The Fresh Loaf

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Gluten Free Dinner Rolls with Oat, Buckwheat, Teff or Hazelnut

hanseata's picture

Gluten Free Dinner Rolls with Oat, Buckwheat, Teff or Hazelnut

I'm a curious person and love trying out new things. When "Cook's Illustrated", one of my favorite food magazines, published a gluten free cookbook, I bought it, out of curiosity, even though I have no problems with gluten.

I was especially interested in how the culinary geeks from "America's Test Kitchen" got to their good looking results. My own trials, though taste-wise acceptable, left a lot to be desired regarding their consistency, and looked rather unappetizing.

My first gluten free sourdough bread tasted okay, but looked rather unappetizing!

When my lovely Brazilian hairstylist asked me whether she could order some gluten free rolls for her Christmas menu, I jumped at the opportunity to try a recipe for dinner rolls from "The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook".

The rolls get their necessary structural support from psyllium husk, a fiber supplement from the natural food aisle, more known for its beneficial effect on all kinds of digestive maladies.

The additional baking powder and lemon juice help with softening the crumb, making it less dense. The flours should be finely ground - I used Bob's Red Mill brand.

Consistency a bit like English biscuits

My first trial resulted in nice fluffy rolls with a consistency like English Biscuits - better than anything I had seen so far in gluten free breads.

But I was less enthusiastic, when I sampled the dinner rolls. They tasted bland and a bit doughy. With jam on top this was less noticeable, and, when toasted, they were okay.

Fluffy crumb - but too bland and doughy for my taste

Danielle assured me, that she liked the gluten free rolls - but I couldn't stop thinking about them. I don't like selling something I'm not 100% satisfied with.

There was nothing to criticize about the structure of the dinner rolls - the test cooks with their scientific approach had really given their best.

But how could I achieve a better taste for my rolls without risking their fragile, gluten-less structure? Exchange a part of the rice flour, potato and tapioca starch for a gluten free flour with a more assertive taste?

Would I be really able to beat Bobby Flay the geeks of America's Test Kitchen? To satisfy your curiosity, please, follow me to my blog "Brot & Bread"!




dabrownman's picture

I used to think f we ever made GF anything it would mean the end is near - but no longer - the end is just closer than reasonably comfortable....and it is your, or Lucy's fault as usual.  These look delightful.  Lycy being a floozy would mix all the grains together and make one kind but I do like your multi roll in the same pan method.

Well done and happy baking Karin. 

hanseata's picture

being sorry for those poor celiacs, but scorning all those seeming gluten whimps. (The Paleo fad still is my pet peeve).

Barbara Elisi from Bread & Companatico wrote a really interesting series on wheat intolerance that gave me some new insights, without making my eyes glaze over:


Yippee's picture

Hi, Karin:

It's not easy to produce good looking and delicious GF breads and you have succeeded! Congratulations!

My kids and I used to be big fans of Bobby Flay.  On our last trip back to NYC, we dined at his restaurant Bar Americain, mainly hoping to get his autograph!  Even though we didn't see him, the food there was awesome.

I'm still a big fan of ATK.  My son and I went to a book signing event and we got Chris's autograph and up close photographs of him.  


hanseata's picture

A visit at Bar Americain is still on my bucket list (I'm very fond of all kinds of cook shows - also the Great British Bake-Off).

Cook's Illustrated is my default go-to when I look for recipes, or general kitchen advice. I love their way of explaining their process of optimizing a recipe, and, also, test now and then recipes for them (right now less-sugar recipes).

Most of ATK's dishes are flawless, and, in the case of the dinner rolls, most people probably would have been completely satisfied with the original, expecting a kind of blandness from a dinner roll.



Janetcook's picture

Hi Karin,

Love your write up :)

Your rolls look beautiful.

I delved into gluten free baking about a year ago.  Juergen's GF experiments helped get me started in the right direction due to his use of psyllium seed and sourdough.  

I did manage to make nice loaves using a teff sourdough starter and the resulting loaves were similar to high percentage ryes…

but good old wheat flour is my 'medium' so I tucked my formulas away and returned to my beloved gluten containing loaves :*)

Thanks for posting.


hanseata's picture

I will definitely not abandon good ole wheat (having just ordered 5 bags of it). I find it interesting, though, how it is possible to make pretty good bread without gluten for those who really have difficulties digesting it.

Do read Barbara Elisi's series, it's not only about gluten, and she is one of the best bread bloggers (the Queen of Holes!):


Wild-Yeast's picture


Even Cook's Illustrated has deadlines to meet.

Your post go me to thinking about how special gluten really is. What gluten free bakers are looking for is a replacement for gluten - finding that magic ingredient is the quest.

There are several products on the market claiming to be substitutes but none seem to have the ability to co-exist with sourdough - alas, for me, nonesuch exists...,


hanseata's picture

The photo above in my post, showing my first gluten-free bread, actually is a sourdough, Jean Leighton's ( Basic Sourdough, leavened with xanthan gum and guar gum.

It tasted good, but, as you can see, the consistency was way off. It would be definitely worth trying to achieve a gluten-free sourdough bread that tastes good and doesn't look like being made of rubber.