Are you familiar with sourdough at all? Real sourdough (not sourdough flavored breads) has been left overnight, unrefrigerated, and has been allowed to ferment. This process helps to break down the food.
My daughter, Abbie, who is in kindergarten at a classical school, had to memorize some important information about digestion. NOW the whole family knows this: “digestion: the breaking down of foods into simpler, more usable forms.” It just makes sense that when food gets an opportunity to break down by being soaked overnight, it is easier for the body to digest. For some people with gluten sensitivities, they can actually eat the sourdough with no problems because of the pre-digestion process.
When I first started experimented with sourdough I made rolls a few times. I didn’t get hooked on making the rolls, because frankly, they turned out ugly. They tasted good, but I didn’t want to share them.
Then my wonderful friend Merri was over for her son’s wedding (yay!) We were talking about making the sourdough rolls, and she said she let them rise in greased muffin tins, baked them in the tins on top of a warmed pizza stone, and the rolls had a great shape. Genius!
There are a lot of things that I love about this recipe.
- The recipe uses the same ratios and ingredients that you need to make a loaf of sourdough bread.
- There are only three basic ingredients: flour, water and salt, since the sourdough start is just flour and water.
- This recipe uses no commercial yeast.
- There are no eggs in this recipe.
- No milk is needed for this recipe.
- This is a very frugal recipe to make.
The Cost Breakdown:
- The 5 lb. bag of white whole wheat flour at Trader Joe’s is $2.99. There are 20 cups of flour in a 5 pound bag. Let’s say the recipe takes a total of 4 cups of flour including the starter and the flour for the floured surface. 4 cups of flour is 1 pound of flour, so the flour costs $0.60.
- The water is practically free.
- The sea salt is practically free. I get mine in bulk at WinCo, $0.26/lb. If there are 96 or 80 teaspoons of salt in one pound, it doesn’t even round up to $0.01.
- So I estimate the cost of one loaf or one batch of rolls at $0.61 for me. I am sure you can make it cheaper if you use white flour, but we aren’t there anymore. This doesn’t count the cost of the use of the oven, but the gas to get a loaf of bread might cancel the cost of the oven out!?!
Below I included a picture tutorial and then the recipe.
Once you combine your ingredients, you need to leave the dough on the kitchen counter overnight. Here is the side of the dough after being left out overnight. I wanted to show you how bubbly the dough is.
Easy 4 Ingredient Dinner Roll Recipe, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Commerical Yeast-free
- 1/4 cup sourdough start (which is the flour and water together that has been at room temperature and fermented; go here to learn more about making your own sourdough start)
- 2 cups of whole wheat flour, plus more for working on a floured surface as in step 3 (I use Trader Joe's White Whole Wheat Flour)**See note about flour below.
- 1 1/2 cups of water (filtered is best)
- 2 t salt
- Combine 1/4 cup of your sourdough start with two cups of flour, 1 1/2 cups of water, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass bowl.
- Leave in a glass bowl on your counter (if it's a cold winter's night, you may want to leave it close to a heat source) for 16-17 hours covered with plastic wrap. I have used the dough after about 12 hours, and I really don't notice a difference, but may be it's less sour. It might look similar to a sponge, with all of those nice bubbles after the massive hours. It may feel really wet to the touch. Refer to pictures above.
- Place dough on a well-floured surface, kneading and working the flour into the dough. I have had to add a cup or more of flour at this point because the dough keeps absorbing the flour. Knead until the dough isn't sticky to the touch.
- Cut the dough into little roll portions. I start by cutting the dough in half and then half again, etc., until I have 12-16 rolls.
- Shape the rolls into nice balls (see photo above).
- Place rolls into greased muffin tin.
- Cover rolls and let them raise for 1.5 hours (by a warm heat source is best).
- Optional, After an hour, turn on the oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone inside the oven so the stone gets nice and hot, and preheat for 30 minutes. This gives the dough 1 hour and 30 minutes to rise. You will bake the rolls that are in the muffin tin on the baking stone in the oven.
- After the rolls have raised for a total of 1.5 hours, bake them at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes (I sometimes bake them at 425), or until the top of the rolls are a nice golden brown. If you don't have a baking stone, you can just bake them on the oven rack in the muffin tin.
- Optional, butter immediately after they are out of the oven. I use olive oil to make them dairy-free.
- Store in an airtight container for up to two days or freeze, and enjoy.
The Verdict: The sourdough rolls have such a nice shape and great flavor! Everyone is always asking for more in our family!!
**A note about the flour: My friend uses 3 cups of white flour instead of two cups in step one of the recipe. When I was transitioning to 100% whole wheat flour, I used to use 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of white flour. I have used 100% spelt flour too, just to give you a few flour ideas.
Want another idea to make with your sourdough start? It’s so easy!!
How about Sourdough Doughnuts?
Or want to try making the sourdough bread in the crock-pot? Go here to see how…
How about Crock-pot Sourdough Caprese Pizza?