Crusty with a soft crumb, these flavorful sourdough rustic buns are easy to make with your sourdough starter and only a few simple ingredients. They are perfect for sandwiches or serve them as dinner rolls.
Making as many baked goods as I can with sourdough starter has become somewhat of an obsession! I have made sourdough biscuits, sourdough pretzels, sourdough crescent rolls and now these Italian sourdough rustic buns.
These sourdough buns are just perfect for sandwiching a juicy grilled burger or anything you please! Or you can use them as dinner rolls and no one will complain. They are light and airy, yet crusty and chewy and just so delicious.
With the help of a little added yeast, these rustic buns rise faster and with the addition of milk they are softer with a tighter crumb making them perfect for sandwiches.
They are ready in less than four hours which makes them doable to pull off for dinner tonight!
Table of Contents
Why You Will Love Sourdough Rustic Buns
- Delicious: While these may not be an authentic artisan-style sourdough roll, they are so good! These sandwich rolls are similar but without the slight tang of sourdough.
- Simple: There is a time and place for overnight sourdough recipes, but this is not one of them. With the help of a little yeast, these sourdough rustic buns are ready to bake the same day you start the dough.
- Versatile: Use them as sandwich buns, dinner rolls or just to eat as is!
The addition of milk and yeast means these sourdough buns are light and soft and ready the same day!
- Water: Your water will need to be lukewarm which is somewhere in between 105 and 115 degrees.
- Active dry yeast: Using a small amount of yeast is how we can make this all in one day.
- Milk: This will also need to be lukewarm.
- Sourdough starter: Your starter needs to be active, bubbly and ready to use in recipes.
- Olive oil: This helps produce a softer crust and crumb.
- Salt: For taste.
- Flour: All purpose or bread flour can be used. Bread flour will give these rustic buns a more crusty, chewy texture while all purpose flour will be less so and you may need to use more flour.
How to Make Rustic Sourdough Buns
With a prep time of only 15 minutes, most of the time will be hands off rising time. Follow these steps and your Italian bun recipe will turn out perfect!
Proof yeast: In the bowl of the stand mixer add water, sprinkle your yeast on top and then let sit for 5 minutes to proof before mixing together. Add the milk and your sourdough starter and then combine with the flat beaters.
Make dough and 1st rise: Add your flour, olive oil and salt then combine with the dough hook to form a smooth dough.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface, form into a ball, then place in a lightly oiled bowl. Roll the dough to cover it in oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm area for about 2 hours or until doubled.
Shape buns and 2nd rise: Remove dough from bowl, place on a lightly floured flat surface and pat into a rectangle.
Divide dough into desired amount of buns then place buns on a parchment lined baking sheet approximately 3 inches apart. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm draft free area for 45-60 minutes.
Bake: Spray the buns lightly with water and sprinkle with flour. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees F, then lower the heat to 375 degrees F and continue to bake for 15-20 minutes or until gold brown and baked through. Immediately move to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!
Tips for Making Your Rustic Buns
- Amount of flour: Your sourdough rustic bun dough should be compact and soft and not too wet. If it’s too wet, then add more flour, if it’s sticky but not wet, it’s perfect.
- Patience: Don’t push the rise! If you do not allow these rustic buns to properly rise you will end up with heavy and dense buns.
- Add an egg wash to the top: This will give them a beautiful golden color. Beat one egg yolk with 1 Tbsp of water and brush on the tops before baking.
- Bake with steam: This will give your rolls a nice high rise with an amazing crust. To do this place a metal baking sheet on the lower oven rack while preheating the oven. Before baking, pour 1 cup of water onto the baking sheet. Proceed with baking your rolls in the steamy oven.
- Internal temperature: Not sure if your sourdough buns are done? Check with a thermometer! Your buns are ready if the internal temperature is 190 degrees F.
Timeline To Make This For Dinner
Here is an example timeline if you want these sourdough buns for dinner!
- The night before: Feed your sourdough starter so it is active.
- Around noon: Make your dough and do the initial rise for 2 hours.
- Mid afternoon: Roll out dough and shape into buns. Let rise for another hour.
- Late afternoon: Bake and enjoy at dinner!
How to Store Sourdough Rustic Buns
This sourdough buns recipe will stay fresh stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
You can also freeze these rolls! Once they have cooled to room temperature, store them in a freezer safe bag for up to a month. When you are ready to use them, thaw at room temperature.
Can I make these without yeast?
Yes you can do that, your Italian bun recipe won’t be quite as fluffy but here is how you will do it! Increase the sourdough starter to 1 cup and decrease the water and milk by 2 tablespoons each and start by using 2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons of flour. Of course rising times will change as well. Your first rise will be 4+ hours and 2nd rise 2+ hours.
How should I shape a sourdough bun?
Just divide the sourdough into the desired amount and roll into a ball. Of course, you could get a more detailed and after dividing it into the desired amount, roll each small amount out onto a floured surface, pull up the sides and then fold it into itself 3 or 4 times. Place seam side down on the baking sheet.
Why did my rustic buns turn out flat?
There are a few reasons why this happens. One, if you did not let your buns proof enough. They must be doubled in size before baking. Two, you could have over-proofed the dough. Reshape and keep a close eye on your time while they proof. The third reason is if your oven temperature was too low it prohibits the dough from obtaining a rise.
Why is my dough so wet?
You may have measured your flour differently than I did. Add a tiny bit more flour, you want your dough sticky but not overly wet. A kitchen scale can help with accurate measurements as well.
How many buns does this recipe make?
This will make four quite large buns, 6 sourdough hamburger buns, or 8 – 10 slider sized buns.
More Sourdough Recipes
- Sourdough French Country Bread
- Sourdough Fougasse Recipe
- Easy Sourdough Bread
- Sourdough Hot Cross Bun Recipe
- Easy Sourdough Focaccia
Sourdough Rustic Buns
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons water (lukewarm)
- ¾ teaspoon active dry yeast
- ½ cup +2 tablespoons milk (lukewarm)
- ½ cup sourdough starter (active)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3-3½ cups all purpose or bread flour
- In the bowl of the stand mixer add the water and sprinkle the yeast on top, let sit 5 minutes then mix together. Add the milk and sourdough starter combine with the flat beaters.
- Add 3 cups of flour*, the olive oil and salt combine with the dough hook to form a smooth dough. Move to a lightly floured flat surface and form into a ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, roll the dough to lightly cover in oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm draft free area to rise. Let rise 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured flat surface and pat into a rectangle (10×7 inches / 26x18cm) I made 4 buns but they were quite large, you could easily make 6. Place the buns on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet approximately 3 inches / 7 cm apart. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm draft free area for 45-60 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 425F (220C).
- Spray the buns lightly with water and sprinkle with flour. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 375F (190C) and continue to bake for 15-20 minutes or until gold brown and baked through. Internal temperature for baked bread is 190F (88C). Immediately move to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!