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Morning Rolls – fire them how you like

I grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, and like everyone else around me I absolutely love a bacon and scone roll in the morning. Now that doesn’t seem like a huge political statement, but trust me, as you are reading this, some folk are scoffing at their computer screens because I called it a morning roll.

The reason being, that depending on which part of Scotland you grew up in, the morning roll has a different name and in some instances is even a completely different animal.

Now as I said, Glasgow. In Glasgow, we call the soft bread rolls you get from the baker in the morning a morning roll. You know the ones you have to tear apart from each other and are all soft and fluffy inside but crispy on top?

However, when I lived in Dundee, I heard them called Glasgow rolls. I have no idea why, they just do. Kate who grew up in Monifieth near Dundee says it’s because in the east coast they tend to eat baps. I don’t know how accurate this is but Kate says so and I believe her. Again to confuse things even further – there is an Aberdeen roll or rowie. Although I would struggle to call this a roll as it’s flat and is more like a flakey pastry (also called a butteries).

Right, just to throw a spanner in the works I’m going to add a layer of confusion to this. In Glasgow, you are split into two camps where morning rolls are concerned. Soft and well-fired. Holding your head in confusion yet? (I am having fun)

Ok, a soft roll is as you’d expect, soft and has no crust on it. However, a well-fired roll has been cooked a bit longer so that the top of the roll is crispy and very dark. Personally, I’m a soft roll girl, but my dad is a well-fired roll guy and this caused some grief when I was growing up as he’d always by the well-fired rolls so I’d have to eat them. I have to admit there is more taste to a well-fired roll, but the problem is that as you bite down on it, the crispy crust just shatters and half your roll ends up on the floor. So I’ll leave it up to you how much you want to “fire” your rolls.

Ok, shall I tell you how to make these delights so that you can have a go for yourself?

How to make morning rolls / Glasgow rolls

Makes 10 – 12 rolls dependent on size


  • 10g yeast
  • 120ml warm water
  • 120ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 450g bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter to brush rolls before baking


Making the dough

1. In the bowl, stir the yeast into the warm water and let it sit for a couple of minutes then in a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, 2 tablespoons of butter, sugar, and salt.

Add this to the yeast mixture and stir until combined. Add all the flour and stir until it makes a rough dough.

2.  Knead for 8-10 minutes, until smooth but slightly tacky. It should spring back when poked. If you aren’t sure about kneading bread dough, check out our other blog post – Bread isn’t scary after all

3. Cover the mixing bowl and let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about an hour.

second rise - rolls

Shape the rolls

1. Dust your work surface with some flour and turn the risen dough out onto it. Knock it back a little basically by kneading it again for a couple of minutes, then divide the dough into 10 to 12 pieces depending on what size rolls you want. Remember these will rise again so will get maybe twice the size.

2. To shape into rolls – roll the dough between your hands until they are little round balls.

Let the rolls rise a second time

1. Line a tray with baking parchment and arrange the rolls spaced maybe a cm apart. Let the rolls rise until they look almost twice the size and like little pillows. This will probably take about 45 mins.

While the rolls are rising, pre-heat the oven to 180°C or 170°C for a fan assisted oven.

Cooking the rolls

1. Brush the rolls with melted butter to help them brown and keep the crust soft.

2. Bake the rolls until golden, 15-18 minutes.  You’ll know they are cooked when they sound hollow when you tap the bottom.

Let the rolls cool on a wire rack until cool enough to handle.  Then most importantly, enjoy. I like them with loads of butter (thick enough to leave teeth marks in).

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