Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls {Gluten-free}

by Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen on April 1, 2013

in Yeast Breads

Gluten-free Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls

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:

Gluten-free Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls

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. I usually buy from at King Arthur Flour, but it is also available on Amazon.  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 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:

Gluten-free Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls

Substitutions:

  • 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.
  • 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. 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!
  • 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.

If you are looking for great non-yeast breads to make as well, don’t miss my gluten-free sweet cornbread and gluten-free buttermilk biscuit recipes!

4.9 from 23 reviews

Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls {Gluten-free}
 
Recipe from:
Recipe type: Yeast Breads/Rolls
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. In the mixing bowl of your electric mixer, mix together flour, xanthan gum, instant yeast, sugar, and salt.
  2. With mixer running on low speed, add in the water, melted butter (or substitute), egg, and cider vinegar.
  3. Mix on high speed 3 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. Dip your fingertips into warm water and use to smooth out the tops of the rolls, continuing to wet fingers as needed.
  6. Cover with a dry towel and let rise in a warm place 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. During the last few minutes that the rolls are rising, preheat oven to 400°.
  8. Bake in 400° oven for 26-28 minutes. Tops should be golden brown and if you measure temperature of dough, it should measure 200°.
  9. Brush rolls with additional ½-1 Tablespoon of melted butter.
Notes
Please see blog post for information on egg-free and dairy-free substitutions. If you would like to use a different flour blend, please read through the reader comments below to see what flour blends have worked well for other readers! Make sure you measure the flour by weight!

Note: Some links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here. If you do decide to purchase something at Amazon after following my link, I receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, which I use to pay for web hosting and services for this blog.

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{ 124 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen February 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm

I just made these rolls with Namaste perfect flour blend (which contains Xanthan Gum) so I didn’t add any. I measured the flour according to weight.They are okay but the rolls are very dense and didn’t really rise. Has anyone else had this problem?

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Autumn April 17, 2014 at 8:38 am

To Jen – I have also used Namaste flour, my only successful recipes have been with items like gingerbread or banana bread. For some reason Namaste’s GF All-purpose blend when baked is very dense. I have tried many dinner roll recipes and cake recipes with Namaste flour and none of them have been successful. For this reason I only use Namaste when I know I am baking an item that is intended to be more dense, not light and fluffy. Try Mama’s Almond Blend, like Michelle suggests or others’ have commented success with Jules’ and King Arthur. Also, a combination of white rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, and nonfat milk powder has worked for me. Hope this helps Jen.

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Korie March 1, 2014 at 9:02 pm

I just made these using the Bob’s Red Mill flour blend and made them dairy-free and egg-free using the recommended substitutions and they turned out FANTASTIC! I could not be more pleased right now! I have been battling with gluten-free bread recipes for the past three weeks or so with not very good results. This will be a staple in our home from now on! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

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Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen March 3, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Korie,
Thank you for your comment and including your successful substitutions. I’m so glad that these turned out well for you and can be a staple in your home now!

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Jennifer Creviston March 2, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Hands down, easily the BEST gluten free rolls I’ve EVER made!

Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen March 3, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Jennifer,
Thanks for your great comment! So glad to hear that you loved them! Happy baking to you!

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Jennn March 3, 2014 at 1:47 pm

To the Jen that had them come out dense – I don’t know anything about your flour blend, but I’ve occasionally had mine come out dense with Jules’ flour (containing xanthan gum too) if I’m not careful and the dough isn’t wet enough. What was the consistency of your dough? When I make them the dough is very thin, more like a thick but stretchy batter than an actual dough – it’s wet enough that it’s tough for me to get them into the shape in the pics. You shouldn’t be able to pour it, but it should be sticky/wet enough that it’s not easy to knead or shape it either.

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Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen March 3, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Jennn,
Thanks for your tips for reader Jen. You are right on!

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Kara March 16, 2014 at 10:02 pm

If I make these with the King Arthur all purpose flour, what should I do? I’m really new to this and would love some help! Thanks!

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Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen March 17, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Kara, Other readers have had success using the King Arthur gluten-free flour blend. Just measure it out with a food scale, using the amount called for in the recipe. Make sure you have some xanthan gum as that is essential with gluten-free baking. Just follow the recipe just as written!

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John March 18, 2014 at 6:46 am

My wife is going to try this for me as we are new with cooking gluten free cooking we could use help.

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Jenny March 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm

I can’t get this mix in France and feel very very frustrated, does anyone want to post me a bag by any chance?
lol

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Michael April 7, 2014 at 9:10 am

Jenny,

Amazon must surely deliver the flour to France. I went on there and found two big bags for cheap!

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Melanie April 12, 2014 at 7:35 am

Hello Michelle, thanks for sharing this and your other recipes. These rolls are yummy and light.
To the user in France: I live in Italy and can not find the gluten free mama’s flour blend either, nor do I want to-I prefer to mix my own blends for fun as well as economical/logistical reasons. I made this recipe twice using two different blends and they both came out very well, the second even better than the first. I will use percentages instead of weights or cup measurements for accuracy-choose your preferred measurement method.
Here goes:
Trial 1: 65%superfine white rice flour+25%potato starch+10%tapioca starch. This was very good and light.
Trial 2: 60%superfine white rice flour+20% potato starch+10%tapioca starch+10%almond flour and they were remarkably lighter and a bit better (could have been another reason, but this flour combo seemed to give it a slightly better texture).
I hope this helps anyone who is without commercial mixed blends.

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Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen April 13, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Melanie,
Thank you so much for your helpful comments! It is so great of you to pass on those tips for making these rolls successfully with other flour blends. I’m so glad these turned out great for you. Hope you enjoy them many times in the future! ~Michelle

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Tammy Mascara April 15, 2014 at 9:14 am

Thank you so much for this awesome pull apart roll recipe!! I used the gluten free flour recipe from ((. Erica from a little insanity website)) I substituted with 1/2 cup of Almond flour to the mix & my rolls were tasting like real rolls. I even used your recipe & made a loaf of bread also the same way & it made great sandwich bread. I also used flax in the bread for egg replacement. I used a theometer in the bread & when it reached 207 degrees it was done!! Great recipe & I look forward to more of your recipes like for a good pizza crust!!!!!

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Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen April 15, 2014 at 10:49 am

Tammy,
Thanks so much for including your successful substitutions! I’m so glad that it worked out well for you! I’ll take note of your request for a good pizza crust! :)

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Benda April 16, 2014 at 2:45 pm

I’m new to baking gluten free. Is there a gluten free yeast? I was told yeast contains gluten.

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Smoes April 16, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Jen. Just made these with same flour you used and they turned out great. I read sometime ago NOT to add salt and yeast on top of each other as the salt will cause the yeast to prevent raising of the dough. So when I made my dough in my KA, I didn’t add the salt until I started the 3 minute process of mixing. That may have been the problem of your rolls not raising.

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