavor at the last minute
Why use commercial yeast with sourdough discard?
Adding instant yeast and sourdough discard in a recipe combines convenience and flavor. Commercial yeast allows bread to rise much faster, since it’s much more efficient at converting starches into sugars and carbon-dioxide, which allows fermentation to occur at a much faster rate. For example, the first rise for these rolls only takes up to 1 hour instead of 3-4 hours.
While you won’t get the intense flavor development of a two-day fermentation, adding sourdough discard to your bread rolls will add a more nuanced, intense flavor than just using instant yeast on its own.
Baking with sourdough discard
These rolls use instant yeast as the main leavener instead of an active sourdough starter. In this case, sourdough discard is only providing flavor and does not need to be activated or fed.
You can use your sourdough discard straight from the refrigerator. If you’re using sourdough that’s been in the fridge for weeks it will add more acidity to your loaf, which you won’t get when using a freshly fed starter. Both will work for this recipe but you’ll get different results.
Short on time but still want delicious freshly-baked bread? Try my recipe for Sourdough Discard Irish Soda Bread, Sourdough Discard Bread, Sourdough Discard Hot Dog Buns, Sourdough Discard Soft Pretzels, Sourdough Discard Focaccia and Sourdough Discard Sandwich Bread.
What you need
All-purpose - All-purpose flour has a low protein content which imparts the fluffy texture that you want in these rolls.
Whole wheat flour - The perfect amount of whole wheat flour adds another dimension of flavor but won’t compromise the texture of this bread (feel free to substitute any other type of wheat, such as Kamut, spelt or einkorn or just use all-purpose if you don’t have whole wheat flour in your pantry)
Sourdough discard - If you don’t have any sourdough discard stocked up, you can still use an active sourdough starter or just add 56 grams of water and 56 grams of flour into the recipe
Instant or active-dry yeast - The main leavener for this recipe, both active dry or instant yeast will work in this recipe. Make sure your yeast is not expired before making this recipe.
Milk - I used whole milk for this recipe, substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
Egg - Use large eggs.
Butter - Substitute your favorite
Honey - Adds flavor and sweetness, substitute maple syrup or sugar.
Salt - Use sea salt or kosher salt or seal salt for the best results.
- Combine the ingredients in a large bowl
- Knead the dough until smooth
- Let the dough proof until doubled in volume
- Divide the dough into 15 portions
- Shape the dough and arrange them in a baking pan
- Let the dough rise until the rolls almost fill the pan
- Brush the top of the dough with egg wash
- Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown
How to shape bread rolls
1. Flatten the dough into a rough rectangle
2. Fold corners towards the center
3. Place the dough in your palm and pinch the seam shut
4. Flip the dough over and round it on your work surface until the seam shuts
Commercial yeast has a shelf life. Make sure your yeast is not past its expiration date before you make these rolls.
Absolutely, just make sure you bloom your active dry yeast in the milk and sugar before mixing into the dough.
Yes! Use the following substitutions to make vegan rolls:
Milk: apple juice, water, plain plant-based milk
Egg: applesauce, pumpkin puree or cooked, mashed potato
Butter: olive oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil or vegan butter
Egg wash: melted butter and maple syrup
Honey: maple syrup or sugar
Dough handling can really depend on the baker. I’m quite used to kneading wet, sticky dough. But if your dough feels too sticky, don’t be afraid to dust a little flour on your work surface. I find that letting the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes before continuing to knead makes it much easier to handle.
These rolls are a great side for Thanksgiving or Christmas. You can also serve them with bbq, grilled meats, or as the base for breakfast sandwiches or sliders.
Absolutely! To use a mixer, combine the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Start with a paddle attachment to stir the ingredients together. Once the dough appears cohesive, switch to a dough hook and mix until the dough clings to the hook and away from pulls away from the sides. Round the dough into a ball and proof.
More sourdough bread recipes
Did you make this recipe?
Please leave a star rating and review this recipe if you enjoyed it! I read all the comments and love hearing your feedback.
Sourdough Discard Rolls Recipe
- pastry brush
- 9 by 13 baking pan
- 420 grams all-purpose flour
- 60 grams whole wheat flour
- 10 grams salt
- 7 grams instant yeast
- 113 grams sourdough discard
- 169 grams milk
- 1 large egg
- 56 grams unsalted butter softened
- 28 grams honey
- 1 egg
- Pinch of salt
- Make the dough: Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until the mixture forms a shaggy dough and no traces of dry flour remain. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes, this rest period will make the dough much easier to work with.420 grams all-purpose flour, 60 grams whole wheat flour, 10 grams salt, 7 grams instant yeast, 113 grams sourdough discard, 169 grams milk, 1 large egg, 56 grams unsalted butter, 28 grams honey
- Knead the dough: Turn the dough out on a clean work surface (you shouldn’t need to flour, but if your dough feels too sticky feel free to use a little bit of bench flour). To knead the dough, hold the bottom of the dough with your fingertips, fold the dough over itself, then push it out using the heel of the palm of your hand. Repeat until the dough looks cohesive, smooth and passes the windowpane test.
- First rise: Round the dough into a tight ball and place it in a clean, lightly-oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Shape the dough: Punch the dough down to release the air. Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces. Round each portion into a tight ball, and arrange the dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a 5 by 3 pattern.
- Final proof: Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until the rolls fill the baking pan most of the way, about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Prep: When your rolls are close to being fully proofed, preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Egg wash: Beat the egg and pinch of salt together. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of your dough with egg wash.1 egg, Pinch of salt
- Bake: Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown and register at at least 190 F when probed with an instant-read thermometer.
- Store: Store any leftover rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.