If you're looking for gluten-free dinner rolls that are fluffy, delicious, and actually remind you of the rolls you used to love, look no further! These pull-apart yeast rolls are light, soft, and airy thanks to a special gluten-free flour.
There are a few times a year that I want a really good gluten-free dinner roll. It's usually with a nice meal, particularly Thanksgiving or Easter dinner. There is just something reminiscent about splitting open a warm dinner roll and slathering it with softened butter! The problem is, when it comes to gluten-free baking, soft and flaky dinner rolls are kind of hard to come by.
It may be obvious to say, but the problem with creating a light and airy gluten-free dinner roll is the lack of gluten. Gluten is the reason regular rolls have structure and airiness, which is why gluten-free rolls are usually dense, lifeless lumps instead of soft and fluffy rolls.
Dense, lifeless rolls were my experience until I found a secret ingredient that really does help to produce the best gluten-free dinner rolls.
The Secret Ingredient: Caputo Fioreglut Gluten-free Flour
If you are familiar with my amazing gluten-free pizza dough recipe, you may already be privy to this secret. To make gluten-free yeast rolls, that actually resemble the 'regular' version, it's all in the flour you choose. There are so many gluten-free flours out there and they are not all created equal. The flour used in these rolls, Caputo Fioreglut, is quite special. It really does make a huge difference in the outcome of the recipe.
This flour comes from Italy (or Amazon, haha, wink, wink) and it is the secret to success. I went really in-depth about this flour in the pizza post, so I won't go into all the details again, but what makes this flour unique to other gluten-free flours is that it contains gluten-free wheat starch. Gluten-free wheat starch is used in some gluten-free baked goods because it enhances the texture and structure.
Some people fear using gluten-free wheat starch, but after my research, I personally do not have an issue with using this flour and I have Celiac Disease. The flour is certified gluten-free (in Italy), tests well below the 20ppm requirement, and is deemed safe for those with Celiac. Although I am not going to personally tell you what to do, this is the conclusion I have reached for myself. I feel comfortable using this product in moderation because the results this flour produces are far superior to any other flour, especially for certain recipes such as this one.
Can You Use Other Gluten-free Flours?
I'll be honest... yes and no. Yes, the recipe does work. Is it as good? No. See the image below for a side by side comparison of this roll made with Fioreglut on the left and Namaste perfect flour blend on the right. I also tested this recipe with Cup4Cup and Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 baking flour and had similar results to the namaste roll. As you can see, the roll made with Caputo Fioreglut is about twice the size of the namaste roll, which also translated to twice the airiness and twice the tenderness. The other roll was unfortunately dense and just not great.
The choice is up to you, but I do not recommend substituting other flours for this recipe. The goal of this recipe was to create a gluten-free roll that was as close to a normal roll as possible. I think the only way to do that is to use Caputo Fioreglut flour.
As you can see, the roll made with Caputo Fioreglut is almost double in size which also translated to double the airiness and lightness in texture. The rolls made with other flours didn't rise as much which meant they were much denser and not very enjoyable. The rolls made with Caputo Fioreglut could actually pass as a regular roll. The same just could not be said of the rolls made with the other flours.
I personally would not waste my already expensive ingredients just to make a lackluster dinner roll. If that were the only option, I would rather skip the roll and make something else.
On the other hand, if you are craving or miss having a really good roll, save your time, money, and effort and just make them with Caputo Fioreglut.
These rolls actually require very few ingredients... most of which (aside from the special flour) you probably already have on hand!
- Caputo Fioreglut flour: You can find this gluten-free flour most easily on amazon. I personally would not spend more than $15 for a 2.2 lb bag. So do the math based on current quantities and sizes offered.
- Yeast: This is important! Use RapidRise, Bread Machine, or Instant Rise yeast. These types of yeast can all be mixed directly into the flour and do not need to be dissolved first. If you only have regular yeast, be sure to dissolve it first in the warm milk for 5 minutes before mixing with the rest of the ingredients.
- Milk, butter & eggs: I haven't tried dairy-free or egg-free alternatives. I will update the post when I do. Please leave a comment if you have tried this recipe dairy-free or egg-free.
- Salt and sugar: Both are needed for flavor and for yeast activation, please do not omit.
How to Make Gluten-free Dinner Rolls
The fun part about gluten-free yeast bread is that it is actually quite easy to make. There aren't long proofing processes, punching down of dough, or strict dough shaping rules. It's basically just dump, mix, scoop, rise, and bake!
- First things first, whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Then blend in the wet ingredients. The key is warming the milk to 110°F so that the yeast will activate.
- After that, the dough is mixed on medium speed for 2 minutes. If you don't have a stand mixer, you could do this by hand, just bear in mind the dough is thick and sticky and your arm will get a good workout!
- After the dough is mixed, use a large cookie scoop to scoop twelve heaping ¼ cup portions into a greased 9-inch baking dish, pie plate, or similar sized pan. The pan pictured below is 10 x 6.5 inches.
Pro-tip: The key is to use a dish that doesn't have too much spare room around the rolls so that the rolls will rise upwards instead of outwards, which makes for a taller, nicer looking roll.
- After the rolls have been scooped into the pan, you can flatten any weird peaks with wet hands or a rubber spatula.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise for at least 1 hour in a warm spot, or until the rolls have doubled in size.
- At this point, it's time to bake the rolls! You can also freeze or refrigerate the rolls until baking.
- After the rolls have baked, brush them with melted butter and serve while still warm. They are definitely best when eaten fresh, so my recommendation is to bake them just ahead of mealtime. See below for make-ahead instructions.
How to Refrigerate or Freeze Rolls Before Baking
If you're making these rolls as part of your Thanksgiving, Easter, or some other big dinner, you may be wondering how to make them ahead to save some time and prep work on the day of the meal. The good news is there are some great options which means you can have a freshly baked roll virtually anytime you want!
Refrigerate: Up To One Day Ahead
You can make the rolls as above and allow them to rise until doubled in size. Keep them tightly wrapped and then store them in the fridge up to one day. Allow the rolls an hour or two to come to room temperature before baking. Then, bake according to instructions.
Freeze: More Than One Day Ahead
Make the rolls and allow them to rise. Freeze the whole pan, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.
Alternatively, freeze the rolls for 1 hour or until solid enough to handle, then break apart and place individual rolls in a freezer bag.
How To Bake Frozen Rolls
Remove frozen rolls from the freezer and allow them to thaw and come to room temperature for at least 4 hours before baking. Bake according to instructions.
Gluten-free Dinner Rolls
- 3 cups Caputo Fioreglut Gluten-free Flour Blend, other flour brands are not recommended.
- 2 ¼ teaspoons Instant, Rapid Rise, or Breadmachine Yeast
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the dry ingredients.
- Warm the butter and milk to 110-120F.
- With the mixer on low, slowly stream in the milk and butter. Then blend in the eggs.
- Continue to mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally.
- Grease a 9-inch pan, pie plate, or 10x6.5 inch pan.
- With a large cookie scoop, scoop 12 heaping ¼ cup portions of dough into the pan. Place the scoops so they are touching on the sides. Use wet hands to flatten any peaks.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap. Place the pan in a warm spot and allow the rolls to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Remove the plastic wrap and brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter.
- Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes. The rolls should be nicely golden brown when finished. (It is better to slightly overbake than underbake the rolls, so make sure they are nice and golden brown. Use a toothpick to check the centers if needed.) Brush tops with more melted butter. Serve while still warm.
Make-Ahead Instructions:Refrigerate, up to one day ahead: Prepare the rolls as directed through the rising phase. After the rolls have doubled in size, place the pan in the refrigerator for up to one day. Freeze, more than one day ahead: Prepare the rolls as directed through the rising phase. After the rolls have doubled in size, tightly wrap with plastic wrap and place the entire pan in the freezer. Alternatively, freeze the rolls for 1 hour or until solid enough to handle. Break apart into individual rolls and place them in a zip-top freezer bag. To bake frozen rolls: Remove frozen rolls from the freezer and allow them to thaw and come to room temperature for at least 4 hours before baking. Bake according to instructions.
A good roll is just one of the many great gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes I have for you!
- Have you ever made mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot? Let me tell you, it's a game-changer!
- Check out my super easy gluten-free gravy! No packets needed!
- Every gluten-free Thanksgiving needs gluten-free stuffing!
- And for dessert, check out this no-fail gluten-free pie crust!
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