Breads (Sourdough) - Soft Buns/Rolls

Rosemary Olive Soft Sourdough Rolls

May 24, 2022 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Rosemary Olive Soft Sourdough Rolls

Rosemary Olive Soft Sourdough Rolls

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Our rosemary plant in the garden has been growing very well.  We have to prune it on and off.  I used some to bake this Rosemary Olive Soft Sourdough Rolls.  This shape is inspired from something I have shared here a few years ago.  Recently I have been seeing a lot of bakers make this Croissant shape bun.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

How To Make Rosemary Olive Soft Sourdough Rolls

Yields:  9 rolls


Yudane Dough:
80g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
80g boiling water

Sweet Stiff Starter:
70g sourdough starter (100% Hydration), use at its peak 
215g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
90g water
35g sugar (I used organic light brown sugar)

Main Dough:
70g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
All yudane dough (above)
All stiff starter (above)
15g - 20g light brown sugar 
1 1/2 tsp (7g) salt
50g cold egg, whisked (about 1 egg)
20g water, cold (reserve 10g and add in later if needed) *
30g extra virgin olive oil or butter (butter will yield better aroma)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (can be replaced with dry rosemary)
35g pitted olive, cut into small pieces

1 egg + 1 Tbsp water

Butter Rosemary Topping:
20g butter 
Pinch of salt
1/2 Tbsp chopped rosemary

10 inches square pan

* Depends on your flour, because each flour absorbs liquid and hydrates differently. You may also add 1 teaspoon of milk at a time during kneading if the dough is too dry, when you see that the dough doesn't stick to the bottom at all.  We want the dough to clear from the sides of the bowl with only a small part of the bottom sticking to the base of the mixer bowl. You should hear a slapping sound of the dough hitting the sides of the mixer bowl.

  1. Yudane:
    1. Add bread flour in a bowl, pour the boiling water and mix well with spatula or spoon until no dry flour.
    2. Cling film and leave on the counter for at least 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.  I prepared the night before.
    3. Use directly from the fridge.
  2. Sweet Stiff Starter 
    1. In a bowl of stand mixer, dilute starter with water, stir in sugar and add in bread flour.  Mix with paddle attachment until well mixed and all come together.   It can be done by hand mixing too.
    2. Cover and let it ferment until tripled. I prepared a night before and leave it in aircond room (approximately 24 - 25C room temperature) overnight until tripled.  It took about 8 - 9 hours depending on your starter.  It should take around 4 - 6 hours to get triple at room temperature at 28C - 30C. The starter should look smooth and round dome.  It shouldn't collapse.
  3. Infuse Olive Oil with Rosemary
    1. In small saucepan over low heat bring the olive oil to just a simmer.  Add in chopped rosemary, heat for about few minutes.  Turn off heat, cover and set aside to cool for several hours or overnight. 
  4. Main Dough:
    1. Put all ingredients (except oil) into a bowl of stand mixer.  I usually torn the stiff starter and yudane dough into pieces first.
    2. Slightly combine the mixture by hand with the paddle attachment before turning on the machine so that the flour will not splash out.  Using the paddle attachment, mix for 2 minutes or until all incorporated.  This step is critical to prevent  an uneven mixed dough as the stiff starter is rather hard and a dough hook may not be able to mix it well enough.
    3. Change to hook attachment and knead for another 3 minutes or until the dough comes together. Add in the infused olive oil in 2 batches and knead until olive oil incorporate with the dough.  It took quite a while about 6 - 7 minutes for the oil to blend into the dough. Once the oil is well incorporated with the dough,  then continue kneading for another 7 - 8 minutes (approx.) or until the dough become smooth, silky and reach window pane stage. The whole kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and also to prevent the motor from overheating.
    4. Fold in the olive.  Round up the dough and put back in the same bowl. Keep it covered with clingfilm or use a lid. 
  5. 1st Proofing/Resting:
    1. Let the dough rest for 30 - 60 minutes.  This dough I rested for 45 minutes at 29C - 30C room temperature and the dough rose slightly. (I did not find any big differences of 30 mins to 60 minutes rest.  So, please follow your schedule).
  6. Shaping (like Croissants):
    1. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 9 equal portions.  Please use a kitchen scale if you want to be exact.
    2. Form each portion to a ball.  
    3. Roll each dough ball into carrot shape.
    4. Flatten the dough with rolling pin  then roll up like shaping a croissant 
    5. Place the buns on lined baking tray.  
  7. Final Proofing 
    1. Let the buns proof at a warm place until the dough rise double in size. This one took approximately 2.5 hours at at room temperature of 29 - 30C.  The duration of proofing depends on your ambient temperature and the starter.
  8. Baking:
    1. Preheat oven at around 190C (top & bottom heat) or around170C (fan-forced) for 15 minutes.
    2. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
    3. Meanwhile, melt butter over low heat then add fresh chopped rosemary and salt.
    4. Remove rolls from oven, brush them with butter mixture and let them cool on rack.

Please click "Here" to see the Yudane and Sweet Stiff Starter diagram.

Main Dough & Shaping



A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.   It is advisable to feed your starter regularly if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  A starter that is fed regularly will be more active in general.  If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.  


Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.


For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.


The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.


The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 


Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate, environment, flour and your starter. 

If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:

  1. Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
  2. If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
  3. If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
  4. There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 

If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof until the tip of the dough just reaches the rim of the pan, around 80% - 90% in size.


Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.


  1. Do you think I can substitute the filling with something like chocolate chip or ham and cheese? And when should I add them? Will it be the same technique?

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe and your questions. I added olive and rosemary as inclusion. If you would like to add chocolate chips or ham as inclusion, you can fold them in after kneading. Or you may spread your inclusion during shaping.


  2. it looks yummy as always

  3. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
    I wonder what size square baking pan you used~~ Did I miss it? I can’t find😂 And about 1st fermentation..
    It doesn’t need the dough ferment into double size? Just rest for 30-60mins?

    I’ll wait your reply~ thanks a lot :)

    1. Hi, sorry for late response. I used 10 inches square pan (It is stated just above the MEHOD) lol...

      I just let it proofed for 30 - 60 mins. This recipe used very high percentage of Sweet Stiff Starter which already went through long fermentation.

      Cheers and happy baking :)

  4. Hi YL,
    I tried this recipe and it turned out well. The only thing was that the bun was sour. Is it supposed to be sour or could I have left the Stiff Starter too long? Please advise and thank you!

  5. Hi YL,
    I tried this recipe and it turned out well. The only thing was that the bun was sour. Is it supposed to be sour or could I have left the Stiff Starter too long? Please advise and thank you!

    1. Hi, thanks for trying this recipe. Yes, this bread slightly sour side. The main reason is because egg is not used in this recipe. You may want to try this: In main dough, replace the 60g water with egg and increase the sugar to 10 or 15g. The starter also play a big role. If you feed your starter regularly and refresh until become healthy will yield less sour bread too.

      I hope the above help.

      Cheers :)

    2. Kamsahamida!!!


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