If you've ever wondered what it would be like to eat a cloud, this is it! These milk bread rolls are super light and fluffy, and stay deliciously soft for days due to the use of yudane (water roux) in the dough. These rolls are made with sourdough starter, but you won't detect any tang/sour taste at all thanks to the use of a sweet levain.
The suggested times are a general guideline that you can adjust to fit your schedule. I like to mix the dough in the evening so that it's ready for proofing just before I go to bed. The dough rises overnight (my kitchen is ~22C) and is ready to bake the next morning. As with all sourdough recipes, ensuring you have a healthy and active starter is the key to a successful bake.
Recipe makes 12 rolls (81g/ea). —halfsweetsundays
- Prep time 21 hours
- Cook time 35 hours
- Serves 12
- Levain + Yudane
sourdough starter (for levain)
unbleached bread flour (for levain)
water (for levain)
granulated sugar (for levain)
unbleached bread flour (for yudane)
boiled water (for yudane)
- Final Dough
unbleached bread flour
large egg (~50g)
yudane (from above)
levain (from above)
softened butter, cut into cubes
- Build Levain (12pm): Combine 60g sourdough starter, 90g bread flour, 90g water, and 35g sugar in a jar. Leave it in a warm place to rise until doubled (~6-8hrs at 22C).
- Make Yudane (12pm): Carefully combine 90g boiling water and 90g bread flour in a heat-safe bowl and whisk until all the flour is hydrated and the mixture forms a thick paste. Cover and let cool for a few hours until it's time to build the final dough.
- Final Dough - Autolyse (6pm): Mix together all final dough ingredients except for salt and butter until all the flour is hydrated. Cover and leave for 30 minutes. Note: You'll only use 255g of your levain - keep the remaining amount as your starter.
- Final Dough - Mix Pt. 1 (6:30pm): Add salt to the dough and knead until the dough feels smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes by hand or 3 minutes on low in a stand mixer.
- Final Dough - Mix Pt. 2 (6:40pm): Add butter to the dough one cube at a time, mixing in between and ensuring the butter is fully incorporated before adding more. Continue to knead until the dough reaches the windowpane stage (can take ~10-15min in a stand mixer on low), meaning you can stretch the dough thin enough to see light come through without ripping. The dough should be smooth, shiny, and stretchy.
- Final Dough - Bulk Ferment (7pm): Transfer to a clean and lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise at room temp (for me, ~22C) for 2.5 hours. The dough should have expanded somewhat but not doubled.
- Final Dough - Shape (9:30pm): Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into twelve 82g pieces. Shape each piece into a ball: take each edge and fold into the centre, flip over, then use your hands to round into a tight boule by turning and lightly dragging across the surface. Place the shaped rolls into a lightly greased 9-inch round baking pan (a springform works great) and cover with plastic wrap.
- Final Dough - Overnight Proof (10pm): Leave the dough to proof overnight at room temperature, around 10 hours (at ~22C). Depending on how cool your kitchen is, this may take a little longer. To speed up the proof, you can place the pan in the oven (turned off!) with the light on.
- Final Dough - Bake (8am, Next Day): Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F (160C/325F convection). Check that the dough has proofed — the rolls should be noticeably puffy and if you lightly poke one, the indentation should spring back slowly. When ready to bake, lightly brush the rolls with 1 tbsp milk and transfer to oven. Bake for 35min or until internal temp is >96C/195F. Check the rolls 20min into the bake; if it's browning too quickly, place a piece of foil over the top for the rest of the bake.
- Final Dough - Enjoy: Remove from oven & brush a little extra melted butter onto the top if desired. Immediately turn the rolls onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely and enjoy!