Pillowy Soft Bread Rolls with pull apart edges, guaranteed soft & fluffy every time. With easy step by step instructions!
Those of you who follow me on Twitter will already have seen photos of these soft bread rolls, with some people requesting the recipe on more than one occasion. So this post begins with an apology for being late – it’s been on my to do list since the beginning of the year, so, sorry Tweeps.
I started making bread on a regular basis about ten years ago in preparation for our new venture in France, where we planned to live off the land and cook as much of our own food as possible. Make your own bread in France I hear you say ? Although we love French bread and when at the local market I do pick up a lovely crusty pain from our favourite boulangerie, there was an issue. Working as we did, there wasn’t enough time to go into the local village every day for bread whereas making bread at home ran alongside other jobs.
The recipe for the dough is my basic bread dough recipe which has been tweaked and changed during the last ten years but the soft bread rolls came into existence when my father-in-law, Ted, became ill. Ted loved my crusty bread loaves and whenever we made a trip back to the UK I would bake as many loaves as I could for him; after we moved permanently back to the UK, Ted was pleased to have even fresher bread delivered to his door. Unfortunately, there came a time when Ted was too ill to eat a crusty loaf and as he needed softer bread my sister-in-law bought him some rolls from Tesco. After a few trials and errors with oven timings and temperature I came up with my own version of soft bread rolls which became known in our family as Ted’s Rolls.
I make these soft bread rolls almost every day – they are easy to make and they freeze very well. My nephews (grown-up) had a great day learning how to make these bread rolls and even though they’d never made bread before, they still found time to make a crumble and play a football match whilst producing a batch of lovely soft bread rolls. It was such a fun day baking with my nephews as we experimented with kneading methods – our favourite was throwing the bread GBBO style which definitely did a good job of stretching the dough.
THE WINDOW PANE TEST is a consistently reliable way to check your dough is ready. Pinch off a small piece of dough and gently stretch it apart, pulling and rotating the dough into a thin membrane, or window pane, which is translucent when you hold it up to the light.
Here’s the recipe in quick printable format so you can have it to hand while you try it out.
- 1 kg (7¼ cups) strong white bread flour
- 3 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast (we use Dove’s Farm)
- 8 tablespoons rapeseed oil
- Approximately 600 ml (2½ cups) tepid water
- Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Add the oil and a little water. Mix well adding a little water at a time until you have formed a ball of dough.
- Transfer to a floured surface and knead for 10 to 12 minutes. Check your dough is ready by using the windowpane test.
- Place your dough in a large greased bowl and cover. Leave to rest in a warm place for at least one and a half hours or until doubled in size.
- Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and divide into 90 g portions, 16 to 18 balls. I like to weigh them to make sure they get an even bake but you can divide into 16 or 18 equal portions by eye if you prefer.
- Shape into balls, cupping in your hands and place them on a large baking sheet about 2½ cm (1 inch) apart. Gently press the balls of dough to flatten them a little.
- Cover with greased clingfilm/plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F / 200°C / Gas Mark 6.
- Place in the oven for approximately 25 minutes, checking halfway through the cooking time and turning the baking sheet around if some rolls are browning too quickly.
- Place on a baking rack to cool. Wait until cool before breaking apart.
Add flour, salt, sugar and yeast to the mixing bowl, make a well and add the oil and half the water.
Mix on slow speed number 1 for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the rest of the water and mix on number 2 speed for 8 to 10 minutes.
Leave no more than 2½ cm (1 inch) between each dough ball and you will end up with the rolls touching each other - this will keep them nice and soft.
Love bread making?
Then you should also look at my Kitchen Shed Bread Making Tips.
These soft bread rolls are great with soup or filled with your favourite sandwich filling and enjoyed for lunch. Now the BBQ season is on its way, bake them as the bun for your favourite beef burger or fill with pulled pork … and they make a great chip butty !
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