The fluffiest, softest, white gluten free bread rolls. They’re easy to make and can be ready in less than 2 hours (including proof time). They stay fresh enough to eat without toasting or reheating for about 3 days and can be made dairy free too!
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The FLUFFIEST White Gluten Free Bread Rolls
If you’re still searching for the ultimate recipe for white Gluten Free Bread Rolls, look no further. And if you think you found it before now, hold that thought! Because these may just be the gluten free bread rolls of your dreams.
They’re light, soft and fluffy of crumb, encased in a delightful, gently chewy crust. AND they stay fresh enough to eat without toasting OR reheating for about 3 days. Of course, like any homemade bread (gluten free or otherwise), they won’t be quite as fresh as they were straight from the oven, but they are soft and delicious and won’t fall apart! Even on day 3, they are still way better than anything you’ll find in the shops. Plus, I’ve tested them toasted (and gently warmed) beyond this and they are absolutely superb. However you eat them, I just know these gluten free rolls will bring happiness with every bite.
Why you need to make this recipe
Search Google and you’ll find a plethora of recipes for gluten free bread rolls. So why make this one?
First and most important… The recipe I share with you here has the best texture of ANY gluten free white bread roll I’ve ever tasted. But while I couldn’t tell they were gluten free, my Coeliac palate needed checking. So I gave them to some unknowing wheat-eaters. They didn’t have a clue! And were shocked when I told them.
To be honest, that’s probably the only reason you need… But for anyone who wants extra convincing, these rolls:
- Can be made from start to finish in under two hours (including proof time).
- The dough can be shaped to make the most incredible artisan dinner rolls. (There’s no wallpaper paste dough here, so be as creative as you like).
- They are wheat-free. Yep… No ‘Caputo’ flour either!
- Can be made dairy free as well as gluten free.
- Have a fantastic shelf life.
- Don’t have the horrible ‘glow-white’ hue or grainy, crumbly texture common to many gluten free white breads.
- Only need one proof.
What flour blend is used to make these gluten free bread rolls?
These gluten free bread rolls are made using a variation of my recipe for White Sandwich Bread. I spent many months developing that recipe, so it seemed only right to tweak its wisdom to make a hand-held alternative. Thus, other than a couple of minor changes for hydration and shaping reasons, this recipe is comparable.
With that in mind, the flour used to make them is a bespoke, home-mixed blend. I make no apology… If you want incredible gluten free bread, you have to think outside of the box. A standard bag of Doves, Cup for Cup or even Mulino Caputo Fioreglut will NOT give the results. Sure they make (mostly) edible white bread rolls, but if like me you want something altogether better and more genuinely bread, then you’ll understand the need to take the additional 10 minutes required to mix at home. It’s not difficult and once you’ve done it once or twice, it becomes the most normal thing in the world!
The flours in the blend
If you’re still reading this post, I guess you’re a genuine bread lover like me. So… The flours you need to make my White Gluten Free Bread Rolls are:
- Brown Rice Flour (fine)
- Mochiko Flour (also known as sticky rice flour/sweet rice flour/glutinous rice flour)
- Potato Starch (NOT potato flour)
- Tapioca Starch
- Sorghum Flour (or alternatively buckwheat flour or millet flour)
Together, these provide the perfect balance of starch and protein to ensure both the structure and texture you crave. I buy most of my gluten free flours from Shipton Mill (in the UK). However, they don’t currently sell either Mochiko Flour (I use this brand although it’s MUCH cheaper if you buy it in a local Asian store) or psyllium husk (which is also needed for the recipe).
To understand a little more about gluten free flours and flour blending, head over to my page What is Gluten Free Flour?
Can I make these Gluten Free Bread Rolls without Psyllium Husk?
No. The psyllium husk is crucial to the structure, hydration and texture of the bread rolls. The recipe cannot be made without it.
The psyllium I use is rough ground (which I grind from whole husks in bulk at home and keep ready in the cupboard). I don’t recommend using psyllium powder as its fineness will impact the texture and hydration of the dough. If you have whole husks, they can be whizzed in the blender for a few seconds to break the outer ‘shell’ to enable more effective liquid absorption.
Does the recipe contain xanthan gum?
Yes, but it’s not crucial. I add a little xanthan gum to the mix to bring extra fluffiness to the rolls. However, if you are unable to tolerate it, then you can leave it out without catastrophic impact! The recipe is otherwise corn-free.
Can I make gluten free bread rolls that are also dairy free?
Yes. To make gluten free bread rolls that are also dairy free, simply substitute the milk powder and butter for good dairy free alternatives.
I’ve tested my bread recipes using coconut milk powder. But other options will also work well. If you can’t find milk powder, then switch at least half of the water used in the recipe for milk.
As regards the butter switch… In the UK, I recommend either Flora Baking Block or Stork Baking Block. But the most important thing is to use a dairy free ‘butter’ that is creamy so it adds richness and flavour.
Can I make the rolls vegan and egg free?
The recipe shared at the bottom is not vegan as it contains egg white. I have not tested the recipe using any alternatives. However, it may work with a switch of egg white for aquafaba (lightly whisked into the liquid mix). Given that the rolls are much lighter than a large loaf, aquafaba would be my sub of choice. I do NOT recommend using chia eggs, as these create density and heaviness to the crumb. Flax may be an option but will need some experimentation.
Let me know how you get on with a comment if you try these options (or any others).
If you are vegan (rather than egg-intolerant) you also need to switch the honey for maple syrup or an alternative yeast-activating sugar.
Tips for making my White Gluten Free Bread Rolls
Making these Gluten Free Bread Rolls is pretty straightforward. Just bear in mind that the dough is not like many gluten free bread ‘batters’ you may have tried before. While it will still be sticky to the touch, it holds its shape well and is both gently kneadable and mouldable.
I have made a ‘speedy’ video to show you just how easy they are. You can see it here:
Tips for making the dough
- Follow the recipe exactly as written. Please! Most recipe ‘failures’ are the result of changing ingredients and/or method.
- Weigh the ingredients accurately and preferably in grams. I use a digital scale that has a micro-measure option for small weights such as yeast and salt.
- Make sure the yeast is still alive by activating it separately as instructed.
- Hydrate the dough properly. This is a TWO-stage process: a) when the psyllium husk is added and b) after the flour is added.
- Add the flour a little at a time and mix well between each addition. This ensures an even texture and hydration.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure ALL the dry ingredients are properly incorporated.
- Use a hand mixer or stand mixer with a DOUGH HOOK. Although it’s possible to mix it with a spoon, when I tried it, the final bread was more dense and not as good. This is thick dough which needs a LOT of mixing for proper hydration.
Shaping the dough into rolls
- Even if the dough feels tacky, do NOT add extra flour when shaping. Instead, lightly oil your hands to prevent sticking.
- Even better… Wear some lightly oiled food-safe vinyl gloves. They are a complete godsend when it comes to working gluten free doughs. I buy mine from either Sainsbury’s or Amazon.
- The dough is easy enough to twist, roll and plait, but won’t have the same ‘elasticity’ as a wheat dough. For this reason, mould it. Don’t ‘pull’ it into shape.
- For more tips and photos on shaping gluten free bread rolls, check out my post for Wholemeal Artisan Gluten Free Rolls.
- Transfer the shaped rolls to a lined baking tray with space between them so they can rise freely.
Proofing and baking gluten free white bread rolls
- Proof the rolls in the same way as ‘normal’ bread… In a warm place, unrestricted.
- The rolls take 25 to 40 minutes to rise dependent on the warmth of the room. They should be proofed until they are about 1½ times their original size. The rest of the ‘lift’ comes from ‘oven-spring’.
- Bake with a little steam. This gives the dough a final boost. Steam can be added through a drop of water in a hot oven-proof dish placed at the bottom of the oven. OR via a single steam injection (for ovens that offer the option) at the start of baking.
- Stagger the shaping and baking to avoid over-proofing. The recipe makes about 20 rolls… This is great (as they are so delicious and lasting)… But it also means there might be a risk of over-proofing if they can’t all be placed in the oven at once (or if it takes longer than you expect to shape them). It’s not an issue as long as you time each ‘batch’ for proofing and baking in succession.
How will I know when the bread rolls are ready?
These bread rolls should be done and ready after baking for 20 to 25 minutes. They are baked when they are golden brown and very light to pick up. However, to be sure, it may help to test the internal temperature of one or two. Use a spiked probe digital thermometer to do this. The temperature should be around 99.7 to 100 C (212 F).
Once the rolls are baked, they are best left to cool completely before eating. If you snaffle one before then, it will still be delicious, but may be a little stickier as the cooling supports the final necessary ‘drying’ stage.
How to store these gluten free bread rolls
As mentioned at the outset, my white bread rolls stay soft enough to eat without heating or toasting for about 3 days. To give them the best shelf life, store in a close-wrapped airtight bag at room temperature.
Once they are past their best, they can be either warmed for a few seconds in the microwave (which gives them a completely new lease of life) or split and toasted (which I can confirm is delicious!).
Can they be frozen?
Yes. Simply freeze the rolls on the day of baking (once cold) in an airtight bag or container. Freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, defrost and gently warm as preferred.
Ready to make White Gluten Free Bread Rolls?
Hopefully, that’s all you need to know to make my recipe for Gluten Free Bread Rolls (which you can find just below). If you have any other questions, leave a comment, contact me by email or send me a message on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest). I hope you love them.
For all my other bread recipes, did you know we have an easy-to-browse dedicated Gluten Free Bread index? And for everything else, the main Gluten Free Recipe Index is your FREE online recipe book packed with inspiration and foodie joy.
All shared with my love
** © 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist.**
Gluten Free White Bread Rolls
- oven-proof dish
- 50 g Mochiko Flour sticky rice flour/glutinous rice flour/sweet rice flour/Asian rice flour (NOT standard white rice flour)
- 70 g brown rice flour (fine milled)
- 80 g potato starch
- 180 g tapioca starch
- 150 g sorghum flour (or buckwheat/millet if sorghum is unavailable)
- 2 tsp xanthan gum (leave out if can't be tolerated)
- 10 g fine sea salt
- 24 g milk powder = 3 tbsp (dairy free as required) – See NOTES
Psyllium – weigh separately
- 30 g psyllium husk (rough ground – NOT powder)
- 7 g dry active yeast (the type that requires separate activation)
- 24 g runny honey (or maple syrup)
- 440 g hand-warm water at between 38 and 39 C (100 to 102 F)
- 120 g egg white (egg white from a carton is fine)
- 1½ tsp cider vinegar
- 36 g butter – softened (dairy free as required)
Egg Wash and Seeded Top
- egg wash made from a little egg and a little milk beaten together
- sesame/nigella/poppy/other seeds to decorate (optional)
- Prepare a couple of large baking trays by base-lining with baking paper.
- Weigh and mix together the Dry Mix (flours, xanthan gum, salt and milk powder) and set aside. Tip: Weigh into a large airtight container and shake vigorously.
- Weigh the psyllium husk into a separate bowl and set aside.
To activate the Yeast
- Weigh the yeast, honey and hand-warm water into a large mixing bowl (the one that will be used for making the bread dough).
- Lightly whisk together (by hand) to blend and dissolve the yeast.
- Set aside in a warm place to activate for about 10 minutes. Re-whisk after a couple of minutes to ensure the yeast has fully dissolved. If the room is cold, it may help to place the bowl over another bowl containing a little steaming water, so that the steam gently heats the liquid and supports activation.
- Activated yeast will show an increase in bubbles or light frothing on top of the liquid. If it does not activate, the yeast may be too old or the water that was added too hot and thus, the yeast has died and will not work. In which case, throw away and start again)
Adding the liquid and psyllium hydration
- Once the yeast has activated, add the egg white and vinegar and lightly whisk again to combine.
- Add the psyllium husk and beat through with a mixing spoon until any lumps have broken down into an even paste.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and set aside to hydrate for a full 10 minutes. Do NOT skip the hydration.
Adding the butter and dry ingredients
- Once the psyllium has hydrated, add the softened butter to the mix and beat through with a firm wooden/silicone spoon (or dough hook) until it has completely blended into the gel.
- Finally add the dry flour mix, a little at a time (to avoid it clumping and to support equal hydration), beating through with an electric hand or stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Start on a slow setting with each addition, gradually increasing the power until blended before adding more.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl intermittently (and also scrape to the bottom of the bowl) to incorporate any missed flour and ensure all the dry ingredients are fully blended.
- Once all the flour has been added and the mixture is even with no powder left, set aside to hydrate for a further 10 to 15 minutes.
Shape the dough
- Once the dough has been left to hydrate, give a final beating with the dough hook until smooth and even. The dough will be very thick, but still sticky.
- Using lightly oiled hands (or preferably wearing lightly oiled food-grade vinyl gloves), take the dough from the bowl and gently ‘knead’ from hand to hand until smooth. (If easier, knead on a work surface that has been lightly smeared with a drop of olive oil).
- Next, break off and shape pieces of the dough into rolls. The size will be dependent on the shapes made, but a single round dough roll should be about the size of a smallish tangerine. Do NOT add any additional flour when shaping, but ensure hands are lightly oiled as necessary.
Proofing the dough
- Arrange the dough rolls on the baking trays with space around them to proof and grow and set the tray(s) aside in a warm place for about 25 to 40 minutes or until they are about 1½ times their original size (the time is variable depending on the warmth of the room). See NOTES
- While the rolls are proofing, pre-heat the oven to 200 C (400 F). Place an oven-proof dish (for water) in the bottom to heat with the oven (or prepare the oven steam function for a single manual injection).
- Boil a kettle (for the oven water dish).
- Once the rolls are ready to bake, gently egg-wash the top of each using a pastry brush and sprinkle seeds over (if using).
- Just before placing the rolls in the oven to bake, carefully pour approx 100 ml/g (and no more) boiling water into the dish at the bottom of the oven. (If adding an oven manual steam injection, do this as soon as the rolls are in).
Baking the bread rolls
- Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown, light in weight and with a hollow sound when tapped underneath. If unsure whether they are done, the internal temperature should measure around 99.7 to 100 C (212 F)
- Transfer the rolls to a wire rack to cool COMPLETELY before cutting and eating.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist