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Oct 16, 2023

Sigteboller (Danish Salty Rye Rolls)

These Sigteboller, or Danish Salty Rye Rolls, with their soft interior and crisp thin crust, are easy to make and are wonderful warm from the oven and spread with butter. 

Danish Salty Rye Rolls in a basket.

You can serve these rolls for dinner, breakfast, or as a sandwich bun for lunch or a snack. These rye rolls are so versatile. 

These rolls are slightly sweet and tender, and they are not as dense as one might expect of a bread made with rye flour. 

Ingredients in These Sigteboller:

Like most rye breads, these also contain wheat flour to help provide structure to the bread and help prevent the dough from becoming sticky like glue. Years ago I made one loaf that was 100% rye and was completely unhappy with it. This was early in my bread baking adventures. Fortunately, this did not deter me. 

I've since made many breads with rye with happy results, along with muffins and even cookies

For these rolls, use a combination of medium rye flour and bread flour. The bread flour helps supply structure. You will also need a sourdough starter or a poolish (quick starter made with a pinch of yeast). 

For the small amount of sweetener, I used barley malt syrup, but molasses or honey will also work. 

Of course you will need salt and water for the dough. coat the bottoms of these rolls with rolled oats and then sprinkle the tops with coarse salt before baking. 

Stack of Danish Rye Rolls on a small plate.

Handling the Dough:

Even though the dough is about 60 percent bread flour, it will still have a tendency to feel very sticky from the rye. Resist the urge to add more flour.

The dough may feel difficult to shape. I used an oiled bench knife to divide the dough and then form the dough into balls by dragging the dough piece from all sides on the work surface with the bench knife to coax it into a ball before transferring to a parchment lined baking sheet that has been sprinkled with rolled oats. 

I found that, even if the shaped rolls didn't look smooth on top before baking, they smoothed out in the oven from the oven spring. 

While I skipped this step, you can score the rolls on top before baking. 

Right before sprinkling them with salt and transferring them to the oven, mist the tops of the rolls water. 

Sigteboller (Danish Salty Rye Rolls) on a baking sheet with rolled oats.

Bake the rolls for about 20 to 25 minutes at 400 degrees F, until they are golden, and then let them cool on the pan for about 10 minutes. They will feel light as air when you lift them. 

You can enjoy these rolls while they are still warm. They are best the day they are made, but can be kept at room temperature for an extra day or two. You can also individually wrap the cooled rolls and then place them in a freezer bag and then keep them in the freezer for up to 30 days. 

Sigteboller (Danish Salty Rye Rolls) in a basket with one on a plate.

Recipe Variations:

You can top these rolls with caraway seeds along with the flaked salt for a stronger "deli rye" flavor. You can also skip the rolled oats on the bottom, although I love the crunch that the oats added. 

If you don't have bread flour, you can substitute unbleached all purpose flour, such as King Arthur. 

If you only have dark rye, you can sift out some of the germ by sifting the rye flour through a fine mesh sieve. 

If you don't have a sourdough starter, just substitute a pinch of instant yeast for the starter in the preferment. 

Sigteboller (Danish Salty Rye Rolls), buttered.

This month, the Bread Baking Babes are making sigteboller, a Danish salty rye bun. Our host kitchen is Cathy of Bread Experience

After the recipe, be sure to check out all of the Babes' creative versions of these rolls. 

Sigteboller (Danish Salty Rye Rolls) in a basket.

Sigteboller (Danish Salty Rye Rolls) Recipe

Sigteboller (Danish Salty Rye Rolls) Recipe
Yield: 9 rolls
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 20 MinInactive time: 16 HourTotal time: 16 H & 50 M
These Sigteboller, or Danish Salty Rye Rolls, with their soft interior and crisp thin crust, are easy to make and are wonderful warm from the oven and spread with butter.


For the Starter
  • 24 grams rye flour
  • 40 grams bread flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 35 grams active sourdough starter
For the Rolls
  • 150 to 200 ml lukewarm water (start with the smaller amount and adjust up as needed)
  • All of the starter
  • 160 grams bread flour
  • 96 grams medium rye flour
  • 3 grams instant yeast
  • 6 grams sea salt
  • 15 grams barley malt syrup
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • Flaked sea salt or kosher salt for topping


To Make the Starter
  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rest overnight, about 14 hours.
To Make the Rolls
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the water and starter and stir to break up the starter.
  2. Add the flours and mix on low, using the dough hook until the flours are incorporated. Cover and let rest for 45 minutes.
  3. Add the salt, yeast, and barley malt syrup and mix with the dough hook on low speed (KA2) until you have a cohesive dough. Cover the bowl and let rest for 45 minutes.
  4. Deflate the dough, form it into a ball, and cover and let rest for 45 minutes.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle the parchment with the rolled oats.
  6. Divide the dough into 9 equal pieces and form each into a round ball and place them, seam side down, on top of the oats. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise for 40 to 50 minutes.
  7. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Mist the shaped rolls with water and sprinkle each of the tops with a pinch of flaked sea salt or kosher salt.
  8. Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

1 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

0 g

Carbs (grams)

30 g

Fiber (grams)

2 g

Net carbs

27 g

Sugar (grams)

1 g

Protein (grams)

5 g

Cholesterol (grams)

0 mg
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Would you like to comment?

  1. Your rolls look lovely in the bowl, the basket, and stacked. So many delicious ways to enjoy these rolls. My favorite way is spread with butter.

  2. Definitely saving this for VERY SOON! I am sure I will love these rolls....

    1. They are definitely on my "make again" list!

  3. That crumb with butter looks amazing! I had some dark rye flour in the freezer to use up or I would have ground and sifted some fresh, which I suppose might have been somewhere between dark and medium? I would make these again! Yum.

    1. I have so much rye in my freezer from accidentally buying three 5-pound bags instead of one during the pandemic, lol.

  4. Your rolls are picture perfect! Didn’t realize that we needed to miss with water before adding the salt on top - maybe mine would have looked better if I did. You have lots of rye flour - bet you will make these again!

    1. The misting was just my addition to the recipe method. I've had a lot of luck with it. Plus, it encourages oven spring.

  5. The wheat flour "help[s] prevent the dough from becoming sticky like glue", eh? (I just pretended that the dough wasn't even remotely sticky, crossed my already crossed fingers and hope for the best.)

    Your rolls look perfect!

    1. Thank you! And, sometimes you just have to go with crossed fingers!

  6. Love the way the toasted oats look!


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