Baking · Bread

White Bread Rolls

These homemade white bread rolls are crisp on the outside yet fluffy and tender on the inside. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to make your own bread rolls completely from scratch, then this easy recipe will be a great one to start with! 

Today’s recipe has been long coming. I’ve pretty much been waiting and putting off sharing it for ages now. I don’t know why, because these bread rolls are a winning recipe and a food I absolutely love.

This is actually one of my mum’s recipes and these rolls always go down a treat at family picnics and during the holidays. Usually mum is requested to supply the bread or rolls at family gatherings, they’re also delicious spread with garlic butter and made into garlic bread, dipped into olive oil and balsamic or even just slathered with butter.

The dough is pretty straightforward to prepare. We like to use olive oil in place of butter, adding olive oil as an alternative to butter and water instead of milk makes the recipe vegan and we think it also produces a lighter and crustier bread.

I always find readymade rolls to be overly sweet, over-proved and generally under baked and these are just a few reasons why I have been put off them. The bonus of making your own bread rolls means you know exactly what ingredients have gone into the bake and you can control how much salt and sugar is added. Homemade bakes like these rolls are mostly free or any unwanted additives and preservatives so they’re that little bit better for you.

Homemade bread rolls are a great accompaniment to a warm bowl of soup or filled with your favourite sandwich fillings. As the cooler months loom, a day you’re stuck in the house due to the weather is the perfect opportunity to spend baking bread. This is not the quickest recipe I’ve shared but it really is worth the extra effort and time.

Below I’ve listed some tips I think you will find helpful if you do give the recipe a try.

Important Points:

  • Always check your yeast is in date. If in doubt, always use new yeast.
  • Warm the water – be careful to make sure it’s not boiling. I find the easiest way to check is to test with your finger, if the water is a tepid heat then it’s ready to use. There’s no need for any specialist equipment!
  • Keep the yeast and salt apart. Salt will kill the yeast and stop the dough rising. When putting the ingredients in the bowl place the yeast and salt in opposite corners.
  • Substitute the extra virgin olive oil for another oil or alternatively use the same quantity of softened butter.
  • To make sure you’ve kneaded the dough enough before the first rise test by poking your finger into the dough very slightly, if it springs back then the dough is ready for shaping. If not, carry on kneading the dough for a few extra minutes.
  • I’d recommend weighing the dough before shaping into rolls. Weighing the dough means all the bread rolls will be the same size and will bake more evenly and it’s definitely worth spending a bit extra time doing this step.
  • I prove my dough in my fan assisted oven at 40ºC. Leaving the dough at room temperature to rise will work just as well. If it’s a cold day it will possibly take a little bit longer to rise.
  • This recipe makes 12 standard sized bread rolls, You can make 24 smaller slider-sized rolls if you prefer, however baking time will be cut by about half compared to the original recipe. To check doneness, use the same method of checking if they’re baked completely through by tapping the bottom, if it sounds hollow then the rolls are completely baked through.
  • Bread and rolls are always best eaten when they’re fresh. To experience the full flavour and texture of these rolls I would recommend tasting one on the same day of baking.

(Makes 12)


550g strong white bread flour

1 and 1/4 teaspoons fast-action dried yeast

2 teaspoons sugar

1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (substitute with another oil or alternatively use melted butter)

310ml warm water


1. To make the dough: In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt and mix together (remember to make sure the yeast and salt are on opposite corners of the bowl). Add the olive oil and warm water and mix until a soft dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes by hand or with an electric hand or stand mixer fitted with the dough hook for 5-7 minutes until the dough is soft and elasticated.

2. To knead and rise the dough: Once the dough is kneaded, lightly oil another large mixing bowl. Add the dough to the bowl and lightly coat in the oil. Cover the bowl with clingfilm or a kitchen towel and leave somewhere dry and warm for at least an hour or until doubled in size. This should take around 60-90 minutes.

3. Once the dough has risen fully divide it into 12 equally sized pieces. I weigh the dough to be accurate then shape each piece of dough into rolls. Place the rolls onto a large baking tray that’s either been lightly oiled or lined with a silicone baking mat. Space the rolls apart by a 1-2 inches so they have enough room to rise and spread slightly. Cover with clingfilm or a kitchen towel and leave somewhere warm for further 45-60 minutes or until the rolls have joined up and doubled in size.

4. To bake the rolls: Preheat oven to 220°C / 200°C Fan / 425°F / Gas Mark 7. Bake the rolls for 18-20 minutes or until crisp and golden in colour. You can check the rolls are completely baked by tapping the bottom of one, if it sounds hollow then they will be cooked all the way through.

5. Allow the rolls to cool for a few minutes then carefully transport them onto a wire rack. Leave to cool completely to room temperature before serving. Rolls can be toasted prior to serving if you want to serve them warm. The rolls will keep fresh in a bread/sandwich bag for up to 2 days, if you want you can freeze the rolls but they’re best eaten fresh on the day of baking.

I recently baked these bread rolls again and added around 100g of chopped sundried tomatoes and a few sprigs of rosemary (chopped) to my dough. I brushed the tops before baking with some oil from the jar of sundried tomatoes. Then, halfway through the baking time, I sprinkled the tops with 100g of grated Cheddar cheese. They were delicious!

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24 thoughts on “White Bread Rolls

  1. I love bread…all kinda of bread! But fresh rolls right out of the oven? With a little bit of salted butter? That sounds like heaven to me! Thanks for sharing this recipe, Jess…I want to give it a shot soon!

  2. Your rolls look fantastic! So light and fluffy. Would you serve these as the bun if you were to make homemade burgers? I would love to make them, my family aren’t so much sandwich people, but they love homemade burgers!

  3. Omg, just tried making these for the first time- and only realised after shaping the rolls and leaving for the second rise that you don’t have a specified baking temperate in your recipe! >< Now slightly panicked… glad I got my husband to buy emergency rolls in case these didn't work out!

      1. I baked them at 220 celsius for 5 minutes, then 180 for another 15 mins as that’s what I’d seen in another recipe, that had milk in it though so I wasn’t certain it’d be fine. Turned out to have a firm crust and a nice soft inside 🙂 Has made for yummy meals today!

    1. Hi Fahima – I personally don’t believe all-purpose/plain flour is a good substitute for bread flour as the structure of your bread might be affected because AP/plain flour doesn’t have a high protein content. This might cause your bread to be dense and not rise very well.

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