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Overnight Breakfast Bread Rolls

I started to bake my own bread since moving to Geneva a few years ago. Being close to France means that local bakeries offer good baguettes and great croissants, but I grew up on German bread which is very difficult to get in the area. After having tried a variety of store-bought bread, I could not find anything that was close to the artisanal bread that tastes like home - so I started to bake it myself and realized that I am enjoying the process of baking. (There is a vibrant German-speaking online community of amateur bakers that make it easy to get started.)

While baking bread is sometimes a necessity that requires some logistics, baking bread rolls is always the fun part: It tends to be less complicated, easier to handle and overall quicker. For me, this is the ultimate luxury of a lazy Sunday morning.

Below is a very simple German-style bread roll recipe that I wanted to remember. It’s an adaptation of another recipe (here, in German) that uses quite a lot of yeast. I wanted to avoid the yeasty flavours and wanted to have a version that can be prepared on the evening before, so the dough is ready for the oven the next morning.

Overnight Breakfast Bread Rolls #

Ingredients (for approx. 8 bread rolls) #

  • 200g spelt flour
  • 200g wholegrain flour
  • 13g salt
  • 10g olive oil
  • 240ml water (about hand-warm)
  • 8g fresh yeast
  • optional: poppy seeds, sesame, sunflower seeds, etc.

Instructions #

In the evening: Mix all ingredients (except the poppy / sesame / sunflower seeds) in a large bowl and knead the dough for 5min until it has a soft texture. Cover the bowl, for instance with a plate, and leave it in the kitchen at room temperature.

In the morning:

  1. The dough should have risen quite a bit overnight. Use a dough scraper to knead it a bit and remove a part of the gas that has become part of the dough structure overnight.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 220 degree Celsius.
  3. Put a bit of flour on the kitchen table and move the dough from the bowl on this surface.
  4. Knead lightly and form into one or two long rolls with your hands. Use a dough scraper to cut it into 8 equal-sized pieces.
  5. Take each of the dough pieces and roll it lightly on the kitchen table, bringing each bread roll to a round shape.
  6. Optional Step: If you want to add poppy seeds, sesame or sunflower seeds, put them on a small plate. Use a brush to add water to the upper part of each bread roll (or prepare another plate with a bit of water and dip them into it), then dip this wet side of the plate with the seeds. This should help them stick to the surface while baking.
  7. Put the bread rolls on a tray with parchment paper. Bake for approx. 15min. You can (and should!) eat them while they are still warm.
Four bread rolls on a board
Four bread rolls on a board, about half of the result of the baking session