These are the softest, fluffiest and just the overall best gluten free dinner rolls you’ll ever taste. They’re seriously incredible, and they’re also super quick and easy to make. They’re ready in less than two hours (and that includes the proofing time) and the dough is a breeze to make. You can also prep them ahead of time, and they keep well for up to 2-3 days!
These are THE BEST gluten free dinner rolls you’ll ever make. And yes, I know that I’m incredibly biased – but it’s also 1000% true. They’re just so ridiculously soft that I still can’t quite believe that they’re actually real.
They have the most perfect texture: pillowy-soft and fluffy, with only the very tiniest hint of chewiness. The crust is soft and golden, just like with “regular” dinner rolls made from wheat flour. And they’re deliciously buttery with just the right balance of sweetness and saltiness.
And what’s even better: they’re incredibly quick and easy to make!! The whole process takes less than two hours start to finish (and yes, that includes the proofing time) and making the dough is as easy as dumping all the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and letting it do its thing for about 10 minutes. Then, you just need to shape, proof and bake the rolls – all incredibly straightforward and pretty much fail-proof.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can also prep the rolls ahead of time, keep them in the fridge overnight and then bake them the next day, so that you can serve them fresh and warm, straight from the oven. (More on that below!)
And yes – unlike many other gluten free bread recipes, you don’t need to wait for these to cool completely before serving!! The crumb is perfectly light and fluffy even when hot, no gumminess or unpleasant doughiness in sight.
So, if you’ve been missing dinner rolls because you can’t eat gluten, the wait is finally over. And let me tell you: one of these gluten free dinner rolls, still warm from the oven, with a bit of salted butter slathered on it has to be one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. And I simply can’t wait for you to try them for yourself!
Before we get to the bits and bobs of making these pillowy-soft dinner rolls – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.
How to make THE BEST gluten free dinner rolls
Making your own homemade gluten free dinner rolls is actually incredibly easy! Plus, the whole process takes less than two hours – you’ll need about 30 minutes to make and shape the rolls, 1 hour to proof them and 20 minutes to bake them to golden, pillowy-soft perfection.
I recommend making the dough with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. The mixer makes the process much easier *and* the final dough will be much smoother. However, if you don’t have a stand mixer (or you don’t feel like using it for whatever reason), you can also make the dough by hand. Just make sure to knead it thoroughly until smooth.
In fact, it’s best to knead the dough for an additional 5 minutes with the stand mixer (or about 8-10 minutes by hand) even after all the ingredients have been thoroughly incorporated. This will make the dough EXTRA smooth, which is the key to dinner rolls with a nicely smooth, rounded surface without any cragginess – like in the photo below.
Ingredients for homemade gluten free dinner rolls
- Active dried yeast. This contributes a wonderful flavour and makes the rolls perfectly pillowy-soft. When using active dried yeast, you’ll need to first activate it in a bit of warm milk – this also tells you whether or not your yeast is active. If you don’t see any bubbles or frothing appearing on top of the milk-yeast mixture after about 5-10 minutes, then your yeast isn’t active and you need to use a new batch of yeast. (If you want to use instant yeast instead, check out the substitutions section and the recipe below.)
- Sugar. You can use either caster/superfine or granulated sugar for this recipe. The sugar gives the yeast something to feed on, which in turn makes the yeast more active and the finished rolls even fluffier. It also helps to achieve the perfect balance between sweetness and saltiness that’s so characteristic of a good dinner roll.
- Warm whole milk. You’ll use this milk to activate the yeast, that’s why it’s important that it’s either warm or lukewarm.
- Psyllium husk. This acts as a gluten substitute and it’s what gives the final baked rolls their pillowy-soft and slightly chewy texture. Without psyllium husk, you won’t get a dough that you can actually handle and shape, and the rolls won’t proof properly. You can’t substitute the psyllium husk with another ingredient. This recipe uses WHOLE psyllium husk, but you can also use psyllium husk powder – if you use the powder form, use only 85% of the amount listed in the recipe below. You can read more about the role of psyllium husk in gluten free baking here!
- Warm water. You’ll use the water to make a psyllium gel: just mix the psyllium husk and water together until evenly combined. The mixture will form a gel within 15-30 seconds.
- Tapioca starch. (For substitution options, check out the substitutions section or the recipe below.)
- Millet flour. (For substitution options, check out the substitutions section or the recipe below.)
- Sorghum flour. (For substitution options, check out the substitutions section or the recipe below.)
- Xanthan gum. This also acts as a gluten replacement. In enriched dough recipes, such as cinnamon rolls, doughnuts or dinner rolls, I like to use a mixture of psyllium husk and xanthan gum (unlike with artisan loaves, where you can use only psyllium husk). Using a mixture of both binders gives a softer, more delicate crumb. In comparison, using psyllium husk only would give a more robust, hearty, chewier crumb. You can read more about the role of xanthan gum in gluten free baking here!
- Salt. It’s important to add salt to any bread recipe, as it brings out all the flavours.
- Baking powder. Yes, we’re making *yeasted* dinner rolls – but we’ll still be adding baking powder. I’ll explain more about this below, but in short: baking powder makes these gluten free rolls much softer and fluffier, and therefore closer in texture to “regular” dinner rolls made from wheat flour.
- Egg. Like with all brioche recipes (regardless of whether they’re gluten free or made with regular wheat flour), the egg adds richness, and keeps both the crumb and the crust perfectly soft. The egg also adds some structure to the final, baked rolls.
- Melted unsalted butter. Just like the egg, this also gives richness to the dough. However, compared to “regular” dinner rolls made with wheat flour, we’ll be using a smaller amount of butter. Using too much butter can weigh the gluten free rolls down too much and can make them too dense.
In addition to the ingredients above that are required to make the dough, you’ll also need:
- Unsalted butter for greasing the baking tin.
- A whisked egg, for brushing the rolls just before baking (egg wash) – this helps them to achieve a gorgeous golden brown finish in the oven.
- Melted salted butter for brushing the rolls immediately out of the oven – this makes them even richer and more delicious, as well as ensures that their crust is perfectly soft.
Side note: baking powder in dinner rolls???
Yes, I know, dinner rolls never ever contain baking powder – they rely entirely on yeast for their fluffy, soft texture and open crumb.
However, we’re in the realm of gluten free baking and, sometimes, in order to achieve a texture that’s virtually indistinguishable from that of a “regular” wheat-based equivalent… well, we need to “cheat” a bit. That’s where the baking powder comes in.
The baking powder helps to make the gluten free dinner rolls even fluffier and softer, and therefore closer in texture to their “regular” equivalents made with wheat flour. It’s a small trick – but it makes a huge difference.
I mean, just look at how soft they are!!!
Making the gluten free enriched dough
Making the dough for these gluten free dinner rolls couldn’t be more straightforward: just activate the yeast and make the psyllium gel (by mixing the psyllium husk with water), and then combine them with all the other ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or just a large bowl if making them by hand), and knead everything together into a smooth, soft dough.
The final dough will be slightly sticky to the touch – that’s okay, you’ll be working on a lightly floured surface so it shouldn’t be a problem! Resist the temptation to add more flour to the dough, as that can make the final rolls too dense and dry.
That said, if you find the dough too sticky to easily handle (even on a floured surface and with floured hands), you can chill it in the fridge for about 1 hour before proceeding to the next step. This will give the flours in the dough time to properly hydrate and also firm up the butter in the dough – both of these factors will make the dough firmer, less sticky, and therefore easier to handle.
Shaping the rolls
For this next shaping step, make sure to work on a lightly floured surface (I usually use millet flour for flouring).
Here’s the step-by-step process of how to shape the individual dinner rolls:
- Divide the dough into 9 equal pieces. I recommend using a digital food scale to ensure that they’re all of the same size, each should weigh about 76g.
- Flatten one piece of dough.
- Take the corners and bring them in towards the middle,
- until you get something resembling a pouch. Pinch the ends together.
- Turn the piece of dough upside down, so that the seams face downwards.
- Form your hand into a “claw” over the piece of dough and move it in a circular motion on the surface. This will essentially rotate the dough in place, which will help to form a perfectly round ball and also seal the seams together. Then, repeat with the rest of the dough pieces.
Proof until doubled in size
Once you’ve shaped the rolls, transfer them to a square 8 inch (20cm) baking tin that you’ve either lightly buttered or lined with parchment/baking paper beforehand.
You’ll need to proof the rolls in a warm place for about 1 hour or until about doubled in volume. Lightly cover them with a sheet of plastic wrap (cling film) to prevent them from drying out. If your kitchen is on the cold side, you can proof them in a lukewarm oven – the ideal proofing temperature is around 79ºF/26ºC.
As you can see below, the rolls initially only just touch each other. However, after proofing (as they double in volume), they will sit snuggled rather closely together.
Bake until golden
Once proofed, egg wash the rolls and bake them in a pre-heated oven, on the middle oven rack, at 375ºF (190ºC) for about 20-22 minutes until golden brown on top. I like to spray them with a bit of water as they go into the oven, just to give them a bit of extra oven spring.
Note that the oven temperature above refers to a conventional/non-fan oven. If you’re using a convection/fan oven reduce this temperature by 25ºF (20ºC). This is a general rule of thumb that holds true for most recipes.
Brush with melted salted butter – and enjoy!
Immediately out of the oven, while the gluten free dinner rolls are still piping hot, brush them generously with melted salted butter. This will keep their crust nice and soft, as well as make them even richer and more buttery.
And then, all that’s left to do is to enjoy!! These rolls are definitely at their very best while they’re hot or warm. So, unlike with many other gluten free bread recipes: you don’t need to wait for them to cool.
I like them best with some salted butter – but honestly, they’re so ridiculously delicious that I could *easily* eat them on their own.
Is it possible to prepare these gluten free dinner rolls ahead of time?
Yes!! You can definitely prepare them ahead of time. You have two options (and both work really well):
- Prepare the dough and then keep it in the fridge overnight (in a closed container or in a covered bowl). You can then shape, proof and bake the dinner rolls the next day.
- Alternatively, you can make the dough and shape the rolls, and then keep the tightly covered baking tin in the fridge overnight. The next day, bring the rolls to room temperature. If they haven’t doubled in size by the time they’ve reached room temperature, proof them for a while longer – and then, bake as per the recipe.
Note that I don’t recommend keeping the dough in the fridge for longer than one day.
How long do homemade gluten free dinner rolls last?
As with most gluten free bread recipes, these are definitely at their very best on the day of baking.
However, you can keep them in a closed container for up to about 2-3 days, and reheat them before serving. I usually reheat them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. If you’re reheating several dinner rolls at once, you can pop them into a hot oven instead. You could also toast them or fry them on a bit of butter!
They’re at their fluffiest, softest and most delicious while either hot or warm.
Although all the ingredients in the recipe should be easily accessible either in your local grocery store or online, I still wanted to include a list of substitutions you can make. (NOTE: all substitutions should be made by weight and not by volume.)
- Active dried yeast: You can use instant yeast, in which case you don’t need to activate it, but just add it straight to the dry ingredients along with the sugar. Add the milk that would be used in activating the active dried yeast to the dry ingredients along with the psyllium gel, egg and melted butter.
- Psyllium husk: YOU CAN’T SUBSTITUTE IT WITH A DIFFERENT INGREDIENT. But if you use psyllium husk powder as opposed to the whole psyllium husk, use only 85% of the weight listed in the recipe.
- Tapioca starch: You can use cornstarch, potato starch or arrowroot starch instead.
- Millet flour: You can use finely ground/milled brown rice flour instead, but your dinner rolls might be slightly less fluffy.
- Sorghum flour: You can use white teff flour, light buckwheat flour or oat flour instead (the latter only if you’re not sensitive to oats).
A note on measurements (tl;dr: if possible, use a scale)
While I’ve included the volume measurements (cups and spoons) in the recipe card below, if at all possible (and I really cannot overemphasise this): USE METRIC GRAM MEASUREMENTS IF YOU CAN.
They’re much more precise and produce more reliably delicious results. This is true for pretty much all of baking – a kitchen scale will invariably give better results than cups and tablespoons.
And that concludes everything you need to know in order to make the world’s best gluten free dinner rolls. I seriously can’t wait for you to try this recipe – I still can’t quite believe just how INSANELY soft and delicious these are!!
More gluten free bread recipes
If you’re looking for more amazing gluten free bread recipes (that are nearly indistinguishable from their “regular” equivalents made from wheat flour), you’re definitely in the right place!
- The Ultimate Gluten Free Bread (Artisan Style Loaf)
- Gluten Free Seeded Loaf (Mixed Seed Bread)
- Gluten Free Poppy Seed Rolls
- The Ultimate Gluten Free Jelly Doughnuts
- Gluten Free Boston Cream Doughnuts
- Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns
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The Softest Gluten Free Dinner Rolls
Gluten free enriched dough:
- 10 g (2½ tsp) active dried yeast (If using instant yeast, use 8g.)
- 25 g (2 tbsp) caster/superfine or granulated sugar, divided
- 90 g (⅓ cup + 2 tsp) whole milk, warm
- 10 g (2 tbsp) whole/rough psyllium husk (If using psyllium husk powder, use only 8g.)
- 150 g (½ cup + 2 tbsp) warm water
- 160 g (1⅓ cups + 1 tbsp) tapioca starch (You can use an equal weight of arrowroot starch, cornstarch or potato starch instead.)
- 130 g (¾ cup + 3½ tbsp) millet flour, plus extra for flouring the surface (You can use an equal weight of finely milled/ground brown rice flour instead, but your dinner rolls might be slightly less fluffy.)
- 25 g (3 tbsp) sorghum flour (You can use an equal weight of light buckwheat flour, white teff flour or oat flour instead. Use the latter only if you're not sensitive to oats.)
- 5 g (2 tsp) xanthan gum
- 5 g (1 tsp) salt
- 8 g (2 tsp) baking powder
- 1 US large/UK medium egg, room temperature
- 20 g (1½ tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
You will also need:
- 1 US large/UK medium egg, for egg wash
- ¼ tsp salt
- 30 g (¼ stick) salted butter, melted
Making the gluten free enriched dough:
- Activate the yeast: In a small bowl, mix together the yeast, 10g (about 1 tablespoon) sugar and warm milk. Set aside for 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture starts frothing.Tip: If using instant yeast, you don’t need to activate it. Instead, just add it straight to the dry ingredients along with the sugar. Add the milk that would be used in activating the active dried yeast to the dry ingredients along with the psyllium gel, egg and melted butter.
- Make the psyllium gel: In a separate bowl, mix together the psyllium husk and warm water. After about 30-45 seconds, a gel will form.
- For the following steps, I recommend using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. You can also make the dough by hand, but the mixer makes it much easier and results in a smoother dough.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, whisk together the tapioca starch, millet flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and the remaining sugar.
- Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the egg, melted butter, yeast mixture and psyllium gel.
- Knead the dough until smooth and all the ingredients are evenly incorporated, then knead for a further 5 minutes (if using a stand mixer) or 8-10 minutes (if kneading it by hand). Use a rubber spatula to occasionally scrape along the sides and bottom of the bowl to prevent any dry patches of unmixed flour.Tip: This extra kneading time will make the dough EXTRA smooth, which is the key to dinner rolls with a nicely smooth, rounded surface without any cragginess.
- The final dough will be slightly sticky to the touch – that’s okay, you’ll be working on a lightly floured surface so it shouldn’t be a problem. Resist the temptation to add more flour to the dough, as that can make the final rolls too dense and dry.Tip: If you find the dough too sticky to easily handle (even on a floured surface and with floured hands), you can chill it in the fridge for about 1 hour before proceeding to the next step. This will give the flours in the dough time to properly hydrate and also firm up the butter in the dough – both of these factors will make the dough firmer, less sticky, and therefore easier to handle.
Shaping the dinner rolls:
- Get an 8 inch (20cm) square baking tin ready to have on hand. You can either grease it lightly with some butter or line it with parchment/baking paper.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
- Divide the dough into 9 equal pieces (each piece should weigh about 76g). Tip: I recommend using a digital food scale to get all pieces the same weight, as that will ensure that they all bake at the same rate.
- On a lightly floured surface, shape the pieces of dough into balls, as follows:First, flatten a piece of dough. Then, take the corners and bring them in towards the middle, until you get something resembling a pouch. Pinch the ends together. Turn the piece of dough upside down, so that the seams face downwards. Form your hand into a “claw” over the piece of dough and move it in a circular motion on the surface (this will essentially rotate the dough in place, which will help to form a perfectly round ball and also seal the seams together).Repeat with the rest of the dough pieces.
- Transfer the rolls to the prepared baking tin. The rolls should only just touch at this point (see the blog post for photos).
Proofing the dinner rolls:
- Proof the dinner rolls in a warm place for about 1 hour or until about doubled in volume. Lightly cover them with a sheet of plastic wrap (cling film) to prevent them from drying out during proofing.Tip: If your kitchen is on the cold side, you can proof them in a lukewarm oven (the ideal proofing temperature is around 79ºF/26ºC).
Baking the dinner rolls:
- While the rolls are proofing, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and pre-heat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
- For the egg wash, whisk the egg with the salt.Tip: The salt makes the egg wash less viscous and more runny, making it easier to brush it onto the rolls.
- Once the dinner rolls have doubled in volume, gently brush them with the egg wash.
- Bake them at 375ºF (190ºC) for about 20-22 minutes or until golden brown on top. You can check the doneness of the rolls by inserting a toothpick or skewer into the centre of the middle roll: it should come out clean with no under-baked dough attached.Tip: I like to spray the rolls with a bit of water (3-4 times with a spray bottle) as they go into the oven, just to give them a bit of extra oven spring.
- Immediately out of the oven, while the dinner rolls are still piping hot, brush them generously with melted salted butter. Tip: This will keep their crust nice and soft, as well as make them even richer and more buttery.
- Serve while the gluten free dinner rolls are still hot or warm.
Serving and storage:
- These rolls are best served while they’re hot or warm. So, unlike with many other gluten free bread recipes: you don’t need to wait for them to cool.
- They're at their best on the day of baking, but you can keep them in a closed container for up to about 2-3 days, and reheat them before serving.I usually reheat them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. If you’re reheating several dinner rolls at once, you can pop them into a hot oven instead. You could also toast them or fry them on a bit of butter!