Lemon & Thyme Bread Rolls


How are you all? I’ve had a long week taking care of my poorly children, Alhamdulillah it’s nothing major, they have cold.


We have had quite a number of sunny days here this week Masha’Allah but not helpful when making pastry coupled with the kids being sick and needing extra care and attention i’ve not had the time or desire to do Take 2  of Vanilla Custard Slice, it is quite a time consuming process after all but certainly on my to do to bake list.
I have managed however, to get in the kitchen at some point this week to bake, bread and not just any bread either.
These lemon thyme rolls appear on the surface nothing different to the norm but hidden away inside there are jewels of citrus flavour and aromatic thyme.Unlike pastry, Bread Baking is easy, all you need is your hands/stand mixer if you like the hands free approach and patience to let the rolls rise.Using fast action yeast makes the rise time even quicker as there is no need to let the dough rise in a bowl for an hour first and then another rise time after shaping , you can simply go right ahead knead, divide up your dough, shape into balls, let rise for an hour and then bake. 

I hope I’ve encouraged you to get in the kitchen and bake these, if you prefer you can swap the thyme for coriander, forget the lemon all together or both and you will still end up with pleasant rolls  just without the punch of flavour.

Lemon & Thyme Bread Rolls

Makes: 12


  • 500grams strong white bread flour
  • 2teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2tablespoons fresh thyme leaves only, this equals about 12 average size thyme sprigs, remove small leaves from woody stem.
  • lemon, zest only = about 1/2tablespoon
  • 1 x 7g sachet fast action yeast
  • 1/2tablespoon runny honey
  • 2tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus more for work surface, hands, brushing roll tops before baking.
  • 300ml* lukewarm water
*The amount of water depends on the quality, absorption rate of the flour you use so be careful and add a little at a time, remember you can always add more but you can’t take away if you’ve put too much, you need just enough to make a shaggy dough (see picture below) before kneading.



  • Weigh then place bread flour in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Sprinkle salt evenly over surface of flour then mix, i use a butter knife to do this but a spoon is ok too.
  • Sprinkle lemon zest and thyme leaves over flour, mix
  • Sprinkle yeast and pout honey evenly over flour, mix
  • Make well in center of flour, add olive oil and water, mix adding more water until a shaggy dough is formed.
  • Knead for 10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes in your stand mixer until you have a smooth dough like this:


    Lightly oil hands, lift out the dough and weigh, as you see mine was 841gram, divide by 12 = 70.08 each dough bowl has to be around 70grams so divide up your dough into 12 portions and then shape into round balls, here is how i did it, thank you to my son for the helping hand!

1.-4. –  On a lightly oiled surface, flatten dough into a disk, fold each ‘side’ into center, this creates a ‘spine’ enabling the dough to rise evenly.

5 – 6 Flip ball over,  shape into a neater ball shape by placing your right hand like a cage over the ball. With your fingers touching the surface at all times move you hand in a circular motion to get nicely shaped rolls.
  • Place rolls on a lined baking sheet and brush tops with olive oil to prevent the cling film from sticking. Leave to rise at room temperature  for1 hour.
  • After an hour add an old roasting tin to the lower rack of  your oven and pre-heat to 220C/200c (Fan), total rising time will end up being about 1 hour 10-20 minutes.


  • Once your oven is ready, carefully take out the hot roasting tin, add ice cubes or pour cold water into your very hot roasting tin and place back in oven. The cold water hitting your hot roasting tin creates steam. Steam is ideal when baking to get the best rise out of your bread and create a crisp crust.
  • Bake bread rolls on middle rack of oven for 15minutes. Remove roasting tin after 8 minutes.


  • Remove rolls from oven and transfer to cooling rack.


Serving suggestion: serve with your favourite chicken soup. Also these rolls would be great as part of a tasty chicken salad sandwich.
Lemon & Thyme Bread Rolls
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Lemon & Thyme Bread Rolls

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