Soft and Fluffy Sourdough Dinner Rolls

Last updated: October 15, 2021
4.72 from 25 votes
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These sourdough dinner rolls are soft, pillowy, and literally melt in your mouth. Using an overnight rise, the dough will go through its bulk ferment without having to do any stretch and folds, or kneading. So simple to make! The sourdough rolls are the perfect addition to any meal, but especially the holidays.

pulling sourdough dinner rolls apart, on a white plate
soft sourdough dinner rolls on a white plate

This recipe is sponsored by Watkins, a valued partner of Heartbeet Kitchen.

These homemade sourdough dinner rolls are a dream! They’re soft and squidgy, light as a feather, and even better tasting than the classic. Between the flavor and the texture, you’ll reach for a second before you’re done with the first.

I’ve been working on this sourdough roll recipe for weeks to achieve the best result with the most straightforward technique, and I think we’re there! It’s a great recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter dinners, when dinner rolls are one of the best parts of the meal.

sourdough dinner rolls in a round pan with spices surrounding the pan

And finally, I landed on these, with an easy overnight rise that allows the buttery brioche dough to lighten, and bake into pillowy buttery dinner rolls. Layers of flavor emerge from the dough itself, with the addition of Watkins Organic Rosemary and Organic Garlic Powder. It’s always fun to take your taste buds on a tour of new flavors, even with classic foods. So that’s what we’re doing here.

And the texture….. is something I’ve dreamt about.
It’s an experience comparable to eating cotton candy, but in savory form.

Although these rolls are made with active sourdough starter, my goal was to keep the “tang” minimal: just enough to add to their uniqueness, without being abrupt. (If you’re looking for a recipe with more of that classic sourdough flavor, I’d suggest my Rye Sourdough Bread.)

brushing butter on sourdough dinner rolls

How to Make Sourdough Rolls

Much of my testing was centered around how the rolls turned out using a stand mixer compared to just using hands to mix the dough.

The stand mixer dinner rolls were much airier and feathery, with a texture that shreds apart beautifully. This is from the air that is incorporated into the dough from the strength of the mixer, which is extremely difficult to achieve by hand.

The hand mixed rolls took lots more effort to make because all of the kneading happens with your own elbow grease. They turned out good, but chewier than I wanted. I just couldn’t get the same airiness out of them. They didn’t seem to puff in the oven as much, either.

soft and fluffy sourdough dinner rolls in a pan

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  1. Active sourdough starter
  2. Bread flour
  3. All-purpose flour
  4. Milk
  5. Egg
  6. Butter
  7. Watkins Himalayan Pink Salt
  8. Watkins Organic Rosemary and Watkins Organic Garlic Powder

Baker’s Schedule for Sourdough Rolls:

  • 3:00pm – Feed starter and set butter out to soften
  • 8:30pm – Step 1 of mixing dough
  • 9:00pm – Step 2 of adding butter to dough, and salt, garlic, rosemary
  • 9:15pm – Cover dough with damp cloth, and let rise overnight on the counter
  • Next morning – Shape dough into balls and let rise another 2 hours
  • Bake!

These will be the most talked about dinner rolls in your house. Share and tear, and enjoy so much flavor in one bite from the Watkins Organic Garlic Powder and Organic Rosemary! They’ll be on my Thanksgiving menu every year from now on.

sourdough dinner rolls close up photo, in aluminum pan

Can I do an overnight refrigerated FINAL rise?

I wouldn’t. When I tested an overnight final rise in the refrigerator, the rolls did not puff up as much baking, and they were spotty on the top rather than evenly browned. I asked a pastry chef, who let me know that this is from CO2 trying to escape from the top of the dough, after too many hours of fermentation. This come from doing both, a lengthy bulk ferment, and long final rise.

For best results, follow the baker schedule above for an overnight bulk ferment, and a final rise in the morning.

How to Reheat Sourdough Rolls:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Wrap the rolls in foil and place in oven for 5-7 minutes (or for as long as it takes to heat them). Serve warm!

sourdough dinner rolls on a plate with butter
sourdough dinner roll cut in half with buttered knife

Other Sourdough Recipes:

sourdough dinner rolls on a plate with butter

Soft and Fluffy Overnight Sourdough Rolls

Soft, buttery, and fluffy homemade sourdough rolls, made with active sourdough starter. An overnight rise makes this recipe a breeze!
4.72 from 25 votes
Prep Time :10 minutes
Cook Time :25 minutes
Additional Time :14 hours
Total Time :14 hours 35 minutes
Yield: 8 rolls
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 195 grams organic bread flour
  • 65 grams organic all-purpose flour
  • 100 grams active sourdough starter at peak
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 110 grams lukewarm milk
  • 10 grams honey
  • 45 grams softened unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 6 grams Watkins Fine Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 1 teaspoon 3 grams Watkins Organic Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoons 3 grams Watkins Organic Rosemary
  • extra butter for brushing


  • Around 8:30pm, add the flours to the bowl of a stand mixer. 
  • Add the milk, starter, honey, and egg to a large bowl. Whisk until combined. 
  • With hook attachment, set mixer on low speed (speed 2 of my Kitchenaid) and pour in the liquid in 3 additions, waiting about 20 seconds before each addition. Increase speed to medium (speed 4 of my Kitchenaid), for 30 seconds. Dough will be somewhat lumpy, but that’s okay.
  • Bring together into a ball using your hands, and let dough rest, covered for 30 minutes. 
  • Adding butter: Turn on mixer to low (speed 2 of my Kitchenaid) and add one piece of butter at a time, waiting until butter is dissolved into dough to add the next. Don’t be worried if your dough still looks a little bumpy and lumpy. It will come together! When all butter is added, turn mixer to medium (speed 4) and mix for 6 minutes. This will strengthen the dough and bring it all together.
  • After 6 minutes, add salt, garlic, and rosemary, and mix for 45 seconds to incorporate into dough. 
  • Cover the dough with a very damp tea towel and plastic grocery bag if you have, and let rise overnight on the counter. 
  • In the morning around 8am, your dough will be proofed. You will now shape the dough, into 8 equal pieces. Lightly flour a clean surface and turn the proofed dough out onto it. Separate the dough into 8 pieces, using a scale to weigh them so that they are nearly equal. Generously grease an 8 or 9 inch round baking pan, with butter.
  • Watch this video for shaping technique. — Take each piece of dough and gently pull each side outwards, then bring together in the middle, and start to roll the dough onto itself, making a ball. Rotate, repeating the motion, until a ball has formed. Pull the dough across the surface to create some tension, and cup the ball with your hands. Using floured hands, use the outer edge of both little fingers to rotate the ball counterclockwise. This will help the roll to form a skin on the outer layer so that it keeps a nice shape when rising and baking. Repeat this until all of the rolls are shaped, placing each roll into the baking dish as you go.
  • Cover the rolls with a damp tea towel and set them aside to rise at room temperature for 2ish hours, or until almost doubled in size. 
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush rolls with milk, and when oven is preheated add pan to oven. Turn heat down to 375 degrees F and bake for 25-27 minutes, until golden brown and fully risen. Brush generously with about 2 tablespoons of melted butter when rolls are done, and serve warm. 
  • Best eaten day of making. If you have leftovers, store in a plastic bag on counter. You must warm up the roll in microwave before eating, for 10-12 seconds to soften it.


*see full baker’s schedule in body of this blog post
*To reheat rolls: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Wrap the rolls in foil and place in oven for 5-7 minutes (or for as long as it takes to heat them). Serve warm!

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November 19, 2020


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  1. Hi,
    Want to make these for Easter.. a slight concern about leaving on counter with raw egg as ingredient? Thanks

  2. hi , making your garlic rolls now but just realized that they are supposed to be left on counter. Could i put the dough in the fridge overnight and make them tmor?

  3. Made these rolls today and my family loved them so much! Thank you for the detailed recipe. I followed it religiously!

  4. Hi Amanda,
    These look amazing! I just re-started sourdough again (like everyone these days) and now I’m contemplating buying a stand mixer (especially since I really want to try making these ;)). I was curious what stand mixer you have and whether you have any thoughts on the one you have in comparison to other models?

  5. Hi, do you think this recipe would work with oat milk instead of dairy milk and plant based butter instead of dairy butter?
    My daughter has a diary intolerance so i’d really like to bake a dairy free version of these rolls, they sound delicious!

    • Hello! I have had a few people try them with dairy replacements, and they do work! They may be a tiny bit less fluffy, but overall, a really great dairy-free sourdough bun.

  6. Hi Amanda, I’m making these for several people for their Christmas Eve meals. Can you mix the dough & then let it proof in the fridge. It would save me a lot of time if I could. I just love this recipe!! So flavorful with just the perfect texture!

    • Hi Kayleigh!
      I haven’t tested them with a freezing component. It would likely take at least at overnight rise and some time in the morning for them to thaw and go through their final rise.
      I would guess it might almost be better to freeze them when they are doubled and have gone through a final rise, and then unthaw them prior to baking. But can’t confirm as I haven’t tested.

      • Amanda I made these rolls (omitting rosemary and garlic) and froze them after shaping. I let them thaw and rise overnight, and baked them Christmas morning as pull apart cinnamon buns! They rose beautifully and tasted amazing! Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Thanks for taking the time to share us you wonderful baking!! I baked this for our thanksgiving feast yesterday. It turned out amazing!! Family loved it!! I’ve been baking sourdough artisan bread regularly & this would be a wonderful addition to my sourdough baking schedule. Thanks again. Happy Holiday.

  8. I literally just made this for thanksgiving and it was absolutely delicious! I bought your starter the other week and this was my first recipe with it! Thank you for the recipe!!

  9. Thank you. I weighed all you ngredients .my dough was not dry, actually opposite. Minimal rise in overnight proof. Is there a max time for final rise ? Temp 70 . Not much action at 1.5 hours

  10. This recipe sounds divine. I would like to watch your shaping technique video however, the link does not take me there.

  11. Any guidance on using just AP flour? Bread flour is hard to come by these days but was fortunate to get my hands on a bulk bag of AP.

    • Hi Paula!
      I haven’t tested this recipe using only all purpose flour. The hydration would likely be off, as all-purpose flour cannot handle as much water as bread flour.

  12. They sound divine! If I wanted a double batch, do you see a problem with just doubling the recipe or would you recommend 2 separate batches?
    I don’t know the story behind the computer issue so I don’t know if this would help but, 2 years ago my phone suddenly malfunctioned and completely shut down with 3 years worth of photos that we didn’t know weren’t being backed up. The phone stores told us nothing could be done. After a few local places, we ended up sending it to a forensics place in Texas that does data recovery. They were able to get 90% of my stuff recovered.

    • Hi Julie!
      I see no problem with making a double batch. Just use a larger pan to bake them in, like a heavily greased casserole pan, or 9×13.
      And thank you for sending comfort regarding the computer. I’m holding onto the tiny sliver of hope that things can be recovered.

  13. These sound amazing!
    Do you use a dough hook or a regular paddle?
    My kitchen is quite cool overnight (62 degrees) – do you recommend keeping it warmer for the overnight rise?
    Thank you!

    • I have a sensitivity to garlic, do you think these would taste just fine with just the honey and rosemary? This looks amazing by the way! I’ve been waiting since you first talked about the recipe in your stories!

    • Hi Michelle! The dough hook, yes. I just added that note to the recipe card, thank you. :)
      My house is at 65 degrees, so if yours is 62, maybe wait until 8:30-9 am for bulk fermentation to finish. The dough will be poofy and have doubled, but still be somewhat firm.