Ale Bread Rolls

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These delicious and simple Ale Bread Rolls are made with English Ale and a mix of wholemeal and white flour. Seriously tasty!

Prep Time: 2 hrs |Cook Time: 30 mins |Total Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

ale bread rolls


  • 400 g strong white bread flour plus a handful more for dusting the rolls before they go into the oven
  • 100 g strong wholemeal flour
  • 10 g salt
  • 10 g instant yeast
  • 30 g unsalted butter softened
  • 300 ml flavoursome good-quality ale
  • Olive oil for kneading

For the sandwich filling:

  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Mature Cheddar cheese
  • Chutney of your choice I used plum and apple
  • Apple chunks from a tangy crunchy apple variety


  1. Place the flour in a large bowl. Add the salt to one side of the bowl, and the instant yeast to the other side (yeast and salt don’t like to be in direct contact). Add in the butter and about three quarters of the ale. Mix the dough together with one hand. Add in more ale, a bit at a time until you’ve picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl and you have a soft (but not really sticky) dough. You may not need all the ale.
  2. Lightly oil your work surface with a little olive oil, then turn your dough out onto the surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. It will be a bit sticky at first, but will eventually get smoother. Clean and dry your bowl, wipe it with a little olive oil and place your dough in the bowl. Cover with clingfilm and then place in a warm room for 1-2 hours to prove – until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment
  4. Once the dough has proved, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knock the air back out of it by folding it in on itself repeatedly. Divide the dough into 14 pieces. You can do this by eye, or if you want perfectly even bread, weigh it out. Each piece should be 60g. Roll each piece into a ball – making sure the top is smooth for each. I usually roll each ball and then tuck any messy bits underneath. Place one ball into the centre of each prepared baking tray and then space the other 6 rolls around the centre roll. They need to be close together, but not quite touching (they’ll expand during the next rise and during baking). So you should have 7 rolls on each tray, basically in the shape of a flower – as in the picture above. Place each tray inside a large carrier bag and leave to prove for another hour.
  5. Preheat your oven to 200c just before your dough has finished proving. Next, take the trays out of the bags and dust the rolls lightly with some white flour. Give each of the outside rolls 3 little snips with a pair of scissors (look at the picture to see the positioning). Place the rolls in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the rolls are golden, and they sound hollow if you tap them from underneath.
  6. Take out of the oven, and leave to cool before filling.

Recipe Notes

*Well wrapped in baking parchment and placed in a bread bin, these rolls will keep for 1-2 days.*If you’re going to make this sandwich in advance, I’d recommend squirting a little bit of lemon juice onto your apple chunks to stop them from going brown.

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