Breads (Sourdough) - Soft Buns/Rolls

Sourdough Salted Butter Rolls (Shio pan 塩パン)

August 18, 2023 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Sourdough Salted Butter Rolls

Sourdough Salted Butter Rolls

Sourdough Salted Butter Rolls

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I now understand why so many people have been baking Salted Butter Rolls (Shio pan 塩パン). They are simply delicious! This Sourdough Salted Butter Roll is rich and buttery with a crispy crust and a soft, fluffy texture inside.  I used the Yudane method so that the inside texture is extra soft and moist.

I love the crunchy and buttery crust that tastes and smells so good.  During baking, the butter inside the buns melts and flows to the bottom so the bottom is somewhat fried in the butter.  This makes the bottom extra yummy. 

The rolls taste best when they are freshly baked.  They will lose it crispiness after cooling down for a while. Just toasting the rolls revives the crunchiness and it is highly recommended to reheat or toast these buns if not eating them freshly baked.

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.  Do tag me on Instagram @Bakewithpaws if you attempt on this recipe.

How To Make Sourdough Salted Butter Rolls (Shio pan 塩パン)


Yudane Dough:
60g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
60g boiling water

Sweet Stiff Starter (SST):
50g sourdough starter (100% Hydration), preferably use at its peak 
150g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
35g water + 36g milk
25g sugar (I used organic brown sugar)

Main Dough:
65g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
All stiff starter (above)
All the yudane dough (above)
10g brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
3/4 tsp (4g) salt
45g cold egg, whisked (from 1 medium egg)
10 - 15g milk, cold (I used 10g)
25g butter, room temperature

8 cubes of cut salted butter, cold (around 12 - 13g each)

Pretzel salt or flaky sea salt

Baking tray
Water sprayer

  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. Place the starter in a jar or back in the same mixing bowl to proof. 
    3. Cover and let it ferment until tripled. I prepared a night before and leave it in aircond room (approximately 23C - 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. 
  3. Main Dough:
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter), including all the stiff starter and yudane dough into a bowl of stand mixer.
    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 the dough comes together and elastic.  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, add butter and continue knead for 10 - 12 minutes or until 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. 1st Proofing/Resting:  
    1. In the same bowl, let the dough rest for 45 minutes. Keep it covered with clingfilm or use a lid.  The dough didn't rise a lot.
  5. Shaping:
    1. Transfer the dough to a clean surface slightly dusted with flour, divide dough into 8 equal portions (approx.71g each).  Please use a kitchen scale if you want to be exact.   
    2. Shape each dough into a ball.  Finish all the dough.
    3. Roll each dough ball into carrot shape. Finish all the dough.
    4. Flatten the dough with a rolling pin.  Place a piece of cut salted butter on the wide part of the dough, then roll up like shaping a croissant.  Please refer to the diagram below.
    5. Place the buns on the baking tray.  Please lined the tray if it is not a non-stick pan.  Spray some water on the buns to keep dough from drying. Then cover with kitchen towel.
  6. Final Proofing:
    1. Let the buns proof at a warm place until the dough rise, puffy and almost double in size.  
    2. If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you may want to do the finger poke test.  Lightly press with your finger. If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    3. This one took approximately 2.5 hours at at room temperature of 29C - 30C.  The duration of proofing depends on your ambient temperature and starter.
  7. Baking:
    1. Preheat oven with baking stone and lava rocks at 220C (fan-forced) for 30 minutes before baking.  
    2. Spray water on the bread and sprinkle some pretzel salt on top.
    3. Open the oven door, place the tray with rolls in the middle rack.
    4. Pour one cup of hot water into the lava rocks.  
    5. Close the door immediately.  
    6. Reduce temperature to 200C (fan-forced) and bake for about 13 - 14 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove the lava rocks at the last 3 minutes of baking.
    7. Once is ready, remove tray from the oven and immediately brush with some melted butter (this is optional).
    8. Let them cool a little in the some tray.  This will allow the rolls to absorb some of the melted butter from the tray.  You may transfer to cooling rack after this.
    9. The rolls taste the best when they are freshly baked.

Yudane Dough
Yudane Dough

Sweet Stiff Starter
Sweet Stiff Starter

Main Dough



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. Hi, I do not have lava rocks. How do I go about baking them?

    1. Hi, thank you for your interest in this recipe. You can use cast iron pan or pot place at the bottom and pour hot water before closing the oven door. Otherwise, you may also try to spray your oven with water before closing the oven door.

      Cheers :)

    2. Ok, thanks for your reply! Will try.

    3. You are most welcome :)
      Happy Baking!

  2. Hi, can I still bake it without baking stone ? ( I have lava rocks)

    1. Hi, I don't use baking stone for this baking. Just tray will do.

      Cheers and Happy New Year :)

  3. Thanks for the reply. Happy New Year to you as well.


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