Portuguese Rolls

These have a golden crunchy crust and a light airy middle. They’re the perfect partner to my Nando’s butterfly chicken.



I’d recommend using a pizza stone to make these. The pizza stone gets very hot in the oven which gives crustier buns. If you don’t have one, you can preheat your baking tray instead.


You need the smallest bit of yeast for the starter. Don’t panic that it isn’t enough as we add more yeast later in the process.


This is a really wet dough. I recommend using a mixer for this. I do give an alternative kneading method in the directions if you don’t have one!


Make sure your tea towel is very thoroughly floured. The buns will stick if not!


Adding ice and water to the oven makes things steamy. This gives us crusty buns!


If you need any further help, or have any questions, you can message me on my Instagram @bonniedoesfood.




(Makes 8 rolls)



175g plain flour

225g cool water

A scant 1/8th tsp instant yeast



375g plain flour

2 tsp instant yeast

2 tsp salt

1.5 tsp sugar

155g lukewarm water

35g vegetable oil





Do this the night BEFORE you make the buns.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the plain flour and yeast. Use a whisk to combine.

Add the water in stages, mixing as you go, until you have a coherent paste.

Cover with clingfilm and set aside at room temperature for 12hrs and up to 15hrs maximum.

The next morning you will have a bubbly and active starter, ready to add to the dough.



In a jug, combine the lukewarm water, sugar and yeast. Whisk to dissolve and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add the plain flour and salt. Whisk to combine.

To the flour, add the bubbly starter, the jug of water and yeast, and the vegetable oil.

Use the end of a wooden spoon to mix the dough until it forms a shaggy ball.

I recommend using a mixer for this as it is a very wet dough. Mix on a medium speed with a flat mixer attachment for 7 minutes. Until the dough is elastic and smooth.

*Alternatively* If you don’t have a mixer, you can use the slap and fold technique. With wet hands, slap and fold the dough over itself onto a counter for 12-15 minutes. Keep wetting your hands if the dough is sticking to you.

Check out this little tutorial here for a better explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9ui57C145Y

Transfer the dough to a large oiled mixing bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 2hrs.

After 2hrs, perform 4 folds on the dough. Using wet hands, pick up a side of the dough and stretch as high as you can without breaking. Fold the stretched piece on to the opposite side. Do this 4 times around the ball.

Flip the dough ball over. It should be nice and taught.

Cover with clingfilm and leave for a final hour to prove.



Sprinkle some flour onto the work surface. Turn out the dough.

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. I like to weigh the whole ball of dough and divide into 8 to make sure they’re the same size.

Take one piece of dough and work around the piece pinching into the centre until a ball is formed.

Flip the ball and place your hand over the ball. Using a cupping motion. Move the ball gently on the counter until it is nice and round.

Repeat this process with all 8 pieces of dough.

Working one ball at a time, making sure the surface is still well floured, use the side of your hand to press a seam into the dough.

Pinch and twist the top and bottom ends of the ball to create the desired shape.

Place the shaped roll with the seam side down on a heavily floured tea towel (when I say heavily I don’t mean a sprinkle! Go wild. They will stick if it is not very heavily floured).

Repeat the shaping process with all of the balls.

Place the shaped rolls so that there are two sat horizontally. Pinch the tea towel so it creates a barrier between the next set of 2 rolls. (Please refer to my Instagram highlight if I am speaking gibberish).

Cover the rolls with another tea towel and leave for another 1-1.5hrs for their final prove. They should be nice and puffy!



Whilst the rolls are proving, preheat your oven to 200c fan/220c standard. Place your pizza stone/baking sheets into the oven. They need be very hot for baking.

Just before baking, fill a roasting tray with ice cubes and cool water.

Carefully pick up your rolls and transfer them to the hot pizza stone/baking sheet, place them seam side up this time.

Use a sharp knife to score a line down the middle of the seam.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

I recommend serving these with my Nando’s butterfly chicken. They also make delicious sandwich rolls.


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