When it comes to gluten-free bread, I am difficult to please. After growing up on packaged Ener-g foods bread, I now can’t stand the stuff. Pamela’s bread mix makes me shudder, Bob’s Red Mill Hearty bread mix confuses my palate, and Kinnikinnick packaged, sliced bread just doesn’t do much for me. What I like best is a soft, warm loaf of bread fresh from the oven or bread machine, baked from one of the lovely recipes in “The Gluten-free Gourmet Bakes Bread.” Or, if I want to be really decadent, I’ll make Bette Hagman’s recipe for french bread from “More From the Gluten-Free Gourmet” for a dinner party. I don’t know how she makes white rice flour and tapioca starch taste SO GOOD, but it’s amazing, and that recipe has converted more than one glutenoid to having a favorable opinion of gluten-free breads. Actually, I can’t make enough of it, as a moderate party of glutenoids tears through a loaf before I can say, “Would you like some basil dipping oil with that?” So, I have my favorite recipes well established, and although I’ve flirted with recipes by Carol Fenster or gluten-free bread recipes found online, I always end up coming back to Bette. However, I had to add one more to my favorite bread recipes of all times when I discovered Adeena’s recipe for Gluten-free dinner rolls below. This recipe was added to the SillyYaks Yahoo group files in 2005 and everyone who tried it seemed to like it, so I was inspired to try it, especially when another member suggested adding a little teff flour and making it as rolls, rather than just bread. As I mixed up the dough I started to have a good feeling- after years of GF baking you can tell when a dough is going to be nice to work with and this stuff was gloriously elastic. I pulled out a glob to make into a roll and I was thrilled with how workable and easy-to-handle the dough was. I baked it up and had lovely, hearty brown gluten-free dinner rolls to enjoy with our dinner. I’ve made them many times over the years, and even served them at a Bay Area Celiac group get-together with very positive response. I wanted to post them here, but first asked Adeena’s permission, which she kindly granted. I’d been reading about some interesting baking techniques lately, so I decided to see what would happen if I tried them out- I was hoping for a hard, crunchy exterior with the same soft, tender interior that I’d been enjoying. Happily, the ol’ ice-cubes-in-the-oven technique, combined with a higher temperature for the first few minutes, did seem to create a crunchier crust, and brushing the rolls with egg wash, while not entirely necessary, gave them an attractive, glossy sheen. [Note: I also tried brushing them with milk, but found that egg wash created the best texture. See thumbnail photo below (#3) to see difference between egg brushed and milk brushed gloss.] Onion, rosemary, gourmet salt, and fresh thyme added another dimension to this tasty recipe, but you can experiment with your favorite seasonings to come up with a customized roll. I also tried sundried tomatoes in some of the rolls, but found that I preferred them without. This really is a great bread recipe. I’ve enjoyed them so much over the years I really wanted to share them with you. So thank you, Adeena, and thank you, M, for the brilliant idea to add teff and to bake these as rolls. Who knew gluten-free baking could be so much fun?
If you try this recipe, tell me what modifications you make and how they turned out! Also, do you have a favorite GF bread or roll recipe? Tell me about it in the comments!
Jill Elise of Hey that Tastes Good made Brilliant Herbed and apricot cardamom versions using sorghum. Oh Jill, won’t you share some???
Adeenas Gluten-Free Hearty Rosemary-Thyme Dinner Roll Recipe
3 eggs – use Extra Large!
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp. salt
1 TBSP xanthan gum
1/3 cup potato starch (NOT flour)
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1/3 c. GF teff or buckwheat flour (M’s modification)
1 TBSP active dry yeast
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
For rosemary thyme variation, mix chopped fresh thyme and rosemary, and dried onion flakes with a dash of olive oil and reserve.
If desired, minced sundried tomatoes, to taste
Garnish: More fresh, chopped rosemary (or dried), fresh thyme, chopped, black or kosher/gourmet salt (large crystals are key), dried onion flakes, and anything else you feel like.
Preheat Oven to 380 degrees.* Note: I actually started these at a higher temperature, more like 450, and then turned the temperature down, in the attempt to get a crunchier crust. Try experimenting with the temperature and see what you like. I’ll be trying different things the next time I make this recipe. :)
Beat eggs in heavy duty mixer and then add oil, vinegar, and sugar, combining. Add dry ingredients. Warm milk in the microwave (or on the stove) and add to the bowl, gently folding it into the flour. Add your rosemary thyme mix. Turn on motor, let ingredients combine thoroughly then turn power to medium and leave for 4 minutes while it stirs. If you want sun dried tomatoes, add for the last minute or so of mixing.
Spray baking pan (cookie sheet type) with nonstick cooking spray and/or line with parchment paper.
Flour your hands with gluten free rice flour and grab a ball of dough from the mixing bowl. Gently shape it into a roll. Place it on the prepared cookie sheet. Make another roll, continuing until all dough has been used for rolls. (This part is fun!)
Brush with whisked egg. Sprinkle with garnish (fresh herbs, salt, onion), poppy seeds or sesame seeds if desired.
Let it rise in a warm place until doubled.(*edited)
Five minutes before you put the rolls in the oven, put ice cubes (in a pan) in the bottom rack of your oven and let them evaporate into steam. Open oven, put in your rack of rolls and let bake for 20-25 minutes. (Halfway through baking time, you may wish to turn over your rolls for even browning.)
Alternatively, place a pan w/ 1/4 to 1/2 inch of boiling water on the lowest rack in the oven 5 minutes before you put the bread in and leave in there until bread is done.
These two baking methods should result in a crunchier outer crust.