Thanksgiving Sourdough Dinner Rolls Two Ways (part 1)

Thanksgiving Sourdough Dinner Rolls Two Ways (part 1)

In this #sourdough4thanksgiving series, we have posted recipes for Sourdough BiscuitsPumpkin Sourdough Bread Pudding, and Sourdough and Cornbread Stuffing. Today’s post is Dinner Rolls Two Ways. One is made with just flour, water, and salt for a very crusty roll. In the other, you add milk, eggs, and butter for a lighter, fluffier roll. 

This Thursday, for the big Thanksgiving dinner, my assignment is rolls. While most recipes call for packaged yeast with the sourdough starter to push a quicker rise, I want to use just sourdough starter as the lone leavening agent. It took a while but I finally found these two that leaven with just sourdough.

Hard Sourdough Rolls

In this first one, the author promises amazing, crusty sourdough dinner rolls 

 “They are perfectly crusty without being tough, and the crumb is soft and fluffy. Best of all, they are no-knead! Tear one apart to dunk into soup or stew, or use it to cradle a veggie burger. Or just slather on some vegan butter and take a bite.”— Vaishali at Holy Cow

Her recipe uses just “three perfect ingredients:” salt, water, and flour and of course, starter, which is just flour and water. It also calls for a long overnight ferment of 8–12 hours.

She explains, “You don’t need to do much work or any heavy-duty kneading. Mix your ingredients, punch down the dough and shape after the first rise, and bake after the second rise.”



  • 3/4 c starter
  • 1 1/4 c water
  • 3 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Mix the ingredients in a large bowl (or use your stand mixer).
  2. Cover and let it stand overnight at room temperature for at least 8–12 hours.
  3. Two hours before baking, knock the dough back and divide it into 12 equal-sized portions.
  4. Roll each piece of the dough round by firmly pressing it into your working surface as you hold your hand in a claw-like move forming a big circle to a smaller one until your hand closes around the ball. (For visual instruction play this video at 6:20). If the dough feels too sticky lightly flour your hands or the work surface. 
  5. Place the rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 
  6. Dust tops with flour. Cover with a cotton towel, and set aside 2 hours for the second proofing. 
  7. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 425°F. 
  8. Just before baking, score the top of each roll using a lame or razor knife. Scoring allows gases in the bread to release while baking and helps the rolls rise during the initial oven spring. 
  9. Place a tray of boiling water on a lower rack if you want crusty rolls. 
  10. Place the rolls in the preheated oven; bake them for 25-28 minutes, until golden brown. 
  11. Remove from the oven, to serve warm.

These hard rolls will make the best turkey sandwich around. You cannot get them soggy with cranberries or other juicy toppings.

While I love hard rolls, and these are the hardest I have ever baked, many dinner guests do not like them this hard. So in the past, I have used milk, eggs, and butter to make softer dinner rolls like the ones pictured below.

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the recipe was inadvertently not linked. Here it is:

Darryl Alder

What’s the other recipe?


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