The Perfect Scottish Morning Rolls Recipe

A tasty and traditional Scottish Morning Rolls recipe has been requested in our Facebook group more times than any other recipe, yet we are only now sharing it. Why do you think that is?

Well, it’s because a Scottish Morning Roll has a unique taste and is a recipe held so dearly in the hearts of so many we had to be absolutely sure of before we would even consider putting it out into the big wide world!

Scottish Morning Rolls

If it’s too bap-like, a morning roll will be thrown away in disgust. If it is too crunchy, it will be left alone on a plate, its contents eaten separately!

A Scottish morning roll recipe has to produce rolls that look, taste and feel like they have just come from the bakers and are the perfect shape and size to deal with even the largest slice of Lorne sausage.

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Our Stovies recipe was the only other recipe we’ve been this cautious about. Despite offering as many versions as possible, that recipe still starts arguments on social media whenever we post it.

However, lovers of Scottish food are a passionate bunch, and there are just certain Scottish foods you don’t mess with. The morning roll is on the top of that list.

Why did we decide to do a Morning Rolls recipe at all?

The simple answer is because morning rolls are delicious! It’s hard to pinpoint precisely what makes them quite so unique, but they are just the right sort of everything you could ever want in a fresh bread roll.

Fluffy yet tough, delicate yet solid, savoury yet subtly sweet. Fresh from the bakers these rolls can be topped by no other, and we couldn’t resist recreating them for you.

And, we’re happy to say we think we’ve cracked it!

What is a Scottish Morning Roll?

Let us explain for those of you unsure about the sort of rolls we’re talking about. A Scottish Morning roll is a freshly baked, often well fired white bread roll. They have a light crisp on the outside but are deliciously airy on the inside, making them perfect for having heavier meaty fillings such as bacon, sausage or even a Scotch Pie!

Some are so well fired they are almost black on the outside, giving them a burnt look, but they taste divine. Our recipe is a less fired, more golden variety but equally as tasty!

These rolls are found across Scotland in every bakery, corner shop, supermarket and even the odd garage. Though not as famous as the likes of Haggis or Tablet, the Morning Roll is known by every single Scot and loved by most.

Why are Morning Rolls called Morning Rolls?

This one seems to answer itself, but we still had to check with numerous friends in case we were missing a trick! The Morning roll is called a morning roll due to them being best straight from the baker freshly made in the morning.

They were traditionally served with or as breakfast or made into a packed lunch for the workers of school children of the family. They are also known as Glasgow rolls, but these tend to be the more oven-fired blackened variety as we understand it.

As bakers grew in size and were able to mass-produce the morning roll, other names stuck, such as Mortons and McMillan’s rolls.

So there you have it, the delicious morning roll is called that because they’re best eaten in the morning. Simple really.

Scottish Morning Roll with Bacon

Things you’ll need to make our Morning Rolls recipe

  • Large bowl
  • Whisk
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Electric Mixer with dough hook attachment (or you can knead by hand)
  • Cling film or tea towel for proofing
  • Baking paper

Ingredients for our Morning Rolls recipe

Ingredients:

  • 650g strong white flour (5 cups)
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 400ml lukewarm water (between 37-43 degrees Celsius – make sure the water isn’t too hot or it will kill the yeast) (1 2/3 cups)
  • 1 ½ tsp caster sugar
  • 7g dried instant yeast
  • 40g lard (cold, chopped) (3 tbsp)
  • Rice flour to dust
Ingredients for Scottish Morning Rolls

How to make Morning Rolls – Step by step method

Servings: 9-12 rolls
Prep time: 40 minutes
Proofing time: 2-3 hours
Baking time: 15 minutes

Add the sugar to the warm water and stir until dissolved. 

Add the yeast and stir again to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whisk together the flour and salt.

Rub the lard into the flour to make breadcrumbs, like you would with scones.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast mixture.

Stir with a wooden spoon until it starts to come together into a dough.

Using a dough hook attachment on your mixer, mix the dough on a medium speed for 10 minutes. You can also knead by hand if preferred but make sure to do so for the full 10 minutes to get it nice and elastic.

morning roll dough

Sprinkle your work surface with a little rice flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface and shape it into a ball with your hands. 

Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with a little oil and place the dough in it. Cover loosely with cling film or a tea towel and leave in a warm place (around 25 degrees C is ideal) to proof for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until roughly doubled in size.

Turn out the dough onto your floured work surface and squash it down flat with your hands to knock out the gas. Then roughly roll it up into a sausage shape to make it easier to cut into pieces.

Morning rolls dough pre cut

For perfectly even rolls, you can weigh the dough and divide it by the number of rolls you’d like to make. The mixture will make 9-12 depending on the size of the rolls and your baking tray. Cut the dough into your sections and shape these into balls by rolling them with your hands. 

Dust the top of each roll with a little rice flour.

Squash the rolls down into slightly flattened disks using your hands or a rolling pin. They will rise back up again during the second proof.

Line a large oven tray with baking paper. Place the rolls inside. Make sure they are touching to get that pull-apart effect.

Cover the tray loosely with cling film or a tea towel and leave in a warm place to proof for another 1 to 1 ½ hours or until nicely plump and risen. About 15 minutes before your proofing time is up, preheat the oven to 230C.

Bake the rolls for 15 minutes or until golden all over the top. 

freshly baked Scottish morning rolls

Use the baking paper to lift the rolls out onto a cooling rack. Allow them to cool for 15 minutes or so before pulling them apart.

Scottish Morning Rolls Recipe

Variations

Normally, we give some variations on our recipes, different ingredients or ways to create a similar dish. However, we don’t have any for our Morning rolls recipe; stick to the recipe and enjoy your rolls.

Some things don’t need any amendments!

Well Fired Rolls

However, there is just one thing you could try if you’re up for it.

If you’re ever in Scotland, you might notice rolls for sale that look a little, well, burnt on top. This isn’t a mistake! These are actually called “well fired” rolls. You can make your morning rolls well fired by making sure they’re high in the oven and cooking for around 5 minutes longer.

Fillings for Morning Rolls

Morning rolls are most often eaten as a breakfast food with one or more of the following:

These are then often accompanied by either brown or red sauce, also known as HP or ketchup.

One other morning roll filling you might find in some parts of Scotland is a Scotch pie. Yes, a whole scotch pie!

A pile of Scottish Morning Rolls

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Yield: 9-12 Rolls

Scottish Morning Rolls Recipe

Scottish Morning Rolls Recipe

Scottish Morning Rolls are unique to Scotland.

While there are similar bread rolls in other places we've never quite found the perfect texture and combination of a light fluffy interior with a slightly chewy crust that can hold delicious ingredients inside like haggis, square sausage, tattie scones, and even a Scotch Pie!

This recipe has taken some time for us to do, because we knew it had to be PERFECT. Enjoy!

Prep Time 40 minutes
Proofing Time 3 hours
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 650g strong white flour (5 cups)
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 400ml lukewarm water (between 37-43 degrees Celsius – make sure the water isn’t too hot or it will kill the yeast) (1 2/3 cups)
  • 1 ½ tsp caster sugar
  • 7g dried instant yeast
  • 40g lard (cold, chopped) (3 tbsp)
  • Rice flour to dust

Instructions

  1. Add the sugar to the warm water and stir until dissolved.
  2. Add the yeast and stir again to combine. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whisk together the flour and salt.
  4. Rub the lard into the flour mixture.
  5. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast mixture.
  6. Stir with a wooden spoon until it starts to come together into a dough.
  7. Using a dough hook attachment on your mixer, mix the dough on a medium speed for 10 minutes. You can also knead by hand if preferred but make sure to do so for the full 10 minutes to get it nice and elastic.
  8. Sprinkle your work surface with a little rice flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface and shape into a ball with your hands.
  9. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with a little oil and place in the dough. Cover loosely with cling film or a tea towel and leave in a warm place (around 25 degrees C is ideal) to proof for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until roughly doubled in size.
  10. Turn out the dough onto your floured work surface and squash it down flat with your hands to knock out the gas. Then roughly roll it up into a sausage shape to make it easier to cut into pieces.
  11. For perfectly even rolls, you can weigh the dough and divide it by the number of rolls you’d like to make. The mixture will make 9-12 depending on the size of the rolls and your baking tray. Cut the dough into your sections and shape these into balls by rolling them with your hands.
  12. Dust the top of each roll with a little rice flour.
  13. Using your hands or a rolling pin, squash the rolls down into slightly flattened disks. They will rise back up again during the second proof.
  14. Line a large oven tray with baking paper. Place the rolls inside. Make sure they are touching to get that pull-apart effect.
  15. Cover the tray loosely with cling film or a tea towel and leave in a warm place to proof for another 1 to 1 ½ hours or until nicely plump and risen. About 15 minutes before your proofing time is up, preheat the oven to 230C.
  16. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes or until golden all over the top.
  17. Use the baking paper to lift the rolls out onto a cooling rack. Allow them to cool for 15 minutes or so before pulling apart.

Notes

Try these with our veggie haggis or square sausage recipes!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 293mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 7g

These values are an estimate only.

Do let us know in the comments or in our Facebook group if you make these. We’d love to hear what you think of our Morning Rolls recipe!

Enjoy Phil & Sonja

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