Lemon, Honey and Poppy Seed Rolls

These rolls are soft, light and a little tangy; they’re simple to make and great with either sweet or savoury items.

Makes: 12 small rolls or 8 medium

Time: 35 min hands on; 60 + 45 min proving; 20 min baking

Level: Easy

Need: A stand mixer is useful, but not essential


  • 500g/1lb 2oz strong white bread flour*
  • 5g/tsp salt
  • 50g/1¾oz  butter, softened
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 275ml/9½fl oz buttermilk*
  • 25ml/1fl oz lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • 2 – 3 tbsp runny honey
  • About 25g/1oz poppy seeds
  • ½ an egg, beaten

* I actually used 200g of my sourdough starter – which was half flour, half water – and reduced the flour/buttermilk content. There’s absolutely no need to do this, but I hate throwing away my sourdough starter so try to use the “discard”.


1. Put all the ingredients except the poppy seeds and egg in a large mixing bowl and mix well, either with a wooden spoon or in a mixer with the paddle tool fitted.

2. If kneading by hand, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 – 15 mins. If using a stand mixer, change to the dough hook and knead for about 7 – 10 mins, initially on slow then faster.

3. Leave the dough in a covered bowl for about an hour or until doubled in volume. Meanwhile, line two baking trays and dust with a little flour.

4. Tip out the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and “knock it back”, punching out any air. Fold it over on itself a few times then flatten it out and add the poppy seeds, distributing them as evenly as possible. Fold the dough into a ball then divide it into rolls. (Either judge size by eye, or weigh the pieces.)

5.  Using cupped hands, pull or drag the surface of each roll around and under, pinching together any loose ends. (The purpose is to have the outer surface taut.)  Space the rolls well apart on the baking trays and put each tray inside a large plastic bag for the second rise. (White swing bin liners are ideal) Leave for about 40 – 50 mins.

6. Pre-heat the oven to 220C /fan 200C / 425F / gas 7.

7. Cut 2 – 3 slashes across the top of each roll with a very sharp knife or razor blade and brush with beaten egg.

8. Bake for 15 – 20 mins then cool on a wire rack.

NB As with all home made bread these rolls contain no additives or preservatives. Either eat them within two days or pop them in the freezer and pull one or two out the night before you need them.

I hope you give these rolls a try. If you want to see more of my bread recipes click This link.

Here are some quite different breads that I hope you try:

Cheese and Onion Soda Bread

Rye & Wholemeal Apricot English Muffins

Ridiculously easy No-knead bread

Happy Baking