Sour Cream Dinner Rolls

By • December 13, 2010 • 95 Comments



Author Notes: My “best” dinner rolls take about 26 to 28 hours from start to finish, depending on the temperature of my refrigerator and the temperature in my kitchen. Actually, any yeast rolls I make should sit for a while after they’ve come out of the oven, if they're to be enjoyed at their best, and with the nicest texture, so the total time is closer to 30 hours. I’ve adapted the recipe to make it possible to prepare the dough mid-day and enjoy the rolls at dinner. Instructions for the longer rise are included below. These are not sweet, as so many dinner rolls are. Nor are they yeasty. But they are delicious. Enjoy!! - AntoniaJamesAntoniaJames

Food52 Review: Accomplished bread baker AntoniaJames showcases her best practices with this recipe. We love the attention to detail in her instructions, as well as the option of a quick or slow rise. These rolls are complex and layered in flavor because they use a combination of several different starches, and they're enriched by the dairy fat from the sour cream and butter. We found that our dough needed some time outside the fridge to finish its first rise. - A&MA&M

Makes 16 rolls

  • ½ cup potato flakes (see note below), or 2/3 cup mashed potato
  • ¾ cup sour cream (not light, and at room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoon melted butter (cooled)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1 ¼ cup bread flour
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour + up to another 2 - 3 tablespoons for kneading
  • 2/3 cup barley flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¾ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • Butter for greasing the pan
  • For the egg wash: 1 egg
  1. Mix the potato flakes with ½ cup of boiling water, stir well and let sit for about 5 minutes. Stir again. If you want to use a mashed potato, use 2/3 cup of cooled mashed potato.
  2. Mix together the potato, sour cream, egg, melted butter, honey and salt. Add the wheat germ, the baking soda and one cup of bread flour. Stir well to combine.
  3. Add the yeast and all of the remaining flour, a half cup at a time, stirring well after each addition.
  4. When it become too difficult to stir, turn the contents out onto a floured work surface and knead. Once the dough comes together, let it rest for about 5 – 10 minutes. Wash and dry well your mixing bowl. (The dough is full of fat so you really don’t need to grease it.)
  5. Continue kneading for a total of 10 to 12 minutes, until it is smooth and resilient. Add more flour only if necessary to keep the dough from sticking hard to your hand. You shouldn’t need more than a few teaspoons.
  6. Put the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Or, leave it on the counter and cover it with the bowl, provided that the bowl is large enough to allow the dough to double in size when it rises.
  7. Allow the dough to rise for about 2 hours, or longer if necessary, until doubled in size.
  8. Using the palms of your hands and flattened fingers, firmly press out the CO2 gasses and form the dough into a disk that’s about 8 inches in diameter. Allow the dough to rest for at least ten minutes.
  9. Cut the dough into 16 pieces. (I use my bench scraper to do this, cutting it first into quarters, then each quarter into four pieces.)
  10. Shape into balls by using your thumbs to pull the dough from the top to the underside, stretching it, turning a quarter turn and doing it again, and repeating that motion until the ball is round. Then pinch the dough on the bottom to seal. Roll each ball around on the work surface with the palm of your hand 6 or 8 times, bearing down just a bit as you do so, to tighten up the ball.
  11. Butter generously the bottom and sides of a spring form pan. (I also use a large heavy Dutch oven when I have room in the oven for it, increasing the temperature to 425. I’ll post photos of the long-rise bread cooked in a Dutch oven for your information. See my note below for more details on the baking procedure I use.)
  12. Arrange the balls of dough so the smallest are in the center. (Some will be smaller, unless you use a scale to measure each one, which I don’t do, because I actually like having some smaller than the others. The inside rolls cook better if they’re smaller.)
  13. Allow to rise, loosely covered, for about an hour and 15 minutes.
  14. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  15. Beat an egg with about ½ cup of water. Brush some lightly on the rolls.
  16. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, tenting with foil if necessary to prevent excessive browning.
  17. Enjoy!!
  18. NB: If using a commercial instant mashed potatoes product (as opposed to buying potato flakes in bulk), use only if the potatoes are separated from seasoning and other ingredients that may be included. In other words, use only pure flakes of potatoes when making these rolls.
  19. FOR A LONGER RISE: For an overnight rise, decrease the yeast to 1 teaspoon. Knead only until the dough comes together, is very smooth, and starts to feel stretchy. Refrigerate in a tightly lidded, well-buttered storage box that’s large enough for some expansion. The dough should rise some, but mine at least usually doesn’t increase more than about 1/3 in volume when refrigerated overnight.
  20. Check it about ten hours later. If the dough hasn’t risen much, take it out and put it in a fairly cool place. Continue to check it throughout the day and move it to a warmer spot if it’s still not rising much. My house and the weather here are generally rather cool, and my refrigerator tends to be very cold, so this dough usually spends the better part of the day after the overnight rise on my counter. Interestingly, the second rise doesn’t take as long as you might expect.
  21. If you want to cook the rolls in a heavy Dutch oven, heat your oven to 425 (or 400 if it’s a convection oven). Don’t brush the egg wash before putting the rolls in the oven. Bake the rolls with the lid on for about 18 minutes. Then remove the lid, quickly and very gently brush with the egg wash, and return the pot to the oven, uncovered. Bake for another 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to rest for about ten minutes, then remove the rolls to cool on a wire rack. If possible, don’t eat them for at least 2 hours after removing from the oven.

Tags: bread, bread, bread, dinner rolls, Easy, Easy, Holidays, Holidays, savory, savory, savory, savory, serves a crowd

Comments (95) Questions (3)

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6 months ago Angel

Antonia- this bread has such a wonderful texture. AND-- you gave me the idea of using my dutch oven! I'm always dealing with a pan that is just too small. Congrats on the achievement, and thanks for sharing!

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7 months ago Tracysnbb

Thank You so much for sending me the information I requested to change the recipe using items in my pantry ( ie. Wheat Germ + Barley Flower, Which I don't have) Looking forward to baking your recipe. It looks so good + the comments were all great too.

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8 months ago Tracysnbb

Hello again Antonia. I miss-spoke what I said about having the rest of the ingredients. There's no wheat germ in my pantry. Without those 2 ingredients, do I need to wait till I go shopping in January?

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8 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Tracy, use a scant 1/4 cup of uncooked oatmeal (preferably quick, but if you only have rolled oats, given them a good spin in the food processor before measuring) instead of the wheat germ, and substitute a bit of whole wheat flour if you have it for the barley, or all-purpose, if you don't. Either way, you'll need a tablespoon extra (or possibly more, but wait until you've kneaded a bit to add more than 1 tablespoon), as barley flour is a denser flour. Have fun! ;o)

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8 months ago Tracysnbb

Love your recipes Antonia. I did not notice in any comments what to do if you have all the rest of the ingredients, but not the barley nor rye flour. Can you substitute rice flour or some other type? I only get out to shop 1 time per month.

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8 months ago nbfox61

Hi Antonia!
I just put the dough in the fridge and had another question. My dough was quite dry and hard to keep together. So I needed to add a little water. Will that affect the consistency .

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8 months ago nbfox61

A question about the potato flakes. Are those the same as dehydrated potatoes that are the ingredient in the instant mashed potato box? Also, I couldn't find potato flour in the store I was at, but I saw potato starch. That's different - right?

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8 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Yes, potato flakes are the same little dry flakes that you get in a box of instant mashed potatoes, but it is very important -- critical, really -- that you get plain ones, i.e., that have no seasoning in them. I know that the Trader Joe's variety has a little "seasoning packet" in them that is separate from the flakes themselves. I just toss that packet and use the plain flakes, when I make this or other potato breads calling for flakes. And to answer your second question, you're right. Potato starch and potato flour are different. ;o)

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8 months ago nbfox61

Thanks! So nice for you to respond so quickly!

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8 months ago walkie74

Question: What do you do if you have neither a Dutch oven nor a spring form pan? Can you use a baking sheet or a casserole dish?

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8 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Yes! A 9" pie plate or cake pan with high sides each would work. Grease them well before putting the shaped rolls in them. A Pyrex or other glass one might cook the outside of the rolls more quickly, so I'd bake them in the middle of the oven. You could probably use a 9" square baking dish, too, if you have one. I haven't tried it, but would not hesitate to use that, were it all that I had available. ;o)

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over 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Here's a tip about the potato flakes called for in this recipe. If you cannot easily find potato flakes in bulk, substitute potato flour at a two to one ratio (1/4 cup potato flour instead of 1/2 cup potato flakes). My favorite bulk foods store has had trouble with their supplier of the flakes, so lately I've been using potato flour in all of the breads I make that call for potato flour (most notably, my "Everyday Potato Bread," posted here). It works perfectly. ;o)

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over 1 year ago Tracey Wade

My son loved these, am making my second batch now. Thanks!

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over 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Splendid! I'm so glad to hear that. ;o)

Pamelalee

over 1 year ago pamelalee

I made and froze these rolls a couple weeks ago, and then served them For Thanksgiving. They were delicious!

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over 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks, pamalalee! Good to know they freeze so well. I'll be trying that within the next week or so, looking ahead to the December holidays. ;o)

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9 months ago Kelly

At what point in the process did you freeze them? I want to make a bunch ahead of time and serve them for Thanksgiving as well. Thank you!

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9 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I took them out of the oven just a few minutes before I would have otherwise, based on the color of the crust. I let them cool, then wrapped tightly with foil, and then put in a plastic bag. They turned out really well! I serve my husband a lot of soup and stew once the weather cools. Instead of the usual toast, I've been making various types of dinner rolls (all with recipes on this site). I pull off two of the frozen rolls -- you can do that -- and then simply microwave them on a lower power, to serve warm with butter when I plate the soup. On Thanksgiving, I'll take them out of the freezer in the morning, and then while the turkey is resting once out of the oven (late in the afternoon), I'll reheat for 10 - 15 minutes in a moderate oven. ;o)

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over 1 year ago mailman58

I'm wondering if substituting Greek-style yogurt for the sour cream would work ?? If I try it --I'll post back later on. The recipe sounds delicious.

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over 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

It should work. I cannot see why it wouldn't. Please let us know if you do try it. Thanks! ;o)

Potofbeans

over 2 years ago china millman

I made these for Thanksgiving and they were really great. I just wanted to share that if you want to be able to bake them earlier in the morning, you can make them through step 12 the night before, then put them in the refrigerator. I let them come to warm room temperature the next morning, then baked them, and they turned out beautifully (and freed up my single, small oven for the turkey).

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over 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Splendid! Thanks for letting us know, and for your kind words, CM! ;o)

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over 3 years ago Daphne

Can't wait to try these A.J. I have a leftover tub of sour cream in the fridge too! You amaze me!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, Daphne! I made these the first time under exactly the same circumstances . . . . leftover sour cream in the fridge, and no buttermilk (or whole milk for clabbering). This is based on my own buttermilk rolls recipe, which I'll post this weekend, once I test/confirm the measurements. I hope you like these! ;o)

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over 3 years ago lapadia

It’s a big thing to be an inspiration to many, especially when it comes to bread baking; I thank you for being that person not only here on Food52 but for how it has carried over into my life in general! Congrats, on being a runner-up for your Sour Cream Dinner Rolls and I look forward to seeing future recipes…Happy New Year, AJ!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

I could not have said it better, lapadia! AJ, I'm working on the bread baking, but more generally you are an inspiration as a working mom providing amazing food everyday to her family (and it seems to have rubbed off on them - they are so lucky and you must be so proud!). Cheers and Happy New Year!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I third these sentiments! I'm always eager to see the new recipes you post. You rock, AJ!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

@ Oui,Chef & AJ...re: barley flour:
Bob's Red Mill, has a stone ground barley flour, and was the one I purchased and used for AJ's epi's....FYI. Happy New Year!!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Just an update on these . . . . I froze about 2/3 of the faster-rise batch that I made and photographed for this. We defrosted them yesterday at room temperature, then popped them in the oven on a pizza stone at 300 degrees for about ten minutes. They tasted great! It was reported that, warmed and spread with butter and homemade raspberry jam, they were particularly good. ;o)

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over 3 years ago vvvanessa

wooooo hooooo!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks! You are so kind. I love your enthusiasm. And all of your recipes!!

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over 3 years ago Waverly

I'll bet these smell as fabulous as they look. Wow!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Actually, they do. Thanks so much!

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over 2 years ago smd1227

Waverly, your whole house will smell divine. Your mouth will be watering, waiting for them to come out of the oven. LOVE using the springform pan. Made a whole batch, put half on the dinner table and froze the rest. Excellent recipe; thanks, AntoniaJames.

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over 3 years ago iuzzini

Way to go!! :) These sound delicious and I can't wait to try them! Happy Holidays!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you. I hope you do try them! ;o)

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over 3 years ago Soozll

These looks sinfully rich! I just love the flavor and texture that potato gives to bread. They seem lighter or fluffier somehow. I'll be giving these a try in the near future, for sure. Congrats on being chosen as a finalist!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks, Soozll. I'm a big fan of potatoes in bread, too, as you can tell by looking at my loaf bread recipes. And yes, they are sinfully rich, but they don't seem quite as rich as rolls that are full of butter, which I like. I hope you do try them!! ;o)