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Super soft sourdough dinner rolls

Super Soft Sourdough Rolls (with Tangzhong) Recipe

  • Author: Maurizio Leo
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 14 rolls
  • Category: Buns, Rolls
  • Cuisine: American


These super soft sourdough rolls are the perfect accompaniment to any dinner table (especially Thanksgiving!). They’re slightly buttery, a little sweet, ultra-tender, and the perfect counterpart for soups, stews, and any holiday meal.


Pre-cooked flour (Tangzhong):

  • 41 grams medium-protein bread flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 166 grams whole milk

Main dough:

  • 402g medium-protein bread flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 148g high-protein bread flour (bread flour)
  • 95g butter, unsalted
  • 53g sugar, caster
  • 254g water
  • 11g salt
  • 30g ripe sourdough starter


Prepare levain (Day One, 9:00 p.m.)
Mix the following ingredients in a container and leave covered to ripen at about 77°F (25°C) for 12 hours overnight.

  • 74g medium-protein bread flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 74g water
  • 15g sugar, caster
  • 30g ripe sourdough starter

Pre-cook flour (Day Two, 8:00 a.m.)
To a medium saucepan, add the flour and milk listed above. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens and becomes like a paste, about 5-8 minutes. Let cool before mixing with other ingredients.

  • 41g medium-protein bread flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 166g whole milk

Mix (9:00 a.m.)
Cut butter it into 1/2″ pats and let warm to room temperature. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add:

  • all pre-cooked flour (roux)
  • 328g medium-protein bread flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 148g high-protein flour (bread flour)
  • 39g sugar, caster
  • 181g water
  • 11g salt
  • 192g levain

Mix speed 1 for 1 to 2 minutes until incorporated. Then, mix speed 4 for 5 minutes until dough clumps around the dough hook. Let the dough rest in the mixing bowl for 10 minutes.

Next, add the 95g butter, one pat at a time, while the mixer is running on speed 1 (STIR). Continue this for 5 to 8 minutes until all butter is added and the dough is glossy and soft.

Transfer your dough to a bulk fermentation container and cover.

Bulk fermentation (9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)
Give the dough 3 sets of stretch and folds at 30-minute intervals, where the first set starts 30 minutes after the start of bulk fermentation.

Chill dough (1:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.)
Place the bulk fermentation container, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to make shaping easier.

Shape (1:15 p.m.)
Butter your pan. Divide the dough into fourteen 85g pieces and shape each as a very tight ball. Place the balls in the buttered pan to proof.

Proof (1:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.)
Cover the pan with dough and let proof for 2 1/2 hours.

Bake (4:15 p.m.)
Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). For the egg wash, whisk together one egg and a splash of whole milk.

When oven is preheated, brush on the egg wash and bake for 20 minutes. Then, rotate the pan 180° in the oven and reduce the temperature to 350°F (175°C). Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until the tops are well-colored and the rolls have reached around 204°F (95°C) internally. Remove from the oven and let cool in the baking pan for 10 minutes. Then knock the rolls out to cool on a wire rack. Let rest for 10 minutes, then enjoy.


Do ahead: you can prepare the tangzhong the night before. Cook the flour and milk as instructed and let cool to room temperature. Cover the tangzhong and keep in the fridge overnight. The next morning, take it out to let it warm some (to room temperature would be ideal) and proceed to add it during the mix as instructed.

Do ahead: you can prepare the dough and proof them overnight to bake the next day at any time. When chilling the dough, keep the covered bulk fermentation container in the fridge to retard the dough overnight. The next day, take the dough out, let warm for 30 minutes, then continue with the Shape, Proof, and Bake steps.

Keywords: Sourdough, rolls, buns, Thanksgiving, dinner rolls, bread, levain