What’s a Thanksgiving dinner without a basket of soft, fluffy dinner rolls? These gluten free Hawaiian rolls will satisfy your cravings for those buttery rolls we’ve all been missing. I dare anyone to believe they’re gluten free!
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It’s so funny how we seem to miss something more when it’s gone. Am I right? This theory really held true when I found out I had Celiac. At Thanksgiving, I’d always fill up on the turkey and all the other sides and would never have room for a roll. All of a sudden, though, when rolls are taken away from me, I found myself really craving rolls! And good rolls, too, not little balls of weirdly textured crap. Who’s with me????
TOOLS FOR MAKING GLUTEN FREE BREAD
Every time I begin making gluten free bread of any kind, I gather all my tools that I love to use and would be lost without. You don’t have to use these tools, but they will definitely make your gluten free bread baking experience so much easier!
- Cambro 8-quart Round Containers with Lids — these containers are perfect for all my baking needs. They fit at least 20 cups each of my flour blends. You may only need a 4-quart or 6-quart, but I like being able to make (and store) a LOT of my flour blends at once.
- A small bowl or container with a lid — I keep this filled with extra gluten free bread flour blend as my “bench” flour, to be sprinkled liberally on the counter as needed.
- Kitchenaid Stand Mixer — I don’t know what I’d do without my Kitchenaid. I use it almost daily, but especially when I make gluten free bread. It’s nearly impossible to knead gluten free bread dough by hand and the power of a Kitchenaid mixer is hard to duplicate. It’s an investment, but in my opinion it’s well worth it.
- Bench Scraper — another tool I couldn’t live without, a bench scraper makes gluten free bread making so much easier. Bench scrapers lift and scrape the dough off the counter if it sticks, and is also useful in moving flour out of the way.
- Flexible Dough Scraper — his flexible plastic scraper is one of my essential tools for making gluten free bread. I use it to scrape the dough into one cohesive mass after it’s finished mixing, and also for removing the dough from the bowl and dumping it onto the counter. I’ve taken many classes about baking bread and this is what all the pros use.
- Food Scale — if you haven’t bought a scale by this point, you really should. They’re great because you can weigh everything right in the bowl and don’t need to break out extra measuring cups. Plus, they’re so much more accurate than measuring by volume, not mention they’re super cheap!
SEPARATING AND WEIGHING THE ROLLS
If you’ve been around the blog a while, you might have tried my ultimate gluten free cinnamon rolls. If not, you really should because they’re AMAZING! That very same dough is what I use for these Hawaiian rolls. It’s such a versatile dough and is so easy to work with!
After making the dough and allowing it to chill in the fridge for a while, divide it into small portions, about 1.5-2 ounces (about 56 grams) each. Weighing them will ensure equal size for each roll, which also ensures even baking.
ROLLING THE DOUGH INTO BALLS
I learned how to roll dough into smooth, tight balls for individual rolls from a class I took on Craftsy by the master of bread baking, Peter Reinhart. It works very similarly with this gluten free dough as it does with wheat dough.
Cup your hand into a “C” shape around the dough with the outside of your hand (closest to your pinky) always in contact with the counter. Only using a tiny sprinkling of flour so the roll doesn’t completely stick to the counter (you want some friction), roll into balls in a counterclockwise motion. If you’re left-handed it would be clockwise. Once it’s in a smooth ball, place it in a baking pan. If it’s slightly stuck to the surface, use your bench scraper to release it.
Once you’ve formed all of your rolls, let them rise in a warm, draft-free area, until doubled in size, about an hour or two, depending on the temperature of your proofing area.
BAKING THE ROLLS
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the rolls have finished rising, brush them ever so gently (so as not to deflate them) with melted butter. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and they spring back when lightly touched.
The texture and flavor of these rolls is so SPOT ON like the well-known Hawaiian rolls everyone loves. Soft and squishy, just like real gluten-filled rolls, with a sweeter side. I use them for anything and everything–dinner rolls of course, slider buns, party sandwiches–you name it!!!
MAKING THE ROLLS AHEAD OF TIME
You can make this sweet dough ahead and keep it in the fridge for 3 days. OR you can shape and freeze the rolls prior to baking. Shape the dough into rolls and place them in the baking pan. Cover with two layers of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of heavy-duty foil. Freeze for up to one month.
The day before baking, take them out of the freezer and put them in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Remove from the fridge and allow time for their final rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in volume. Bake as instructed. These are great for make-ahead Thanksgiving rolls!!
You can also freeze already baked rolls. Bake them as instructed, allow to cool completely, and wrap as above. To thaw, leave them sit on counter, still wrapped. When ready to serve, cover with foil and place in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Or to reheat individually, wrap in slightly damp paper towel and place in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
Bake up a batch of these gluten free Hawaiian rolls for YOUR Thanksgiving bread basket. You won’t miss the store bought ones and no one will ever know they’re gluten free!
Gluten Free Hawaiian Rolls
GLUTEN FREE SWEET DOUGH
- 3½ cups (495 g) Kim's gluten free bread flour blend (for dairy free use pea protein, coconut protein, soy protein, or other whey protein alternative)
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1¾ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp plus 1½ tsp (24 g) instant (bread machine or fast acting) yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1¼ cups (300 ml) milk (for dairy free use almond, coconut, or other dairy free milk alternative)
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks or 169 g) butter, softened or melted (for dairy free use coconut oil or dairy-free butter alternative)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- melted butter for brushing (about 2 tbsp)
- Blend all dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer using a handheld whisk. With the paddle attachment OR the dough hook, begin mixing on low speed and slowly pour milk into dry ingredients, followed by lightly beaten eggs. Add softened or melted butter, a little at a time, until all is incorporated.
- Increase speed to medium high and beat for about 5 minutes (set a timer and walk away).
- Remove dough hook or paddle attachment and scrape dough into a rough ball in center of bowl (or dump into another bowl). Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free area until doubled or tripled in volume, roughly 2 hours.
- Place bowl in refrigerator and allow dough to chill for at least 6 hours, or up to 3 days.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and knead briefly on very well floured surface, just to create a cohesive, smooth ball. At this point, either divide the dough in half and wrap the other half in plastic wrap for another use, or use the entire batch of dough to make two pans of rolls or larger rolls.
- Divide dough into small portions (each portion should weigh about 1.5-2 ounces each) and roll each into a ball. Place into greased or buttered baking dish (9 by 13-inch).
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm, draft-free area for about an hour, or until doubled in size. Depending on temperature, it could take longer than an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- When rolls have fully risen, brush with melted butter and bake for 22-25 minutes or until rolls are golden brown and spring back when lightly touched. Brush again with the rest of the melted butter.
- It’s always best to weigh ingredients over measuring them in volume because you may get different results by volume.
- To freeze unbaked rolls, form balls and place in pan. Wrap in double layer of plastic wrap followed by heavy-duty foil. Freeze for up to one month. Thaw in fridge overnight before proceeding with the final rise and baking.
- To make garlic butter cheese rolls, to melted butter add 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese. Brush over rolls after baking.
- Make sweet/salty rolls by sprinkling with flake salt after brushing with butter when they come out of the oven. The salt helps balance the sweetness and is really a favorite of ours.
This post was originally created on November 18, 2018 and has been updated with new pictures, new tips and tricks, and a video.