Soft Wholemeal Sourdough Rolls

IMG_0578So, learning from my previous sourdough recipes, I want to try something a little different – bread rolls I can use everyday for my lunch time sandwiches.  Ironically, despite all of the baking I’ve been doing recently, I still tend to resort to nice granary supermarket rolls, as I can be assured that they’ll be fresh when delivered in the middle of the week.  Now I’d like to make my own – a soft wholemeal roll which keeps well, yet unlike my previous attempts at sourdough rolls, holds it’s shape better.  Realistically, the only options I have here are either resort to something like a muffin tin and stick with the high hydration dough, or cut the level of hydration slightly.  I’ve opted for the latter (I don’t need an overly open texture for these rolls anyway), so this 65% hydration dough combined with the wholemeal & rye flours gives something which is much more workable and likely to hold its shape.  This recipe continues to use the ‘stretch & fold’ method, which I find to be very satisfactory for sourdough bread.  However, the dough is not particularly sticky, and can be kneaded in the ‘normal’ fashion for about 10 minutes after the autolyse, on a lightly oiled surface, if you prefer.

The yoghurt enhances the ‘sour’ effect – you could replace this with 50ml of full fat milk instead.  I actually gave my rolls 6 hours for a final prove (it was very cold here in December), and they swelled up nicely.  The extra proving time also enhances the flavour of the bread

This recipe uses a preferment which needs to be prepared the night before, and as such uses very little of the ‘mother’ starter mixture.  If you find the basis for this recipe successful, it will mean that you can store much less starter and still turn out great sourdough bread on a regular basis

Makes 12



For the Dough:

  • 100g Rye Flour
  • 325g Strong Wholemeal Flour
  • 140ml Water
  • 25g Honey
  • 50g Full Fat Greek Yoghurt
  • 50g Butter, softened
  • 9g Salt


  • Mix all of the ingredients for the preferment and leave out, loosely covered overnight for about 12 hours or so
  • In a large mixing bowl add the flours and make a well in the centre
  • Measure out the water, honey and yoghurt then mix into the preferment to loosen
  • Pour the preferment into the flour and roughly mix before adding the butter and salt and work through with a knife to form a rough dough for a couple of minutes.  Cover with cling film and leave to autolyse for about 30 minutes
  • Time onto a clean surface and stretch & fold the dough around all 4 sides.  Return to the bowl for 1 hour
  • Repeat this stretch & fold & rest 4 times.  After this, the dough will appear stretchy , well worked and starting to rise.  Leave the dough to roughly double from it’s original size – maybe another hour or 2
  • Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Break into 12 equal sized pieces and form into balls
  • Place the balls onto baking sheets, with a little space between them (not touching).  Cover with clink film and allow to prove – maybe another 3 hours
  • Bake in a preheated oven, 210oC, for about 20 minutes.  Place a baking tray half full of water in the base of the oven when you turn it on to create a steamy atmosphere
  • Remove the cooked rolls and allow to cool on a wire rack before eating

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Love the idea of the yoghurt. I really think we do not use yoghurt enough in our baking. Well done!

    1. It works very well and really emphasises the flavours of the sourdough. You could always use buttermilk or just full fat milk, but I’ve always got some Greek Yoghurt kicking around, it’s great adding a level of richness 🙂

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