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Saturday, 9 October 2021

Soft rye bread rolls

I visited my Godmother yesterday and she treated me to some banana muffins, which she had baked using the recipe I'd put on here a couple of years ago. So that encouraged me that people do actually read this and some people even find odd bits of it useful. Also, I have to say, the muffins were delicious!

So today, whilst Neil is at his mum's house, painting doors, I'm having a baking and cleaning day... with a fair bit of relaxing in between. I'm starting with bread. I just love home-baked bread and my favourites are these rye bread rolls. They are soft and are great for packed lunches, bacon sandwiches, as a dipper for soup... you name it... perfect!

This recipe makes 12 decent sized rolls.


400g strong white flour
350g dark rye flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp easy blend yeast
6 tbsp rapeseed oil
450ml warm water


  • In an ideal world, a Neff oven with retractable door, a proving setting and a large baking tray that works like an oven shelf. If you haven't got this, you're gonna have to improvise a bit, and use what you've got.
  • Greaseproof paper, cut or neatly torn to the size of your baking tray.
  • Stand mixer with dough hook.
  • A cloth napkin.
  • The plastic lid from your last takeaway (washed... obviously) and coated quite liberally with oil.


  1. Turn the oven onto the proving setting (40oC).

    Photo of oven setting showing dough proving at 40 degrees C.

  2. Sieve the flour into the mixer bowl. Hold the sieve as high as you can to get lots of air in but if you've got a tremor (like me) it more important to get the flour in the bowl and lose a bit of air.
  3. Add the salt, sugar and yeast and mix all the dry ingredients together well.

    Bowl of the dry ingredients that have been mixed well.

  4. Make a well in the middle and add the oil.

    Bowl of dry ingredients with oil in the well in the middle.

  5. Add the warm water.

    Bowl of ingredients with the water added. It looks like someone has weed in it because of the oil.

  6. Put the bowl on the stand and mix on a slow setting first, before turning up to whatever your max dough hook setting is. I start on 1 and increase to 4. Let the mixer do its work for about 5 minutes.

    The bowl of ingredients sitting on the stand with a dough hook in them.

  7. Meanwhile, find another biggish bowl, preferable something ovenproof but the oven isn't going to be that hot, so don't stress if you've only got plastic. Pour a tiny bit of oil in and use your hands to rub it all around the bowl.

    Empty earthenware bowl with a drop of oil in the bottom.

  8. When the dough has all come together and is a little bit sticky but looks like dough, transfer it into the oiled bowl.

    Large portion of dough in the earthenware bowl.

  9. Cover the bowl with the napkin (I used to use a tea towel but it overhangs the bowl too much and touches the sides of the oven) and put the bowl on a low shelf to prove. It should take about 45 mins to double in size. If you are letting it prove in a warm room, it will take a fair bit longer. Wait until it has doubled in size and smells immense!

    Napkin covered bowl in the oven.

    Same bowl with the napkin pulled back to reveal that the dough has doubled in size.

  10. Pour a bit of oil on your work surface and rub it around with your hand. 
  11. Transfer the dough onto the work surface and punch it back.

    Risen dough on an oiled work surface.

  12. Break or cut off 105g portions. Weigh them on the takeaway lid on your scales so that all the rolls end up the right size and will fit on your tray.

    A ripped off piece of dough on a plastic lid on the scales, weighing 105g.

  13. Knead the 105g portion a little and then roll it in your hands to form a nice roll shape. 
  14. Put the rolls on the lined baking tray in a 4 x 3 layout. They will rise again and touch each other but this is fine... commendable even.

    Twelve equally sized rolls laid out on a baking tray. There are good sized gaps between them.

  15. Put the tray in the oven to prove for about 30 minutes. The rolls should be a good size now.

    The same twelve rolls but well risen so they are now touching each other.

  16. Take the tray out of the oven and preheat the oven to 180oC fan.
  17. Lightly dust the rolls with flour.

    The same twelve rolls but now they have a sprinkling of white flour over them.

  18. Bake the rolls for about 25 minutes. They should be nicely browning when they are done and should look like edible bread rolls. You can pull one off and turn it over to check if they are done. When you tap the bottom with your finger, it should sound hollow. Or, if you trust your oven and the recipe, you don't need to check.
  19. Leave the rolls on the tray to cool, covered with the aforementioned napkin. I usually put the tray on a wooden board so that it doesn't burn anything.
  20. When they are still warm but have cooled a bit, pull them apart and eat them all.
Tray of twleve freshly baked rolls.

Close up of four rolls, showing a beautifully textured surface.

Close up of nine rolls, showing the warm brown glow and floury surface.

If you decide you can't eat them all at once (recommended actually) put the ones you don't want in freezer bags and suck the air out before tying a knot in the bag. These can be frozen and defrosted when you want them. 

The warm rolls are delicious, cut in half, buttered and lathered with honey. I also like them filled with mashed banana, or cheese and marmite, or bacon and mushrooms. Neil likes them with corned beef and cucumber.

Why don't you make a batch and let me know your favourite filling. 

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