Quick White Rolls


This is a quick-fix bread recipe, perfect when you’ve run out of bread and need some on the double! Defying all the long, slow rules of bread making, these are similar in texture to traditional English oven-bottom muffins and are just as good for a lunchtime sandwich as they are for dunking in a bowl of steaming hearty soup. You can easily go from no bread to freshly baked rolls in just about an hour.

Prep 20 Minutes Plus 30 Minutes Proving
Bake 15 Minutes
Oven 190°C (Fan)/210°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7


  • 425 g (15 oz) strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp fast action yeast
  • 50 g ( oz) butter, diced and softened
  • 240 ml/240 g (9 oz/9 fl oz) water, lukewarm
  • Oil for greasing


  • Rolling pin
  • Baking sheet


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (fan)/210°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7: this will start to warm up the kitchen and get these super quick rolls jumping into action. Place all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and add the diced, softened butter.

  2. Warm the water so it is lukewarm. The warmth is needed to spring the yeast into action and get these rolls on the go as soon as possible. Pour the warm water into the bowl and mix everything together to form a rough dough.

  3. Knead the dough for ten minutes until smooth and elastic. Add a teaspoon of vegetable or sunflower oil to a clean mixing bowl. Transfer the ball of dough to the bowl and turn to coat in the oil.

  4. Cover the bowl with cling film (plastic wrap) or a clean dish towel and place in a warm spot, ideally near to the preheating oven, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. After resting the dough will have already started to puff up a little.

  5. Instead of knocking back the dough as you would with a regular loaf simply turn it out onto your work surface and divide it into 8 equal portions of approximately 90g (3¼oz) each. The dividing and shaping will knock back the dough. Taking one portion of dough at a time, use your hand to form a cage around each ball of dough, with your fingertips in contact with the work surface. Use your fingers to gently spin the dough, keeping your wrist elevated and allowing the dough to turn and tighten below your palm until the dough forms a nice neat ball.

  6. Gently press out each ball with a rolling pin, just a couple of light rolls forwards and backwards and then left to right will do the trick. Your finished roll should be about 8cm (3¼in) in diameter. Transfer the rolls to a well greased or lined baking sheet, spaced well enough apart to allow for a little spreading. Dust the tops of the rolls with flour and cover with a clean dish towel. Now back into the warm spot to rise for 15 minutes.

  7. After 15 minutes they should be a little puffy – far from the usual second rise but these are good to go! Straight into the preheated oven with them for 15 minutes.

  8. Once baked remove from the oven and transfer gently to a wire rack to cool completely. The tops will feel like they have a hard crust but will soon soften up on cooling. Now go dunk them in your soup!