Sourdough Sub Rolls

Sourdough Sub Rolls

It’s been a while since I made sourdough sub rolls. I got inspired to make some more after seeing some of you take my original recipe and run with it! I love seeing other peoples’ work; you guys have some really good stuff out there!

I’m revisiting this hardy roll because my method has changed, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As excited as I am that baking has gotten more popular, it’s left a lot of people with fewer resources and opportunities to practice with whatever ingredients they like―such as bread flour―or almost any flour for that matter.

But, that’s okay! For some of us enthusiasts out there, we can get caught up in having the perfect set of ingredients and conditions―and quite frankly, overcomplicating any process can deter others from giving baking (or any other activity) a try.

Even though bread flour (especially bread flours formulated to create the ideal conditions for “artisanal” bread) is objectively better to use because it may have more gluten or a higher protein content, it definitely isn’t necessary. And during a time such as this, any of us can be happy to create a delicious loaf of bread out of a $1.49 bag of store brand flour.

All-purpose flour can and will bake well into perfectly delicious bread. Bread flour just has a higher protein structure that makes it ideal for certain textures that require more gluten for stability. The bread also comes out chewier. But for a sub roll, we don’t need to get that complicated.

So, I’m sharing this sourdough sub roll recipe, which uses all-purpose flour, and the end results are still buttery, tangy, and perfect for sandwiches.

Herb Turkey Sub Sandwich
I love going to Jimmy Johns for a treat! So, I made a copycat Turkey Tom Sandwich!

Just like my sourdough harvest sub rolls, you can add additional toppings to enhance the flavor and texture. After shaping your rolls, spray or rub the surface with water and roll the tops in seeds, everything seasoning, or a grain blend.

This recipe makes 6 foot long rolls that can be cut in halves for a dozen sandwiches.

Click HERE if you need a sourdough starter recipe.

Sourdough Sub Rolls

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword sandwich bread, sourdough, sub rolls
Prep Time 24 days
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 people


Day One

  • 3 cups (300g) vigorous sourdough starter 100% hydration or 1:1 ratio flour to water
  • 1 ½ cups (350ml) water
  • 4 cups (400g) all-purpose flour

Day Two

  • 4 cups (400g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp (16g) sea salt or kosher salt


Refresh Your Starter

  1. Make sure your starter is strong and bubbly before making the bread. You may have to feed several days before you plan to make the rolls.

Day One

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the starter, water, and flour together with a rubber spatula until the dough becomes lumpy and shiny. Cover the bowl with cheesecloth or plastic wrap and allow the levain to ferment in the refrigerator overnight or up to 3 days.
  2. As a side note, due to my busy work schedule, I fermented the dough for 3 days.

Day Two

  1. Take the bowl of levain out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature; this should take about 20 minutes.

    Sourdough Levain
  2. Sift together the remaining flour and the salt into the mixing bowl with the levain. Knead the dough by hand or mix the dough with an electric stand mixer with a hook attachment. Alternatively, you can also use a bread machine to mix the dough.
  3. Knead the dough until it becomes a smooth, pliable ball of dough. If you kneaded by hand, a good rule of thumb is to knead and pound the dough until you’re extremely tired!
  4. If using an electric mixer, tear off a small piece of dough and flatten and stretch it into a thin layer. If the layer does not tear, then the dough has developed enough gluten. If the dough easily tears, mix the dough more. This method of checking the dough for elasticity is called The Windowpane Test.
  5. If using a bread machine, the dough mixing setting is usually enough to properly knead the dough. This is my favorite method to use because it’s the easiest and I can prepare or do other tasks in the kitchen without having to monitor my mixer.

Shape the Bread

  1. Allow the dough to rest for at least 15 minutes. Then, on a floured surface, divide the dough into 6 equal parts. You can lubricate your hands with olive oil so that it’s easier to handle the dough.
  2. (1) Take one piece and flatten it into a square.

  3. (2) Fold the top half over toward the center.
  4. (3) Fold the bottom half toward the top of the dough.
  5. (4) Take the left edge and fold it toward the center.
  6. (5) Take the right edge and fold it toward the center.
  7. (6) Scrunch the dough into a log, keeping the folded edges in place.
  8. (7) Roll the log out until it is 12 inches long.
  9. (8) Place the log onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. As an optional step, you can add a layer of semolina flour or course corn flour on the paper to prevent sticking.
  10. (9) Repeat these motions for the remaining 5 pieces of dough, leaving approximately 3 inches between each roll.
  11. (10) Fold the parchment paper between each roll. This will help support the rolls and prevent them from touching each other as they rise.

Allow the Bread to Rise

  1. Spray the rolls slightly with cooking spray and loosely cover the rolls with plastic wrap or cheesecloth.
  2. Allow the rolls to proof for 1 to 4 hours or until they have doubled or tripled in size.

Bake It!

  1. Once the rolls have risen, preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Leave a small pan filled with water in the oven. This will create steam to give your rolls a crisper crust.
  2. Dust your rolls with flour. Using a sharp knife or a bread lame, score the rolls straight down the center, no deeper than ¼ inch.

  3. Place the trays of bread in the center of the oven, and bake the rolls for 30 minutes. If you find that the top rack baked darker than the bottom rack, take the top set of rolls out and bake the bottom rack for an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. The rolls are finished when they achieve a tan crust and the bottoms feel hollow when carefully tapped. Allow the rolls to cool completely before slicing for sandwiches.
    Sourdough Sub Rolls

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