After I had to give up gluten, I tried making my own rolls at home, using my old favorite recipes, just substituting gluten-free flour, and each time they failed miserably. Thankfully, just a few months after my celiac diagnosis and transition to cooking & eating gluten-free, my local gluten-free store brought in Rachel aka Gluten Free Mama for a baking class. I sat there amazed as she whipped up these super easy dinner rolls, then when I got to sample them, I couldn’t believe it. They actually tasted like real homemade dinner rolls! These don’t taste like cardboard, crumble like sawdust, require a knife to saw through, or need to be toasted to be palatable. What a relief, right?!
Look at that texture:
After learning how to make these from Rachel, and buying her fabulous cookbook, In the Kitchen with Gluten Free Mama, I started making these at home regularly. These really are my family’s favorite gluten-free dinner rolls, and you will find them on our table at every holiday meal and at least once a month at dinner.
You can find Rachel’s original recipe here; you’ll find my adapted recipe below. I’ve cut the amount of time that the rolls need to rise by about half by using instant yeast. The instant yeast I use is SAF Instant Yeast. You can buy Saf Instant Yeast from Amazon or King Arthur Flour. I love using this product to cut the rising time down in some of my yeast bread recipes. When using instant yeast, you do not proof the yeast in water. You add the instant yeast with your dry ingredients, and the water with the liquid ingredients. My directions below reflect this change.
If you haven’t worked with gluten-free yeast dough much yet, it is important to note that it is very different from regular yeast doughs. When making gluten-free yeast doughs, the end result is typically a very wet, sticky dough. Do not be tempted to add extra flour! You will not be kneading the dough by hand at all. Your mixer does all the work mixing the dough well, then you use a large cookie scoop (about 2″ diameter) to scoop the dough in mounds in your baking pan. Another important thing to note is that your pans will actually help you shape your gluten-free dough. For example. if you were making regular dinner rolls, you could get by having the balls of dough spread out on a big baking sheet almost like cookies. If you did that with gluten-free dough, you would end up with very flat breads. So here in this recipe, I definitely recommend you grab yourself a 9″ cake or pie pan to bake your rolls in. I’ll talk more about your pans helping shape your dough when I share my french bread and hamburger bun recipes.
Another difference you might spot between my recipe and Gluten Free Mama’s is that I choose to not brush the unbaked rolls with an egg wash. I prefer leaving them plain for baking, then after baking I brush on melted butter. Mmmm!
Here’s a pic that shows how the rolls look at the different stages:
- Yes, you can use regular, active dry yeast in this recipe. Use the same amount of yeast called for, but go ahead and proof the yeast in the warm water with a bit of sugar. Then you are going to need to extend the rising time for the rolls by at least double what I have listed here.
- Can you use another all-purpose flour blend in this recipe? Maybe. There are so many flour blends out there, that I simply cannot test them all. I can’t say whether your homemade blend or your favorite store blend will work in this recipe. I have only had success using Gluten Free Mama’s Almond Blend All-Purpose Gluten-free Flour in it. You can get this in single or multiple bags from Gluten Free Mama’s website or in bulk from Amazon: Gluten Free Mama’s Almond Blend All-Purpose Gluten-free Flour in it. Using any other gluten-free flour blend means you are bringing in a different combination of flours & starches, and I can’t guarantee that will work well. That said, feel free to play with this and see if it works well with your favorite blend. I would recommend you be sure to measure your flour by weight, and be sure to use the same weight I have listed in the recipe. Read through the reader comments below to see what flour blends have worked well for other readers! Also, if you are using a blend that already contains xanthan gum, try adding an additional 1/2 tsp when making this.
- Yes, I tried this recipe with Gluten Free Mama’s Coconut Flour Blend as well, but alas I didn’t have good results. I bet you could play with it to make it work fine. The problem is that coconut flour really absorbs the liquids in a recipe, and mine turned out like hockey pucks.
- Yes, you can make this egg-free if you need to. I have tried GFM’s egg free option and it worked well & tasted great! Gluten Free Mama recommends this egg free option: ¼ cup water + 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed. Simmer water and flaxseed over medium low heat for about 5 minutes until thickened. Stir frequently. Allow to cool. This is equal to one egg.
- Yes, you can make this dairy-free if you need to. Substitute the 2 T of butter for a good dairy-free margarine or Spectrum shortening, melted. You can also either not brush the finished rolls, or brush with a good tasting dairy-free margarine.
- 2¾ cups (11½ oz.) Gluten Free Mama's Almond Blend Flour
- 1½ tsp. xanthan gum
- 2 tsp. SAF instant yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup warm water (105-110°)
- 2 Tbsp. butter, dairy-free margarine, or Spectrum shortening, melted
- 1 egg (preferably room temp)
- 1 tsp. cider vinegar
- In the mixing bowl of your electric mixer, mix together flour, xanthan gum, instant yeast, sugar, and salt.
- With mixer running on low speed, add in the water, melted butter (or substitute), egg, and cider vinegar.
- Mix on medium speed 3 minutes.
- Spray 8" or 9" round cake pan or pie plate with cooking spray. Using a 2" scoop or ⅓ cup measuring cup, scoop dough into 9 mounds in the pan. I place one mound in middle, then scoop 8 mounds of dough side by side all the way around the pan.
- Dip your fingertips into warm water and use to smooth out the tops of the rolls, continuing to wet fingers as needed.
- Cover with a dry towel and let rise in a warm place 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- During the last few minutes that the rolls are rising, preheat oven to 400°.
- Bake in 400° oven for 26-28 minutes. Tops should be golden brown and if you measure temperature of dough, it should measure 200°.
- Brush rolls with additional ½-1 Tablespoon of melted butter.
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