Super Sourdough Rolls

"This is essentially my sourdough recipe, but with fat free half-and-half in place of most of the water, and light butter in place of the oil. Wow, what a difference those small changes make! The resulting rolls were softer and richer than the ones made with water."
photo by Late Night Gourmet photo by Late Night Gourmet
photo by Late Night Gourmet
Ready In:
2hrs 6mins




  • Soak 1 teaspoon dried starter in 1 tablespoon lukewarm purified or spring water for a few minutes to soften.
  • Stir in 1 tablespoon all-purpose, cover loosely with plastic and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Stir once or twice during this 24 hours.
  • Stir in another tablespoon of flour and 1 teaspoon of purified water and let it sit as before. Within the next 24 to 36 hours you will most likely start to see the bubbling action of fermentation begin.
  • Stir in 1/3 cup flour and 1/4 cup of water. Over the next 24 hours, stir the starter at least twice.
  • Stir in 2/3 cup flour and 1/2 cup of water. Over the next 24 hours, stir the starter at least twice. By the time you're done with this, you'll have enough starter to proceed with the recipe.
  • Stir yeast and honey into 1 cup of half-and-half. Allow to sit for a few minutes, until foamy.
  • Add yeast mixture, sourdough starter, and all remaining ingredients to the bowl of a mixer with dough hooks. Mix on low setting until the dough starts to pull away from the sides.
  • Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface with whatever didn't get incorporated from the bowl. Knead the dough to incorporate the remaining flour until the texture is consistent.
  • Spray the mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray and return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature until it doubles in size, at least an hour.
  • Separate dough into 24 equal-sized balls and place on a baking sheet that's been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Allow to sit at room temperature until doubled in size, about an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make sure to only bake a single layer of rolls at any given time. Use another baking sheet on the lowest rack, and add ice cubes to the rack. The steam from the ice will create a crisp surface on the rolls.
  • Bake the rolls in batches for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove rolls immediately from baking sheets and place on a cooling rack. Repeat for remaining rolls.

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I have two teenagers who keep things very busy around our house during the daytime. I also work long hours at Ford Motor Company, and I do want to spend time with my family every day. If I try to cook when my kids have their friends over, I'm certain to be interrupted. In other words, my available times for cooking are very limited. I don't want to give up on anything I love - my family, my job, my cooking - so I do most of my cooking after everyone has gone to bed. My wife is a teacher, so this can be very late at night during the summer. Sometimes, I don't get started with my prep work until 12:30 a.m. Am I crazy?? Maybe. I'm also constantly working on healthier ways to prepare food. I deconstruct every recipe I like, and try to make it with healthier ingredients. The big challenge is keeping the food tasty. I believe it's possible to enjoy what you eat and still be healthy. I lost 15 pounds in 6 months largely by preparing my own food (and exercising). If I didn't keep such loony hours, I'd call myself "The Healthy Gourmet".
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