Crusty Sourdough Rolls recipe – an easy and wonderful breakfast

On weekdays you just need to get some grub and go. Stuff has to happen, you need to get things done. On a weekend you have more time, time to do the things you want and those things you didn’t have time for during the week. The perfect way to kick it off is to make and eat the perfect breakfast, and part of that is a great roll. This is my recipe for crusty sourdough rolls.

If you like a crunchy and crispy crust, rolls are the way to go, because there’s just that much more surface area than on a single slice of bread. The secret of getting a crispy crust is all in the baking time. You start out at a high temperature with steam to get good oven spring, then you turn down the oven to get the crispy crust, but not burn the crust.

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crusty sourdough rolls on a wooden board

The dough composition in this crusty sourdough rolls recipe

The vitals

Total weight1000 grams
Prefermented flour9.1%
Yield10 small rolls

The dough

The dough for these rolls are made with 80% bread flour and 20% rye flour. If you prefer another whole grain flour, you can use whatever tickles your fancy. If you’d like a classic white roll, you can just use 100% bread flour.

The hydration is 70%, which can be on the high side for some bread flours. If you don’t know how absorbent your bread flour is, I recommend that you start at 60% and work your way up. Details are in the recipe.

WeightIngredientBaker's Percentage
423gbread flour80%
106grye flour20%
106gstarter (100% hydration)20%

The salt content is 2%, but these rolls shine extra brightly with 3%. I’ll leave it up to your conscience.

If you want to change quantity, hydration, inoculation or other things, you can do so here in my Bread Calculator.

crusty sourdough rolls in a bread basket

The conclusion of this crusty sourdough rolls recipe

So in my humble opinion, what is important for the perfect crusty roll?

  • Crispy crust
  • Soft crumb
  • Some delicious seeds
  • A good taste

So how does these rolls stack up? I guess that is probably a loaded question, because I designed this recipe to give you all of those things.

The crust is shatteringly crispy. The crumb is as soft as a baby’s bottom. I provided you with my two favorite seed toppings, but you do you, use the ones you like. The poppy seed and sunflower seed topping is the same I use in my seeded sourdough.

The addition of the rye flour gives it the perfect taste in combination with a good wheat based bread flour. If you want even more flavor, do an overnight retard after the fermentation, but they are still great with just a warm fermentation.

In the words of Duke Nukem: “What are you waiting for? Christmas?”

Please share this recipe for crusty sourdough rolls on social media

This is my recipe for crusty sourdough rolls. If you like the recipe please consider sharing it with like-minded roll lovers on social media.

If you make it and post it on Instagram, please tag me as so I can see it. That would make me very happy.

a wonderful roll with butter

Crusty Sourdough Rolls

Course: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: All
Keyword: crispy, crunchy, crusty, dinner rolls, sourdough rolls
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Proofing: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 10 rolls
Calories: 199kcal
Author: Sune Trudslev
Nutrition Facts
Crusty Sourdough Rolls
Amount Per Serving (1 roll)
Calories 199 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 391mg17%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 2g8%
Protein 6g12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
The absolutely chunchiest, crispiest, crustiest sourdough rolls you will ever make. They are great for every meal.
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  • 423 g bread flour
  • 106 g dark rye flour
  • 355 g water
  • 106 g starter fed and grown to its peak
  • 10 g salt

Skagen topping

  • sunflower seeds
  • poppy seeds

Salt and pepper topping

  • sesame seeds
  • chia seeds
  • salt
  • pepper


Mix dough

  • To a bowl add: 423g bread flour, 106g rye flour and 10g salt. Mix it all together.
  • Then add: 106g sourdough starter and 355 grams of water
  • If you are not sure about the absorption of your bread flour, start with 296g water. This will be 60% hydration. If it feels dry add 30 more grams of water, then you are at 65% hydration. If you feel like it can take more you can add up to 30 grams more.
  • Mix it until all of the flour is hydrated.

Ferment the dough

  • Then put it into a bulking container.
  • Level the top of the dough, and mark the top using a whiteboard marker.
  • Let the dough ferment until it’s grown by 25%.
  • Once it's grown, you can refrigerate the dough for up to 48 hours, until you need it.

Divide and shape the dough

  • Then divide the dough into 10 equally sized pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. No pre-shaping is needed.
  • You do it by putting your bench scraper behind the dough and pulling it forward to pull dough in front of the dough, thus creating tension on the outside of the dough.
  • Once you can't get any further put the scraper in front an move the dough back on the table. Repeat until you have a taut surface.
  • Put them on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  • Once they are shaped, prepare some plastic wrap so it’s big enough to cover all the rolls. Spray it with some baking spray so it won’t stick to the buns and cover the rolls.

Final proof

  • Then let them rise for an hour.
  • While the rolls are final proofing, heat your oven to 260°C/500°F with a baking steel and a pan for steaming at the bottom.

Prepare the rolls for baking

  • When the hour is up, grab the rolls and remove the plastic wrap.
  • Boil a kettle of water so it’s ready for when you bake.
  • Then mist the top of the rolls with a water sprayer to make the top moist.
  • Mix equal amounts of sesame seeds and chia seeds. Season with some salt and pepper. Nothing crazy, but enough to taste it.
  • The other topping shouldn't be mixed, because you need to put the sunflower seeds on first, so that they'll stick to the rolls.
  • Seed all the rolls, or leave them unseeded if that's your preference.

Bake the rolls

  • Put the baking sheet into the oven, pour boiling water into the pan and close the oven.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Then remove the steaming pan and turn the heat down to 230°C/450°F and bake for another 15 minutes or until the rolls are super crispy.
  • Then take the rolls out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack or you could just put them in a basket and serve them right away.


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  1. Danielle Roberts Reply

    Hi Sune, would you use your Challenger Bread Pan in 2 batches here instead of a boiling water tray or do you think the rolls wont give off enough steam?

    • If your oven isn’t sealed well enough to steam using a pan, I think baking inside the Challenger is a very good idea 🙂

  2. Heather Reply

    This really doesn’t work – need to stretch and fold the dough to build up gluten.

    • It works just fine. You can look at the resulting rolls 🙂

  3. Amanda Reply

    What a great recipe, Sune! I made it once and it came out perfectly. I currently am making another batch, my dough doubled because I forgot about it. It’s currently in the fridge as I don’t plan on baking until another 24hrs. Will my end result be compromised because of the dough doubling 😩?

    • Since it’s for rolls and oven spring isn’t need as much in a bread, I think it should be fine. Let me know 🙂

  4. Rebecca Manies Reply

    Hi there I’m almost putting them in the oven just have a quick question- do I spray the rolls with the hot water even if I’m not seeding them? I’d like to keep them plain ..

    • You do not need to spray, if not using seeds on top 🙂

      The water should be room temperature though 🙂