Bread For Breakfast: Foolproof Sourdough Rolls

foolproof sd rolls

As usual, the first thing I “have to” do once back from a trip is baking some bread. Not that I eat much of it lately (when home I try to be a vegetarian low carbing gal) but the little I eat has to be high quality and has to taste great. Just like the food critic in Ratatouille -animation I never tire of watching- I don’t just like food bread. I LOVE bread. And if I don’t love it I don’t eat it.

Since after making Martin Johanson’s overnight rolls, which were based on commercial yeast, I have been trying to obtain the same wonderful fluffy result using sourdough instead. What is special in Martin’s rolls and in these sourdough ones is that the overnight fermentation happens at room temperature rather than in the fridge. Therefore, only a little leavening agent is needed. In this case, it was tricky to find the right amount of sourdough starter which would have given me a perfectly ready to bake dough in the morning -after close to 11 hours of fermentation in my pretty warm kitchen! This time a hit the right formula and I am happy to share it with you.

foolproof sd rolls

These rolls need no kneading. You start in the evening, care for a couple of folds before going to sleep, and in the morning, voila, you can bake and eat. Lovely open crumb and and a crunchy and light crust. Heaven.

foolproof sd rolls

foolproof sd rolls

foolproof sd rolls

foolproof sd rolls

foolproof sd rolls

foolproof sd rolls

foolproof sd rolls

foolproof sd rolls

Foolproof Sourdough Rolls

By author Barbara/Bread & Companatico


  • 75g mature 100% sourdough starter
  • 515g water
  • 350g organic stone ground bread flour
  • 200g organic stone ground all purpose flour
  • 150g organic stone ground whole spelt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt


1. In the evening, combine the starter with the water and add all the flours (leave the salt out for now).
2. Let rest covered for 45 minutes
3. Add the salt and combine well
4. Let rest covered for 30 minutes than make a few folds of the dough
5. Let rest covered for another 30 minutes and perform a few more folds
6. Cover and let rest at room temperature until the following morning
7. In the morning, preheat the oven to 475 F/250 C degrees
8. Transfer the dough on a floured surface and fold like a package. Let rest 10 minutes and fold again. Flip (delicately) upside-down and let rest another 40-60 minutes
9. Cut the dough into small pieces with the help of a dough scraper and bake for 15 minutes


The ingredients make for two (consecutively baked if you have a small oven like mine or baked altogether if you have a bigger one) batches of rolls.

With this bread I participate to Panissimo, a monthly bread showcase created by moi and Sandra and hosted this month by Sandra. Submissions are accepted here until the 31th of July.

I am also sending the buns to Susan for her amazing weekly collection YeastSpotting.



75g lievito liquido attivo
515g acqua
600g farina tipo 1 macinata a pietra
100g farro spelta integrale macinato a pietra
2 1/2 cucchiaini di sale

METODO: la sera, comibinate tutti gli ingredienti in ciotola, tranne il sale. coprite e dopo 45 minuti aggiungete il sale, combinando bene, a mano (ma senza impastare). lasciate riposare un ora coperto facendo due pieghe, ogni mezz’ora. coprite e lasciate riposare FUORI DAL FRIGO fino al mattino. accendete il forno (250 gradi) e mentre si scalda mettete l’impasto su un piano infarinato e chiudete come un pacchetto. dopo 40 minuti/1 ora dividete in piccoli pezzi con qualcosa di tagliente (io con la spatola d’acciaio) e infornate sulla pietra refrattaria se l’avete. pronti dopo 15 minuti, piu’ 5 a 200 gradi per farli asciugare (se vedete che serve).

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  1. Thank you so much for this recipe! The yeasted version was mouthwatering, but since I only use sourdough starter in my baking this is perfect, I love the simplicity of shaping :)

    • Hi Natasa and thank you so much for stopping by. These rolls are truly simple, for any day you feel lazy but want good fresh bread. And I just passed by your beautiful blog full of gorgeous breads and techniques. I will be following you! ciao, Barbara

      • I made these rolls twice, yesterday in the evening and today when I came home from work (I just mixed all ingredients in the morning and then let the dough to ferment while I was at work). Rolls are super delicious, thank you thank you thank you for the recipe – its the proof that the sourdough bread can be easy as making a salad :)

  2. In step number 4, what you meant to say is “Let rest covered for 30 minutes THEN make a few folds of the dough.
    Remember: THEN is an adverb of time. THAN is a comparative.

  3. These look delicious, once I get my hands on some sourdough starter I will definitely try them out!

    • thank you Kelly. meanwhile you can check the commercial yeast-version, link at the top and at the bottom of the post. let me know how you like them!

  4. Gorgeous photos. Love lazy short cuts. I’ve never used sourdough starter but what qualities should I be looking for when searching for a starter?

  5. One question. Do you use steam for baking this sourdough rolls ?

  6. Stephanie says:

    Thank You for the recipe! I used to make some sourdough bread myself but haven’t in the recent years. I just noticed the ‘low-carbing’ page on your blog and wanted to recommend you a book called “the starch solution” by Dr.McDougall. The book explains (with solid scientific evidences) that carbs DON’T make you fat! I highly recommend it and hope you enjoy <3

    • hi Stephanie, thank you for reading!
      it is not about the fat, though. carbs, even a high proportion of them, are ok as long as you don’t start to have insuline resistance (that can show itself as high sugar levels in your blood). when you have it, too much carbs can be bad for you and also make you become fatter, because they trigger your appetite.
      this said, I believe in measure. high quality bread is holy and I will never ever say that is bad for us. only, in certain cases (like diabetes or prediabetes), a slice may be better than two and, sometimes, that is all we need.

  7. Mmmm, these look like the perfect thing to wake up to! And the perfect thing to get back into the kitchen with after a vacation :)

  8. Steve has been away and I am having to do everything that the two of us do myself along with study so I am a bit hectic and have only just gotten around to your wonderful post. I now know what to do with Audrey this weekend :) I will let you know if I manage to make these gorgeous looking rolls :)

  9. io ci metterei sopra burro e marmellata, un cappuccino, un libro e un paio di ore di tempo: colazione spettacolare con questi croccanti panini freschi! baci

  10. I made these today and couldn’t believe how PERFECT they turned out! Crunchy on the outside, tender and airy on the inside. I didn’t have spelt flour, so I used the same weight of whole white wheat instead and it turned out beautifully. My sourdough starter is 40% rye 60% white AP. The flavor of these rolls was amazing and the ease of preparation was incredible. Thanks for sharing your recipe! This will be a regular in the rotation at our house.

    • hi Krista, thank you so much for letting me know! we are also keeping these rolls as “regulars”. so happy they turned out well also in a different kitchen.

  11. Thank you so much for this. I’ve made your recipe twice so far and it really is foolproof. Absolutely delicious!

    • thank you Alana for letting me know! bread, and sourdough too, does not have to be difficult. it is actually one of the most natural things to do in the kitchen.

  12. hi bread and companatico
    il tuo blog mi piace molto, complimenti per il layout e le foto :)
    ma per partecipare al prossimo panissimo?

  13. Great! Made these sourdough rolls this morning and they very super tasty. Need some practice shaping them… Any tips? They also turned out much denser than your rolls Barbara, any idea why this might be? Thanks! Pam

    • hi. there are two main aspects to look at: 1) how fast does your sourdough culture double at room temperature? how many hours does it take to be doubled and bubbly? 2) what is your average room temperature? my kitchen is pretty warm and my starter is very active, so one night out for a dough with a 10% starter is plenty to reach full development and optimal rise. but with a less active starter or in a cooler environment, or both, one night would not be enough for that little amount of starter, so you may want to increase it (the starter).

      • Thanks, yes that all makes sense. Thanks for responding so quickly!
        PS. My husband and I absolutely love the rolls, so thanks for sharing the recipe!

  14. barbara, ma è meraviglioso!!! questi piccoli panini sono un incanto….
    Davvero brava brava :) )

  15. After MANY failed attempts with sourdough loaves, I admit I was sceptical. However, I have before me the best rolls I have ever made! Furthermore, I have made the second batch into a fantastic small loaf. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!
    Rob (UK)

  16. How do you define “a few folds”? Like one fold is in thirds and then in thirds again. Does one round of folding constitute a few folds?

  17. patty hagen says:

    i’ve made these before and they are fantastic. making them again today and wondered how i can keep the dough long enough today to bake them right before dinner to serve them warm. i started last night and the dough is folded and resting. any thoughts how to hold off on the baking for about 8 more hours? thanks

  18. christina says:

    Hello! These look amazing, so I am attemptimg to make them. I mixed up some dough last night, but it all seems very wet, like wet drop biscuit dough. I cannot touch the dough with my hands to fold, it is too sticky, so I folded it with my rubber spatula. What is the consistency supposed to be? My starter is pourable, like thick pancake batter. I measured all the ingredients by weight. The amount of water seemed to be excessive though compared to most other recipes. Also, how long do they stay fresh? I was wanting to bake them this afternoon to have for Easter brunch.

  19. Crystal U says:

    Can I use these to make bread bowls for soup?


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