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May 10, 2022

Easy No Knead German Crusty Rolls

Whip up these easy no knead German rolls, with their crunchy crust and their airy crumb, with almost no effort. 

No knead crusty rolls on a cooling rack.


In fact, my friend Ralph of Breadworks Workshops, and the creator of this recipe, dubs these rolls "Do Nothing German Crusty Rolls." I am sharing this recipe with Ralph's permission. 

These incredible rolls are crunchy and crusty on the outside and super airy on the inside. They are the kind of rolls that, when they appear on your table in the bread basket, you will slather with butter and devour. You might not even leave room for dinner. 

Crusty rolls in a basket.

These rolls are delicious with dinner, perfect for meaty and dipped sandwiches, and even awesome as crusty burger buns. They hold up incredibly to juicy ingredients and are perfect for sopping up juices from stews and dipped in soups. 

Ingredients? All you need are flour, water, salt, and yeast! It's all in the technique. 

Tips for Making No Knead German Rolls:

First, to mix the dough, you just stir together the ingredients briefly, cover them in a bowl, and then let them ferment for about 12 to 14 hours. Because there is only a tiny bit of yeast, the dough can handle this very long rise at room temperature. 

Speaking of the yeast, you will need only 0.2 grams. More will throw off the timing. How do you measure 0.2 grams of yeast? I use a tiny pocket scale. It's pretty inexpensive and is great for measuring small amounts of ingredients such as yeast and salt. I'm on my second one. 

I also use these tiny prep bowls for weighing the ingredients on the scale. 

Once you shape the rolls, I recomment letting them proof in a floured couche, which is a stiff linen cloth made specifically for raising baguettes or rolls. If you don't have a couche, it's okay. You can use floured dish towels, or even just a parchment lined baking sheet. 

Baking stone with a roasting pan on top.

I baked these rolls on a hot stone covered with two stacked upside down foil roasting pans to trap some steam. If you don't have the roasting pans, you can set your oven up with a steam pan under the baking stone. 

Tip from Ralph: To get a good clean ear when scoring the rolls, chill them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes just before slashing them. I'm trying that next time. 

Why are these called German rolls?

Ralph calls them German rolls because he has had them every time he vacations in Germany. 

These rolls are wonderful for sandwiches or just slathered in butter while still warm. Just let the butter melt into the wonderful open crumb and enjoy. 

Sliced rolls on a rack.

How to store these German crusty rolls:

These rolls will remain fresh kept in a paper bag for a day or two. After that, I recommend freezing them in a freezer bag, and then reheating them in a hot oven for about 10 minutes to recrisp. 

This recipe makes 18 rolls. I halved the recipe and made nine rolls. 

Thanks Ralph for the amazing recipe! 

Crusty rolls on a cooling rack.

My friend Ralph holds bread baking classes in the Netherlands. His creations include crusty baguettes, amazing laminated dough, gorgeous pretzels, panettone, and traditional tiger rolls, just to name a few. He's also a sourdough master. 

Ralph is also a frequent contributor and advice giver in the Facebook group, Artisan Bread Bakers

This month, the Bread Bakers are sharing recipes for no knead breads. 

Bread Bakers logo.

For more no knead bread recipes, be sure to check out the Bread Bakers!

Crusty rolls in a basket.

Easy No Knead German Crusty Rolls

Easy No Knead German Crusty Rolls
Yield: 18 rolls
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 20 MinInactive time: 12 HourTotal time: 12 H & 50 M
Whip up these easy no knead German rolls, with their crunchy crust and their airy crumb, with almost no effort.


  • 1000 grams bread flour
  • .2 grams instant yeast
  • 680 grams water
  • 22 grams salt


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and yeast.
  2. In another bowl, mix the water salt
  3. Add the water and salt mixture to the flour mixture and mix with your hand until everything is moistened.
  4. Cover the bowl and let ferment for 12 to 14 hours.
  5. Divide the dough into 18 pieces (about 94 grams each), and preshape into rounds. Let the rounds rest for 25 minutes.
  6. Shape the rounds tightly into rounded oblongs, and place them onto a floured couche or onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise for one hour.
  7. Heat your oven to 450 degrees F with a baking stone on the middle rack.
  8. Score and bake the rolls, 9 at a time, with steam (see note in the post regarding steam) for 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.


This recipe can be easily halved.

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rolls, no knead bread
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Would you like to comment?

  1. These are my type of breads, love crusty ones. I need to give this a try.

  2. Totally in love with these!!!!! I have way too much bread in the freezer, but might squeeze this bake very soon.... they look just amazing, Karen!

    1. Thanks! This was a huge hit when Ralph posted it in Artisan Bread Bakers. They're pretty magical.

  3. Those couldn't look any more perfect! The little ears, and that crumb... squeee!

  4. You definitely got perfect ears! I was originally looking at spoon scales but a pocket scales seems to be a better option. No washing of the spoon in between ingredients.

    1. I've heard good things about spoon scales but I've never tried them.

  5. instant yeast from teaspoon to gram Conversion Results:
    Amount : 1/16 teaspoons (tsp of instant yeast)
    Equals : 0.20 grams (g / instant yeast)

    1. Very helpful for those without a scale.

  6. Holy Samoly Karen, that photo of the inside makes me want to reach through my computer screen and gobble it up.

  7. Gorgeous loaves!I Love the texture of this bread, this is so amazing! Love this recipe!

  8. I've made these beautiful crusty rolls twice now. The first time, I didn't have any bread flour on hand, just used all purpose, and they were excellent! I just made a batch with the bread flour, and while there is a little difference in texture, it's still very much worthwhile to make, regardless what kind of flour is in your pantry. I may never make "dinner rolls" again! By the way, say I wanted to make this into a loaf or two, what would I need to adjust as far as bake time goes? Anyway, thanks Karen! Thanks Ralph!

    1. I haven't tried it, but to make a loaf, you could probably add another 10 minutes, and then take its temp. Or, you could make a longer baguette type loaf. Thanks for letting me know that you like these!


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