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Soft Bread Rolls – “Ted’s Rolls”

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.

Buns fresh from the  oven on a cooling rack.

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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.

Soft Bread Rolls in a stack on a cooling rack.

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.

A split bun being spread with butter. There are buns in the background and a pat of butter.

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 ?

Close up image of the sides of the rolls to show how soft they are.

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.

Bread Flour

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.

Yeast

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.

Sugar

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.

Salt

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.

Water

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.

Thermapen being used to show the  temperature of the water at 38.5 centigrade.

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

4 images showing the mixing of the dough in the KitchenAid and dough in a mixing bowl to prove.

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.

Set of 6 Images showing how to shape 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

Close up image of floured baked bread rolls.

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.

Thermapen being used to show the internal temperature of the bread at 90 centigrade.

Place on a baking rack to cool.

For extra soft bread, cover with a tea towel while they cool.

12 freshly baked soft bread rolls on a baking sheet.

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 ?

A roll being pulled apart from another roll showing the soft edge.

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.

If You Like This Recipe …you might also like:

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Pillowy Soft Bread Rolls with pull apart edges, guaranteed soft & fluffy every time. With easy step by step instructions!

Soft Bread Rolls – “Ted’s Rolls”

Pillowy Soft Bread Rolls with pull apart edges, guaranteed soft & fluffy every time. With easy step by step instructions!
4.94 from 107 votes
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Course: Baking, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: Baking, British
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rising time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 294kcal
Author: Sarah James

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Baking sheet
  • Silicone sheet

Ingredients

  • 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
  • teaspoons instant yeast we use Dove’s Farm
  • 6 tablespoons rapeseed oil / Canola oil
  • 450 ml tepid water

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  1. Preparation time does not include proving time.
  2. For extra soft bread cover your freshly baked rolls with a tea towel or cloth until they have cooled.
  3. 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.
  4. Soft bread rolls freeze well and will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  5. Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 391mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

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2 images of bread rolls in a collage.  First image is a stack of buns on a rack and the second image is a split buttered bun.

I’m linking Soft Bread Rolls to the Fiesta Friday linky hosted by Angie over at Fiesta Friday.

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Recipe Rating




Wendy

Saturday 13th of August 2022

Thank you so much for sharing. I tried several roll recipes this week but all turned out crusty and not soft but Ted’s rolls turned out perfect - I can’t see them lasting long on our house 😊. Wx

Katie

Friday 5th of August 2022

First time ever getting fluffy rolls. I’ve made rolls before but never got the fluffiness that I was looking for. But now I have with your excellent Ted’s roll recipe! I actually stumbled on it by mistake , looking to find out what I was doing wrong and up pop a few recipes for fluffy rolls. I looked at Ted’s recipe and thought I’ll give it a go, the rolls look fantastic and you explained everything very well. But I certainly didn’t expect the great results that I got. Teds recipe has changed the way I make rolls forever, I will never use another roll recipe again. And a note to anyone new to roll making keep going , but use this recipe , no other. Thank you Sarah for sharing your recipe with us all!

Sarah James

Tuesday 9th of August 2022

Thanks for such a lovely comment and recommendation Katie, you've made my day. Happy to hear Ted's rolls were a big success for you and you'll be making more. It's a pleasure to share a recipe that means so much to us. Thanks, Sarah.

Lily

Sunday 26th of June 2022

Made these lots of times now, for a while it was weekly for my family, we all love them!

The only issue I've had is with the final prove I find my clingfilm gets too tight, flattens the tops and stops the rolls rising... I have to resort to repeated peeling it back and relaying during the final prove which is a super faff...ive even tried using upside down glasses to make a proving tent of clingfilm 😂😂 any advice for this would be appreciated! Thank you so much for sharing Ted's rolls with us ❤

Sarah James

Sunday 26th of June 2022

Hello Lily, it's a pleasure to share Ted's rolls with you and good to hear you make them on a regular basis. Cling film can do too good a job at clinging sometimes can't it ! Have you tried laying the greased cling film over the rolls so it is covering very loosely ? To be honest, I don't like the faff of using cling film with Ted's Rolls so I always use a tea towel. Hope this helps, Sarah.

Michelle Hunter

Tuesday 21st of June 2022

Just made these (well, in the oven now. They smell great!) I tried covering them with a damp tea towel for the last prove, but they all stuck to the towel! Did I do something wrong? Was I meant to put cling film on first!? Had to chuck the tea towel away as it was covered in sticky dough!

Sarah James

Wednesday 22nd of June 2022

Hi Michelle, Thanks for getting in touch and it's good to hear your rolls smell great but I'm sorry to hear you had to throw away your tea towel. There are a couple of reasons which spring to mind to explain why your rolls may have become too sticky: 1. The rolls may have started to over prove. If your kitchen was anything like ours yesterday the rolls would have risen more quickly than usual. When a dough starts to over prove the gluten structure is affected and the dough becomes sticky. 2. Possibility of an overly wet dough to begin with. (Although usually if a dough is overly wet to begin with it is sticky and difficult to shape)

An alternative to a tea towel is greased cling film but I must admit I find greasing cling film to be an extra task I prefer to avoid.

Hope this helps,

Sarah.

Donna Evans

Monday 6th of June 2022

Worked out perfectly thank you will be using this recipe all the time now