Pillowy Soft Bread Rolls with pull apart edges, guaranteed soft and fluffy every time. Easy to make with step by step instructions and video !
We love bread here at the Kitchen Shed so we make easy soft bread rolls at least twice a week.
There really is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread and it’s something I never get tired of.
Sooner or later most cooks get the bread baking bug and it’s easy to see why.
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These soft and fluffy bread rolls are perfect for sandwich fillings, your favourite burger, pulled pork or served with a warming soup.
Although OH loves a soft bread roll filled with crispy bacon, his favourite treat is a chip butty – a buttered soft bread roll filled with hot butter melting chips (steak fries) sprinkled with salt.
My soft bread rolls are easy to make. You can have a batch done and dusted in just under 3 hours but given that hands on time is only about 15 minutes, you’re free to get on with something else as your dough rises and bakes.
This recipe is an ideal first time bread to try if you’re new to bread making. That said, I recommend reading through all of this blog post and watching the video.
You’ll find plenty of tips to help you through the process including making the dough, shaping the rolls and baking. You can, of course, skip straight to the recipe if you’re a more seasoned baker.
Why Are They Called Ted’s Rolls ?
These extra soft bread rolls are affectionately known as “Ted’s Rolls” because the recipe was developed especially for OH’s terminally ill father, Ted.
Although Ted loved the fresh loaves I made for him, there came a time when he couldn’t manage eating crusty bread.
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.
Ingredients For Soft Bread rolls
You only need 6 ingredients to make this recipe.
You will need a high gluten content flour, generally labelled as Bread Flour or Strong White Flour.
I like to use Marriage’s Very Strong White Bread Flour, which is 100 % Canadian flour. This flour has the advantage of being high in protein and so produces more gluten. As a result, the dough holds together well but is also very elastic and perfect for making soft and fluffy rolls.
I’ve used instant yeast in the recipe, often called fast action or quick yeast. This yeast has the advantage that you can add it directly to your flour.
My favourite is Dove’s Farm Quick Yeast, which comes in a handy 125g packet. Once opened, Dove’s Farm Yeast will keep for up to two months if you store it in a cool dry place. I order my yeast from Amazon in packs of three and the Use Before date has always been a couple of years in the future.
You can use active dry yeast in the recipe. Add 2 teaspoons to warm water along with a spoon of caster / extra fine sugar, stir and leave for 10 to 15 minutes to bubble up.
It’s now ready to be added to the rest of the ingredients.
You need a small amount of white sugar.
Adding sugar to your dough mixture speeds up the action of the yeast so your dough will be ready to use within hours instead of the long proving time you would need when making French bread or sourdough.
In short, it’s just the right amount of food to get the yeast activated without adding too much sweetness to the soft bread rolls.
Important for boosting flavour but also essential for adding strength to the dough.
I like to use sea salt as it contains less sodium than regular salt but any fine salt will work in the recipe.
Rapeseed / Canola oil
Rapeseed / Canola oil makes a lovely soft roll. It enriches the dough and I’ve found no need to add eggs or milk to the recipe.
I like to use refined rapeseed oil because it’s flavourless and gives the best results in this recipe. That said, I’ve also had good results with sunflower oil.
Lukewarm water is best, that is, you should be able to comfortably dip your finger into your water. Cold water will work but it will take longer for the bread to rise.
REMEMBER that too high a temperature will kill your yeast and just like us, yeast works best at around 37°C / 98°F . I use my Thermapen to check the temperature is between 37°C / 98°F and a maximum of 40°C / 104°F.
How To Make Soft Bread Rolls
Firstly, make the dough. I use my trusty KitchenAid stand mixer – all you have to do is add the ingredients and set on a slow speed for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Check the dough by using the window pane test.
The windowpane 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.
Equally, the dough can be hand mixed together in a bowl and then kneaded on a counter top. You will get the same results, all you need is a bit of elbow grease.
My boys used to love helping me knead the dough this way and my youngest son still kneads by hand to make Ted’s rolls every week. His rolls are equally as good as mine made in the KitchenAid.
Cover your dough and leave to rise for about an hour in a warm place. If it’s a cold day this may take up to 2 hours.
Shape Your Bread
Transfer your dough onto a lightly oiled work surface. Use oil not flour as you want your bread to be nice and soft. If you were to use flour, this would be adding flour to your dough which then absorbs moisture and will give you drier bread rolls.
I don’t knock back the dough as such. Removing the dough from your bowl and then shaping your rolls will take enough air out of it. Why punch all that air out after you’ve patiently waited for it to rise ?
I’ve experimented with both approaches, knocking back and shaping without knocking back. Without a doubt, I’ve had the best results when not knocking back the dough.
Shape your dough into a rough log and divide into twelve equal pieces (about 95 g or 3 ½ oz if you want to weigh them)
Shape dough portions into balls, cupping in your hands and place them on a large lined baking sheet. I like to use a silicone mat as it’s reusable, ovenproof and easily washed. I’ve used a number of different silicone sheets over the years and they are definitely not all created equal – you tend to get what pay for. For me, by far the best silicone sheet is my Vermell Flama, which uses high quality German made silicone.
Leave no more than 2½ cm (1 inch) between each dough ball and after proving you will end up with the rolls touching each other – this will help keep them nice and soft.
Leave the dough balls in place on the tray as you flatten them a little by gently pressing the top of each one.
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.
How To Bake
Bake in a preheated oven at 325 °F / 180°C Fan /200°C / Gas Mark 6 for 25 minutes.
An easy way to check your rolls are cooked and not over baked is to use a food thermometer, my favourite being Thermapen, to measure the internal temperature. The internal temperature should ideally be 90°C / 194°F but don’t worry if you go up to 95°C / 203°F. You’ll still have a soft fluffy bread roll but with a slightly crisper crust.
Place on a baking rack to cool.
For extra soft bread, cover with a tea towel while they cool.
Soft Burger Buns
Ted’s Rolls make a great soft burger bun just as they are. But if you fancy a more traditional burger bun, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds just before your rolls go into the oven.
What Makes The Bread Soft And Fluffy ?
Firstly, choosing a good bread flour – very strong bread flour gives excellent results. Secondly, making a richer dough with the use of rapeseed oil (Canola). Lastly, by baking the rolls close together and covering them when they come out of the oven.
How Long Will They Keep ?
Like most homemade bread – fresh is best but they will keep for a couple of days.
Can They Be Frozen ?
Yes, soft bread rolls freeze well.
Once cooled after baking, simply pop into a freezer bag or sealed container before freezing. In this way, your rolls will keep for up to three months.
To defrost, remove your rolls from the freezer a couple of hours before you need them and defrost at room temperature.
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Soft Bread Rolls – “Ted’s Rolls”
- Stand Mixer
- Mixing Bowl
- Baking sheet
- Silicone sheet
- 750 g extra strong white bread flour plus a little extra for dusting. we use Marriage's flour
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1½ teaspoons instant yeast we use Dove’s Farm
- 6 tablespoons rapeseed oil / Canola oil use refined rapeseed oil for cooking
- 450 ml tepid water
- By KitchenAid : Add flour, salt, sugar, yeast, oil and water to the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Mix on slow speed for 8 to 10 minutes until you a have a smooth and elastic dough. Check your dough is ready by using the windowpane test.
- BY HAND : 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.
- Knead for 10 to 12 minutes until you a have a smooth and elastic dough. 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 slightly oiled work surface and divide into 95g portions, 12 balls. I like to weigh them to make sure they get an even bake but you can divide into 12 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 / 180°C / Gas Mark 6.
- Dust risen rolls with flour just before baking.
- 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.
- Preparation time does not include proving time.
- Use refined rapeseed oil because it’s flavourless and gives the best results in this recipe. That said, I’ve also had good results with sunflower oil.
- For extra soft bread cover your freshly baked rolls with a tea towel or cloth until they have cooled.
- These rolls make a great soft burger bun just as they are. But if you fancy a more traditional burger bun, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds just before your rolls go into the oven.
- Soft bread rolls freeze well and will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Pin Soft Bread Rolls For Later
I’m linking Soft Bread Rolls to the Fiesta Friday linky hosted by Angie over at Fiesta Friday.
Tuesday 23rd of May 2023
Living in Thailand I have to rely on internet recipes to help me recreate favourites that I can't buy locally. A soft roll recipe that didn't involve milk powder (very hard to get here!) eluded me until now. This is a fabulous recipe that gives me the perfect roll and burger bun in one batch. Thanks so much for sharing!
Saturday 25th of March 2023
This recipe is simple to follow and made some amazing soft bread rolls. I used dry active yeast, mixing the water and sugar together and letting yeast bloom in it. The rolls came out great. This is now my go to recipe, thanks.
Tuesday 21st of February 2023
I have been making bread for more years than I care to remember but have never been happy with the results I’ve had for a soft bread roll until now that is ,your recipe is absolutely delicious thank you so much you have made an old lady very happy.
Wednesday 22nd of February 2023
That's great to hear Irene, it's a pleasure to share our Ted's Rolls recipe, Sarah.
Sunday 19th of February 2023
I’ve never made rolls before and only dabbled with cakes & scone Recipes in the past. I must say, the method for “Ted’s Rolls” was super clear and easy to follow and I’m happy to say they turned out great first time!! We live in Sweden and it can be hard to find bread rolls such as this. I now have a happy family enjoying a little taste of home. Thank you!
Sunday 19th of February 2023
Hi Pete, pleased to hear your bread rolls have gone down well with the family and you're enjoying a taste of home. Always a pleasure to share our Ted's Rolls recipe, Sarah.
Monday 26th of September 2022
The bread rolls came out brilliantly, but what I found off putting, was that the taste of the rapeseed oil spoiling the taste of the bread.
Thursday 13th of October 2022
Hello Duncan, I'm pleased to hear your bread rolls came out brilliantly but sorry to hear the rapeseed oil spoilt the taste. I'm wondering if you used cold pressed rapeseed oil ? This does tend to have a noticeable flavour and might explain the problem. I use refined rapeseed oil because it is flavourless and you can't taste it in the finished bread rolls. I've added a note about this to the post and recipe card to help future readers. Best wishes, Sarah.