Bread rolls are not something I would ordinarily think to make but they are also incredibly difficult to find gluten-free and vegan. The amount of times I’ve wrapped my burgers in large lettuce leaves while my partner happily chops away at a soft burger bun makes me shudder.
Something needed to be done! And so this recipe for pillowy-soft gluten-free bread rolls was born. They are great for sandwiches, make excellent burger buns or divide the dough into 12 instead of 8 for dinner rolls.
These rolls came out of the oven feeling so soft I was convinced the recipe hadn’t worked. I envisioned a sad doughy roll mostly made up of air pockets but when I cut into them, they were each perfectly formed with incredible structure!
Hate scrolling through reams of text before you get to the recipe? Me too! I’ve included all the recipe notes at the bottom of the page with the hope of improving your experience here at blue border. Everything you need to know about these gluten-free bread rolls is there, including answers to your questions and ingredient/substitution suggestions. If you find this useful I’d love your support on Instagram, click here to follow.
- 10g quick yeast
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 575g lukewarm water, divided
- 20g psyllium husk
- 12g ground flaxseed or ground chia seed
- 175g potato starch
- 80g tapioca starch
- 75g white rice flour
- 95g sorghum flour
- 80g buckwheat flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus a little extra for brushing
- 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds/poppy seeds/onion seeds, optional
In a medium bowl, combine half the water with yeast and sugar. Mix well and set to one side. After 10 minutes, the yeast should be frothy and bubbly (if the yeast has not bubbled, it may be expired and need replacing).
Use a whisk to combine the psyllium and ground flaxseed with the remaining water. Mix until it has started to thicken (it will have the consistency of jelly) and set aside.
Into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, sift the potato starch, tapioca starch, white rice flour, sorghum flour, buckwheat flour and salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the yeast mixture, psyllium mixture and olive oil. Use a wooden spoon (or fit your stand mixer with a dough hook) and mix until well combined, 3mins approx. The dough will be very soft and sticky.
Use wet hands to gather the dough into a ball and drizzle with a little olive oil to coat. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and keep it in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 220C and line 1- 2 large oven trays with parchment paper. Divide the dough into eight pieces and generously dust a clean surface with flour. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and transfer to the baking trays. Brush each dough ball with a little olive oil and sprinkle with seeds if using. Cover the dough and allow them to rise for another 20mins.
Bake the rolls for 20mins and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow the rolls to cool completely before slicing.
Gluten-free bread goes stale fast, if you don’t plan on eating all of these within 24hrs of baking I recommend freezing them.
NOTES: Soft Gluten-free Bread Rolls
I appreciate it’s annoying to have to track down five different flours for one recipe but if you’re planning on doing any gluten-free baking mixing your own flours is the key to success.
I wanted these gluten-free bread rolls to be light and soft and so I opted for 35% heavier protein-rich flours (sorghum and buckwheat) and made up the rest with medium (white rice) and starchy flours (tapioca and potato).
In the UK I order my flours from Shipton Mill. They have an incredible range of gluten-free flours and you can get them all in one go.
If you choose to use a pre-mixed flour or a different combination of flours (in which case I can’t guarantee the recipe will work!) you may need to adjust the water content slightly. If your dough feels at all dry after mixing, add 1 – 2 tablespoons of additional water until you achieve a sticky dough (similar to that of a well-hydrated sourdough dough). If your dough is falling apart when handing dust generously with flour and fold it into the dough until the dough is easy to form into balls.
Psyllium husk powder
Psyllium husk is a type of dietary fibre. In gluten-free yeasted doughs, psyllium is used as a binder and in this recipe, it’s an excellent replacement for gluten, eggs and dairy. I see a lot of recipes insist on psyllium husk powder over the psyllium husks but I haven’t noticed a massive difference when switching between the two.
In this recipe, ground flaxseed is working with psyllium to replicate gluten. Gluten-free bread doughs can tend to lack stretch and hardly ever double in size. The combination of flax and psyllium gives this bread roll dough enough structure to double in size.
Recipe Questions & Troubleshooting
Why didn’t my dough rise?
If your dough didn’t rise your yeast may be expired and need to be replaced or your dough was too dry after mixing. Gluten-free doughs need a lot of liquid and if you don’t add enough the dough will struggle to rise (see the note about flour).
Why is the dough so sticky?
This recipe has a high proportion of water which makes a very sticky dough. The flour will absorb the majority of the moisture during proving (rising) and the dough should be much easier to handle once it’s risen.
The dough will be very soft but you should be able to shape it into balls easily. If you are struggling to shape the dough, dust generously with buckwheat flour and try again.
Do I have to add the psyllium and flaxseed?
Yes, you won’t get the same rise or texture without them. Most gluten-free dough recipes call for eggs, dairy or whey powder. The combination of psyllium and flax means you can make this dough completely allergen friendly.
Is this gluten-free bread roll recipe allergen-friendly and suitable for coeliacs?
Yes, this recipe is nut-free, soy-free, egg-free and dairy-free and is suitable for coeliacs. If you’re not working in a gluten-free kitchen and you’re making this recipe for someone with coeliacs disease just make sure there is no cross-contamination with any gluten-containing ingredients.
How do you store the rolls?
As soft as these gluten-free bread rolls are gluten-free bread always goes stale fast! As soon as the rolls are cooled, transfer them to an airtight container. If you don’t plan on eating them within 24hrs of baking I recommend freezing them.