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How To Bake Rustic Rolls

Rustic Rolls Recipe

We have so many different, wonderful bread rolls in Germany that it’s often hard to choose! These rustic rolls are my favorite when it comes to pairing them with savory things like cheese, cold cuts, or even a Schnitzel.

I have already covered several bread roll recipes, some sweet and soft, others crisp and airy, and all equally good. Now, this roll recipe for rustic rolls is something I am baking since a couple of month because I still have that huge bag of spelt flour (25 lbs) that seem to never get less. The original recipe is made with wheat flour instead of spelt flour, so feel free to use whatever flour you have on hand. Just make sure your rye and semolina flour is in the recipe as described.

No Need To Cut

How to bake rustic rolls

German bread rolls come in different shapes and they might have a slit, or a cross, or even a sun cut into the top, so the steam from the dough can escape. Not so these rolls. In this case, we let them crack open on their own, which usually happens at the seam of the rolls, where we folded the dough.

The Pores

bread roll recipe

While the dough is fermenting overnight in the fridge, air bubbles appear in the dough and they give our rustic rolls some lift and make them less dense. For that reason, it is important that while folding the dough, you have to be careful not to press the dough or treat it harsh in any way. You really want to keep these air bubbles.

Why Overnight?

roll sandwich

The reason why I let the dough ferment overnight, is, that this increases the taste. A long, cold and therefore slower fermentation always increases the taste of bread and rolls. But if you don’t want to wait until the next day, you can increase the yeast to 7 g and just let it ferment 1 to 2 hours (depending on your room temperature, humidity ..) and then proceed as if it was the next day.

The Baking Process of Rustic Rolls

rustic rolls with spelt rye semolina flour

Rustic Rolls are supposed to be crisp on the outside. In order to achieve this, there are several things you need to do while baking. The first half of the baking time (10 minutes with my oven), you bake with a lot of steam. Then, you continue to bake without steam by opening the oven door wide to release the steam and then close the door again for 5 minutes. The last 5 minutes, you leave the oven door slightly open. After about 20 minutes, your rolls are ready. Let them cool and then enjoy with your favorite topping.

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Rustic bread tolls recipe from Germany
rustic rolls

Rustic Rolls

Rolls with Spelt, Rye and Semolina Flour
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
resting time 13 hours
Total Time 13 hours 30 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine German
Servings 6 rolls


  • 180 g Spelt Flour or Wheat Flour
  • 110 g Rye Flour
  • 100 g Semolina Flour
  • 150 ml Water luke warm
  • 150 ml Milk luke warm
  • 3 to 4 g dry yeast
  • 8 g Olive Oil
  • 8 g Salt
  • some extra rye flour


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the rye, spelt, and semolina flour.
  • Add the milk and water, then sprinkle the yeast on top and wait for the yeast to start to bubble.
  • Start mixing the dough with the kneading attachment on the lowest speed for 10 minutes.
  • Slowly add the oil and a little later the salt.
  • After 10 minutes, increase the speed to one step higher and continue to knead for another 5 minutes.
  • Shape the dough to a ball, leave it in the bowl and cover airtight so it won't dry out.
  • Let rest for about 20 minutes or until you see a slight increase in the size of the dough, then put the bowl into the fridge overnight or 12 hours.
  • The next morning, carefully remove the dough from the bowl. It should have increased in size and show bubbles.
  • Carefully divide the dough into 6 portions of equal size (as good as possible).
  • Take one dough piece and strech it carefully, then fold the farthest side towards the closest side and press together. Repeat until a tight log as been created but make sure you still have the air bubble in the dough. Work carefully!
  • Place the rolls on a baking linen or flouered kitchen towel with the seam down.
  • Cover with the linen or towel and let rest for about 45 minutes or until the size has increased a good amount. Best temperature for this process is 22°C / 72°F.
  • Preheat the oven to 230°C / 445°F.
  • The overall baing time will be 20 minutes BUT you will …
    … first, bake the rolls for 10 minutes with steam (see video)
    … then open the oven door wide to release the steam, then close the oven door and bake for 5 minutes
    … last, open the oven door slightly and put something between the oven door and oven to keep it slightly open and bake like that for another 5 minutes.
    Remember that ovens can be different and baking times might vary.
  • Remove the rolls from the oven and let cool.
  • Enjoy with cold cuts or cheese or with jam, nutella, honey … or just put a Schnitzel in it.
Keyword baking, Bread, rolls, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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4 thoughts on “How To Bake Rustic Rolls”

  1. 5 stars
    My rolls did not crack open during baking. Did I let them proof for too long (I gave them some extra time to increase their size)?

    1. Either they were over-proofed and didn’t have the energy to increase in size in the oven or maybe the dough was too moist. Just try again.

    1. In this case I wouldn’t recommend it to substitute the semolina flour. It is crucial for the texture of the rolls.

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