Buttery Sourdough Buns

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Hands-on time:
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Yield: 16 buns

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When you think sourdough bread, you probably think an artisan loaf, one with a thick, chewy crust and coarse interior. These soft dinner rolls are at the opposite end of the texture spectrum. Buttery spirals with a pleasingly mild sourdough tang, they're soft on the inside, but sport a wonderfully crisp crust — think crescent roll. And, like a crescent roll, they're fun to unravel and enjoy bit by buttery bit!

Buttery Sourdough Buns

star rating (131) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 16 buns
Published: 10/26/2011




  • 4 tablespoons melted butter, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika, optional

Tips from our bakers

  • You'll notice these buns don't brown as deeply as most dinner rolls — how come? Typically long rising, sourdough affects browning by changing the pH of the bun, as well as consuming the sugar that would otherwise caramelize (brown) on the bun's surface.


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1) Combine all of the dough ingredients in a large bowl, and mix and knead — using your hands, a stand mixer, or a bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a soft, smooth dough.

2) Place the dough in a lightly greased container — an 8-cup measure works well here — and allow the dough to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it's just about doubled in bulk.

3) Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.

4) Roll and pat the dough into a rough rectangle approximately 12" x 16". Put 2 tablespoons melted butter in a small bowl, and add the paprika, if desired; it's there for color, and accentuates the buns' swirl, but omit it if you wish. Spread the dough with the melted butter.

5) Starting with a long side, roll the dough into a log.

6) Cut the log in 1" slices, using a sharp knife, or a piece of dental floss looped between your fingers.

7) Lightly grease two 8" or 9" round cake pans. Arrange 8 buns in each pan.

8) Cover the pans, and let the buns rise for 60 minutes, until they're noticeably puffy. Don't let these buns rise too long; you want them to have enough rising power left to expand nicely in the oven. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

9) Uncover the pans, and brush each bun with some of the remaining melted butter.

10) Bake the buns for 22 to 25 minutes; they'll color only slightly.

11) Remove the buns from the oven, and turn them out of the pan onto a rack. Brush with any remaining melted butter. Serve hot or warm. To reheat, place the buns on a baking sheet, tent lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for 10 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven.

12) Wrap any leftover buns airtight, and store at room temperature for several days. For longer storage, wrap airtight and freeze.

Yield: 16 buns.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 bun (53g) Servings Per Batch: 16 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160 Calories from Fat: 60 Total Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 4.5g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 30mg Sodium: 190mg Total Carbohydrate: 20g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 1g Protein: 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 04/11/2015
  • Shawna M from Lebanon, MO
  • This is my go to recipe for rolls. It has baked perfectly every single time with a mellow, versatile flavor. My family prefers this recipe above any other for cinnamon rolls. We also make pizza rolls, by spreading with pizza sauce, light toppings, and cheese.
  • star rating 04/10/2015
  • capayn from KAF Community
  • This is my very first time making any bread from scratch on my own. It is an incredibly easy recipe, especially for someone like me who has only baked cakes and cookies from boxes. I used my own unfed starter, which I made using the KAF's starter recipe, with wheat flour and water. For some reason the buns turned out very bland. They did not have the buttery flavor that other reviewers mentioned. I am positive that I did not miss an ingredient. Would the bland flavor be the result of using a whole wheat based starter? I will try the recipe again using the tub of starter that I have just ordered from the KAF store. I am new at baking so any help is appreciated!
    It's difficult to say what caused the bland flavor you experienced without a bit more information. I don't think the whole wheat starter would necessarily cause this, although whole wheat flour does bring a different flavor to breads. For more help troubleshooting this recipe, please give the Baker's Hotline call at 855-371-2253. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 03/29/2015
  • mbknecht@adelphia.net from KAF Community
  • Very very good. I have made them twice. The second time I didn't have instant yeast so I used regular yeast and they were even better!
  • star rating 03/22/2015
  • Patty from Long Beach , NY
  • Has anyone tried freezing these after shaping and putting them in the round pan? Or letting them rise in the refridgerator?
    You may shape and freeze in a prepared pan. You also may allow to rise for about 10 minutes, wrap and then freeze up to 4 weeks. And yes, another option is to shape and refrigerate in a prepared pan overnight. Bake in the morning straight from the frig if they have fully risen. Happy baking! Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 03/18/2015
  • Sarah from Newport, NE
  • This was an awesome recipe, the buns came out so fluffy and buttery!! Plus the recipe was supper easy!!
  • star rating 03/08/2015
  • mash307 from KAF Community
  • Awesome and sooo easy! These were a hit for dinner last night, and toasted again for breakfast this morning!
  • star rating 02/23/2015
  • Sherri from Washington
  • I decided to try making these rolls using only the starter for the rise. So I prepared the same way as the recipe (except replacing about 1/3 of the flour with white whole wheat) and no added yeast. I mixed in a stand mixer. Gave it a couple of quick kneads 10 mins, 10 mins, 30 mins, then let sit for about 4 hours in a cool room. Shaped and let them sit for another 2 hours. Baked and came up beautiful.
  • star rating 02/14/2015
  • Rose from Reno, NV
  • This was fantastic! I made a double batch exactly as described, and found that I wanted just a bit more salt. This is one of my favorite things to do with the sourdough starter. I might try to do a batch without the extra yeast next to see if we can skip adding more yeast next time. I'm also going to try this with sugar and cinnamon to see if it can be an easy way of making sourdough cinnamon rolls.
  • star rating 02/01/2015
  • Lisa from Tucson, AZ
  • I have been looking for this dough forever! I would like to increase the sour flavor from the starter, proportions? The dough is great and very versatile but would like a good sour sourdough roll recipe. My starter is 6 years old. Thanks for the help.
    Because this recipe has added yeast and ferments rather quickly, it will not develop a very sour flavor, Lisa. You could try adding 1/8 teaspoon citric acid to increase the sour flavor, or add an additional 1/2 cup starter (4 1/8 ounces) and decrease the flour and water content in the recipe by 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup water (or 2 1/8 ounces flour and 2 ounces water). Barb@KAF
  • star rating 01/27/2015
  • Susan from Winchester, VA
  • Had no idea making soft, mouth watering, buttery rolls was so easy. This recipe is so versatile. I've made them with KAF Vermont Cheese Powder, and herb and garlic Artisan bread flavor. I've used this recipe for cinnamon rolls and even for Blueberry Cream Cheese Rolls. Wonderful use of sourdough starter. The buns are just so light and tasty. They've been well received every way I've made them.
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