Sourdough Dinner Rolls (and Tiger Burgers)


After last’s month challenging croissant challenge, this month’s Sourdough Surprises is the rather tamer dinner rolls.

I headed out (well to the internet) to do some research to see what options I had. I quickly ruled out anything flavoured. Much as garlic or caramelised onion sounds lovely, I think a dinner roll should be plain; rich maybe, but not flavoured.

Most of the rest of roll I found were just variations on shape:

There were also various rolls done in batches, but I think dinner rolls should be individual rolls, without the tear at the side. There’s a place for pull-apart rolls, but not as dinner rolls.

Having said that I did find these individual pull-apart rolls, which struck me as rather dainty, and appropriate for pulling apart and buttering (one should always tears one’s dinner roll, not attempt to cut it with a knife). Instead of doing them in a muffin pan I could use my friand pan or mini-loaf pan for different effects.

I then trawled the very useful Wikipedia section on different national breads — the problem here is that as soon as you find something that might qualify as a dinner roll (balm cakes, blaa, etc) it’s just a plain roll, nothing special about it. And much as I’d love to make melonpan, a Japanese bread roll covered in cookie dough (!), it hardly counts as a dinner roll.

Those melonpan rolls did remind of the tiger rolls I’ve done previously, which could be a dinner roll, at a push. I’d also like to re-do them to try and get a better tiger effect, and to not misread the topping recipe and add 1/4 tsp of salt, not 1 Tbsp…

My favourite ideas are the individual pull-aparts and the tiger rolls. The clinching factor came when we spotted a tiger roll burger. We knew we’d have to try those, but then of course they’re not dinner rolls. So I’m going to do a batch of these anyway, and use them as an excuse to do burgers!

So for dinner rolls I’m doing the individual pull-apart rolls. I liked the idea of doing them in the mini-loaf tin, but I was worried it would be too small, but when I checked I was pleasantly surprised to find it was just the size I was looking for, so I’ll be using that.

I’m making a single batch of dough for both batches of rolls. For liquid I’m using milk rather than water, and adding some butter for some richness. I’m also going to use up some potato flour that’s just passed its best before date in my flour mix.

  • 300g (1 1/4 cups) warm milk
  • 500g (1lb 1 1/2 oz) flour
    • 200g (7oz) strong (14.8%) white
    • 150g (5 1/3 oz) potato
    • 100g (3 1/2 oz) wholemeal
    • 50g (1 3/4 oz) rye
  • 300g (10 1/2 oz) refreshed starter (70/20/10 strong white/wholemeal/rye)
  • 60g (4 Tbsp) butter at room temperature
  • 2 tsp diastatic malt powder
  • 2 tsp salt

The starter gets refreshed in the morning, then after work I make the dough. I’ll do this in my standard way: autolyse the liquid and flours, then add the rest of the ingredients and knead for five minutes in the stand mixer. It then gets a few hours of rising, with four stretch-and-folds, before being shaped.


The tiger rolls will be 100g of dough each.


This leaves 830g of dough (yeah my 1kg dough mix needs some adjusting…) so that’s just under 70g for each pull apart roll.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESLook at that – a perfect amount. Turns out my oversized 1kg dough has its uses!

Once shaped things go in the fridge to proof overnight. They didn’t grow much during the night, so I gave them a couple of hours at room temperature before baking.


I normally bake rolls at 200C fan (430F) for 10 minutes. However the pull-apart recipe goes for 160C fan (350F), and I see a lot of other dinner roll recipes using lower temperatures. So I’m going to go for 160C fan and start checking after 15 minutes, looking for an internal temperature of 90C.

After 15 minutes they were at the right temperature, but not very browned, so I went up to 180C fan for an extra five minutes, which the tiger rolls needed the oven at anyway. This gave them just a hint of colour, and avoided them looking anaemic.


After a couple of minutes I removed them from the tin.


I’m serving the rolls with a slow cooked beef in wine recipe from the Grauniad, with some extra veg thrown in for good measure.


The tiger roll topping is the same as last time (from Bright Eyes Baker, and similar to Nate British Bakeoff), except I’ve corrected my weight conversion for rice flour (and I won’t confuse salt and sugar, so I’ll only be adding 1/4 tsp of salt!), and halved as I’m not making many rolls:

  • 1.5 Tbsp dry active yeast
  • 60ml (1/2 cup) warm water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 75g (just under 1/2 cup) rice flour

Mix everything together and leave for 15 minutes, then give the rolls a couple of coatings.


Last time the temperature was too high, partly due to the Bright Eyes recipe, and partly as I forgot to adjust for the fan oven… This time I’m following Nate’s system and baking longer and lower at 180C fan for 20-25 minutes (but checking after 15 as they’re quite small) until the tops are set and cracked.

Like the dinner rolls these took an extra five minutes to get their proper colour. I’m very happy with these! Unlike the last time they’ve really got good cracks and colour.


The burgers are the same as we’ve done previously, along with similar onion rings, although this time trying buttermilk instead of egg to stick the breadcrumbs on. Sourdough breadcrumbs of course!


This worked much better than last time. The buttermilk/egg/flour mix for the onion rings kept the rye sourdough breadcrumbs on, and they were lovely and crispy. The burgers were nicely medium-rare and tasted really steaky. The tiger rolls were delicious with a great crumb… although we should have toasted them, or at least warmed them, before plating up.

Check out the other sourdough dinner rolls the gang have made!



9 thoughts on “Sourdough Dinner Rolls (and Tiger Burgers)

    1. It’s supposed to help get a good crust on loaves that have a long fermentation, basically giving extra fuel to the yeast. You get a similar effect from sugar, but this doesn’t add any sweetness. Of course with these rolls I wasn’t really going to get a crust, so I probably shouldn’t have bothered with it. It’s best used in baguettes or boules.


  1. I came so close to baking mine in a friand pan – I will definitely give it a go next time, because those tiny little loaves with their domed tops are such a great presentation.


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