Who says we can’t have the softest gluten free rolls ever? Not me…anymore!! These rolls will blow your mind and make you question whether you’re actually eating the real deal. Soft, fluffy, buttery–what more could we ask for in a gluten free roll?
I have been working on this bread dough for YEARS!!!!!! I have wanted this dough forever–a dough that I could make great gluten free rolls with, like hamburger buns or hot dog buns, sub rolls (hoagie rolls) or whatever shape I’d like to make them into! But NOT a sweet roll dough.
I created a great gf sweet dough when I made my gluten free cinnamon rolls, which also makes wonderful gluten free Hawaiian rolls. But when I was trying to make some rolls that weren’t quite so sweet, I constantly failed. I could never get away from the sugar. Every time I’d reduce the sugar, they just never came together. They were either too dense, too hard, too sour tasting, too cardboard like. NOTHING like what I wanted. But a week ago I FINALLY nailed it, and after I stopped jumping up and down with excitement, haha, I got busy trying to get it on the blog. And here we are!!
WHAT’S THE MAGIC THAT MAKES THESE ROLLS SO SOFT?
If you’re a baker, you’ve probably at one point or another heard of Japanese milk bread. If you haven’t, Japanese milk bread is one of the softest breads ever. I made it once before my diagnosis (BC) and it was OUT OF THIS WORLD! And I’m not really sure why the heck I didn’t try it gluten free until now, but I have tried other gluten free milk bread recipes, and although they are softer than some, they aren’t as soft as they should be. And I am not going to make a gluten free bread that doesn’t live up to the hype. Why waste time and ingredients?
Japanese milk bread starts with what’s called a tangzhong, which is when a small amount of the flour from the bread is cooked with a small amount of liquid (milk or water, or both) and creates somewhat of a thick slurry. This slurry pre-gelatinizes the starches in the flour, which means they can absorb more liquid. It’s able to hold onto that extra liquid throughout the entire bread making process, which helps this bread in a couple of ways:
- The dough is less sticky and easier to knead and work with.
- The rolls may rise higher due to the increased liquid causing more steam.
- Because the bread retains more liquid while baking, it’s able to stay soft and fresh longer.
I’m still learning how to create videos so bear with me, but for now I had to show you how soft these rolls are so I took a video on my phone. Check it out!!!!
Don’t you want that roll right now? I’ve never had a gluten free roll that soft, other than my own gluten free sweet rolls. I think these might even be softer (if that’s possible)!!! What I love so much about them is they’re not “bready.” I’m not quite sure how to explain what I mean other than if you’ve ever had a Walmart brand (Sam’s) gluten free hot dog bun, you know what I’m talking about. It’s pretty soft, but there is just SO MUCH BREAD!!! You almost have to take half the bread off the bun in order to eat a regular hot dog. These are light, not too “bready” and soft as can be!!
I used a silicone baking mold that I got from my Lidl several months ago. If you have a Lidl anywhere near you, you know they never have the same stuff. Otherwise, I’d say run to your Lidl and get one. As an alternative, you could use this one I found on Amazon. Or you can just put your rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Run, don’t walk to your kitchen and start making the dough for the softest gluten free rolls ever! You can thank me later 😉
The Softest Gluten Free Rolls Ever
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup (35 g) Kim’s gluten free bread flour blend
- 2 1/2 cups (350 g) Kim’s gluten free bread flour blend
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp instant or fast acting yeast
- 2 tbsp nonfat dry milk powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup (250ml) whole milk
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/4 cup (56 g) butter, very soft
FOR BRUSHING ONTO ROLLS
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
FOR THE TANGZHONG
- In small saucepan, add milk, water, and flour and whisk to combine. Continue whisking over medium low heat until mixture starts to very thick and paste-like. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
FOR THE DOUGH
- In bowl of stand mixer, add flour, sugar, yeast, dry milk, and salt. Whisk to combine. In separate small bowl or measuring cup, combine milk and egg. With mixer running on low speed with dough hook attached, slowly add milk and egg mixture, followed by cooled tangzhong. Increase speed to medium and mix until cohesive dough forms. While mixer is running, add butter, one tablespoon at a time. Mix on medium for about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove hook from mixing bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place in warm, draft-free space and allow to proof until doubled, about 2 hours. Refrigerate dough for at least 4-6 hours, overnight if possible.
- When ready to make rolls, remove dough from refrigerator and dump onto well-floured surface. Knead until smooth, adding additional flour as needed to create a smooth, less sticky dough.
- Divide dough into portions.
FOR HAMBURGER ROLLS:
- Divide into about 2-ounce pieces. Flatten each piece slightly and pull in the dough from the sides to create a taut dough. Pinch the dough together and turn over to where the pinched dough is on the bottom. Put ball of dough on smooth surface that isn’t floured (the flour will cause the dough to slide around). Put your hand over the dough with the outer edge of your palm and your fingers creating a “cage” over the roll. Move your hand in a counter clockwise direction, pushing the dough around inside the “cage” until the roll is nice and round. If it sticks a little, that’s okay. Just use your bench scraper to lift it up and put it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the rolls.
- Cover rolls with plastic wrap and place in warm, draft-free area to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to an hour. Before baking, brush rolls with melted butter. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting open.
FOR HOT DOG BUNS:
- Divide dough into about 2-ounce pieces and roll into ropes about 6-7 inches long. Place onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover rolls with plastic wrap and place in warm, draft-free area to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to an hour. Before baking, brush rolls with melted butter. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting open.