We are deep into November, and I’m excited to share with you these Fermented Sourdough Rolls with Seeds. Perfect, pillowy, tangy sourdough bread is studded with sunflower seeds, chia, and flax meal. Melted butter brushed on top is the crowning touch. Read on for the recipe, and be sure to add them to your Thanksgiving or holiday menu. Don’t forget to comment below to let me know how they turned out!Jump to Recipe
I feature Grapewood Farm grains in this recipe. They give me a discount in exchange for promoting their products, but I only promote companies I highly value.
The Beauty of Rolls
There’s not much that compares to a good, warm roll. I find it comforting. Bread and butter (good bread, I mean) is hard to beat.
My father likes to have bread with every dinner. It seems the meal just isn’t complete without it. And when my oldest tells me she’s still hungry, it usually means that she’s hungry for bread and butter.
These fermented sourdough rolls add a hearty touch to any meal, especially during the holiday season.
Benefits of Sourdough
Sourdough is a type of bread that is literally alive. The yeast is a living organism that is kept in a jar and fed regularly. It’s kind of like having a pet — some people even name their starters!
When bread is prepared in this traditional way, the anti nutrients in wheat (called lectins) are diminished and your body is able to more easily absorb nutrients, not only from the bread itself, but from other foods that you eat alongside it.
Sourdough is yeasted bread, but instead of cutting corners and relying on instant yeast, it is long fermented and much healthier.
I have a 24 hour sourdough bread recipe I like to use for everyday loaves of bread. These rolls are fermented for about 18 hours. If you want a longer fermentation, simply place the dough in the refrigerator for a day, and then proceed with the recipe the next morning. The cooler temp in the fridge prevents the dough from over proofing, and thus failing to rise in the oven.
How to Make Fermented Sourdough Rolls
I had a few go arounds with this recipe. At first I tried to emulate classic dinner rolls by adding fat to the dough, but instead of butter and milk, I tried olive oil. They turned out way too oily. The second time around I kneaded baking soda into the dough before baking to give it more lift. It only served to make them dense from over kneading, with random bites of baking soda.
Finally, the second time I didn’t add any fat to the recipe until they were finished baking, and then I brushed melted butter on top. That seemed to do the trick. I didn’t bother with the baking soda, but instead ensured my starter was very active before using it. They rose up just fine.
I mixed together a combination of Grapewood Farm #50 hard red wheat flour and unsifted hard red wheat flour (similar to bread flour and whole grain flour) with seeds, salt, water, and the starter. After letting the dough rise overnight, I did four rounds of turning the dough every 30-45 minutes. I let the dough rest, then divided it into 12 sections and formed each section into a mini boule (sphere). I covered them with a damp tea towel for 30 minutes. When the oven was hot, they baked up in less than 20 minutes, and were perfect with melted butter brushed on top.
How to Eat These Rolls
I will be bringing these rolls to Thanksgiving dinner and serving them with plenty of butter. Another great way to use them is to make extra and use them for mini turkey sandwiches the next day. Top them with turkey, cranberry sauce, and some melted cheese.
They would also be great for an egg sandwich. Fry an egg over easy with a slightly runny yoke, add a slice of bacon, and you’re all set.
Where I Buy My Flour: Grapewood Farm
I order my flour from Grapewood Farm in Montross, VA, an organic farm that specializes in modern and ancient grains, as well as rye. It is fairly local to me, and I love the family-owned farm’s mission:
Grapewood Farm is committed to the good stewardship of the land and its soils. We specialize in producing superior organic small grains and stone ground flour for our community.Grapewood Farm
This is the kind of company I can get behind. Caring for the soil, growing real food, and producing a genuinely good product. My favorite part of it all is that they grind the grains into flour just before sending it. This means the nutrition is higher than what you might find sitting on grocery store shelves. My family and I go through 10 kg (22 lb) bag of flour in about two to three months. I keep the flour in our chest freezer to preserve the nutrition in the freshly ground wheat, and take out what I plan to use on a weekly basis. If you’d like to order from them, you can go through their website.
Other Favorite Holiday Recipes
Don’t stop at these rolls. Get the line up to make your holiday meal a success.
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Cranberries: This side is a show stopper, featuring cooked-to-perfection Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, and tangy balsamic vinegar.
- Celery Root and Apple Puree: Is it mashed potatoes? No, it’s much more interesting! Sweet and savory celery root and apple puree is thickened with cream and flecked with fresh ground pepper.
- Sheet Pan Chicken, Chickpeas, & Carrots: And if you don’t feel like roasting a whole turkey, there’s no shame in serving flavorful chicken thighs cooked crisp on a sheet pan.
- Cardamom Paleo Apple Cake: Don’t forget dessert with this paleo apple cake that will please everyone, whether they are grain free or not.
What will you be including in your holiday menu? Let me know! And thanks for reading. Until next time,
Fermented Sourdough Rolls with Seeds
- Large sheet pan
- Parchment paper
- 2 cups *Grapewood Farm #50 sifted hard red flour or regular bread flour; see measuring note below
- 2 cups *Grapewood Farm unsifted hard red wheat flour or whole wheat flour; see measuring note below
- 1/2 cup active sourdough starter
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup flaxmeal
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp melted butter for brushing on after baking
- The night before or eight hours before you plan to start the process of turning your dough (a two hour process), mix together all ingredients except for melted butter in a large bowl. Start with 2 cups of water. You may need more, depending on the saturation of your starter. You want a dough that is not wet, but not shaggy and dry. The dough should just come together with few visible dry shards. Stir the dough, folding in toward the center, until this is achieved, adding just a bit of extra water if needed.Cover the dough and leave out at room temperature for 8 hours.
- The next morning, start turning your dough. Use a rubber spatula to lift up one side of the dough and press in toward the center. Give your bowl a quarter turn and lift another side of dough in toward the center. Give four stirs, then cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes. Do this three more times, for a total of four turns every 30 minutes.
- Lightly sprinkle the countertop with flour. Don't use too much, since you want the dough to stick just a bit while you form it.Turn dough out onto countertop. Gently flatten out. Turn in the far edge toward the middle, then side edges toward the middle (overlapping), and finally the edge closest to you up and over to form a large boule (sphere shape). Flour your hands as needed, and shape the dough into a tight sphere, turning in a circular motion and tucking the seams underneath. Let rest 10 minutes, covered.
- After the dough has rested 10 minutes, use a bench scraper or chef's knife to cut the dough into 12 sections. I do this by first cutting it into quarters. Each quarter makes a fluffy triangle, and I then cut off the tip of each triangle and the remaining section in half. This gives me roughly even pieces.
- Shape each piece of dough into a mini boule, gently stretching the seams underneath and turning it in a circular motion on the counter top. Place each shaped roll onto a large, parchment lined sheet pan.
- Cover the shaped rolls with a damp tea towel. Let them rest 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The high oven temperature helps with oven spring, creating fluffy rolls.
- When the rolls have rested 30 minutes and the oven is hot, slide them in and bake for 15-20 minutes. Check them at 15; they should be golden brown on top. After removing them from the oven, brush two tablespoons of melted butter over the rolls. Serve warm.
- These rolls can be made ahead of time and frozen. Thaw at room temperature, and reheat in a warm oven, covered in foil.
I’m excited to try these today. I’m not seeing any salt listed in the recipe, though you mention it in your process. Help! How much should I add?
Sorry for the error! It’s two teaspoons of salt. I just updated the recipe to include it. Hope they turn out well!
Thanks! I’m returning to make these again today to take on a long car journey tomorrow. We’ll fill them with salami and cheese and lettuce from the garden!
Ooh, sounds delicious. How did they turn out?
Thank you for your comment! I’m always seeking to learn about the healthiest ways to eat. Whether soaked or unsoaked, I recognized that nuts do contain phytic acid, and avoid making them a staple of my diet. I appreciate knowing now that the phytic acid levels are only reduced by 10%.