There was some debate at our house on what the name of these savory rolls should be. Did “rolls” fit the bill better than yeast-raised biscuits? We went back and forth about it. And you know what, I’ve made gluten-free biscuits before (and they’ve been great) but these were more like rolls or buns. So my name won. Friends, here is a great recipe for Cheddar and Sage Gluten-Free Rolls that I know you will love.
The name doesn’t really matter so much. All you need to know is that these are fantastic. Creating yeast-raised gluten-free breads is a bit challenging. But I’m always up for it and I was really happy with the way these turned out.
The texture of these rolls is not crumbly. That seems to be the plight of many gluten-free yeast breads. These rolls end up being softer and chewier as a result of a higher ratio of tapioca starch.
I also used one of my favorite gluten-free ingredients, sorghum flour, as well as white rice flour and potato starch. Those flours combined with the tapioca and xanthan gum give the rolls a great structure and texture. The cheese and sage are there for extra flavor, but you could certainly leave them out or swap them for different herbs and cheeses to make different varieties. (I’m always thinking of the next recipe!)
I’ve learned a few things about these rolls as I’ve been testing them out in my own kitchen:
-Gluten-free yeast breads do not rise up as much as those made with wheat flour. They benefit from being rolled flat and cut into thick rounds rather than being formed into balls. About 1″ thick seems to be right.
– Be sure to use the freshest yeast possible for maximum rising. I only use Red Star Active Dry Yeast.
-The dough dries out easily when the rolls are raising, so I found that brushing them with olive oil really helps prevent drying out and they will rise much better.
-The dough needs to be pretty sticky. The dough will rise better if it is. Because of the added xanthan gum, I added less flour that I wanted to add, even though I was afraid it was too sticky, because the dough set up after a few minutes of sitting.
-This dough doesn’t rise before being shaped into rolls. You shape the rolls and they rise once.
-They bake at a higher temperature – 425 degrees F for a shorter amount of time. They get a quick boost from the high heat and rise a bit more.
-These rolls are at their very best when warm.
-Any leftover rolls should go into the freezer in a resealable bag. Pull them out as needed and reheat in the microwave until warm, not hot.
-They make fabulous sandwich rolls, and I assume great hamburger buns. I plan on trying that out in the summertime. They are also great toasted and would be a good substitute for English muffins in Eggs Benedict or for breakfast sandwiches.
- ¼ cup water
- pinch sugar
- 1 packet (1/4 ounce) Red Star Active Dry Yeast
- 3 cups gluten-free flour mix (see below)
- 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon fresh sage, minced
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup grated aged cheddar (can use swiss or Gruyere cheese)
- Place warm water in a medium bowl with the pinch of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and stir gently to dissolve the yeast. Let stand 5-10 minutes, or until foamy.
- Meanwhile, combine milk, olive oil, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Heat, without boiling, until very hot. Remove from heat and let cool to 120 degrees F.
- Place eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn mixer on low to break up the eggs. While the mixer is running, add the warm milk mixture to the eggs, followed by the yeast.
- Measure out 2 cups of the gluten-free flour and sift together with the xanthan gum. Add all at once to the liquid ingredients. Turn the mixer on medium speed and mix well. Turn to low speed and add some of the reserved gluten-free flour one tablespoon at a time until the dough is sticky, but not wet. You won't use all of the flour. Reserve the remaining flour to use when rolling out the dough.
- Beat the dough on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. It will appear to be stickier while you do this. If it's overly sticky, add one more tablespoon of the flour. Turn the mixer off and add the cheddar, minced sage, and black pepper. Beat for another 30 seconds. Turn mixer off and remove bowl. Let stand for a few minutes.
- Dust a clean surface with some of the reserved gluten-free flour. Turn the dough onto the surface and lightly dust with more gluten-free flour. Gently pat the dough into a flat round about 1" thick. Cut the dough into 2½- to 3-inch rounds. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press dough together and repeat until all of the dough has been cut out. (I formed the last roll by hand using the remaining dough.)
- Brush tops of the rolls with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place somewhere warm to rise. Let rise for 30-45 minutes, depending on the temperature of the rising area.
- While the rolls are rising, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. When rolls have risen, remove plastic and place in oven on the center rack. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Start checking after 10 minutes. The rolls should be golden on top and feel set when you press on the tops. (The baking time will vary depending on thickness and diameter of the rolls.)
- Let rolls cool slightly before serving. They are best eaten while warm. Let leftover rolls cool completely before placing in a resealable plastic bag and freezing.
- Yield: 8-12 rolls depending on the size and thickness. (I get 10 every time I make them.)
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup white rice flour
2/3 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup potato starch (can use cornstarch instead)
How To Photos:
Our ingredients – gluten-free flour mix, milk (mixed with sugar and salt), olive oil, eggs, sage, cheddar, Red Star Active Dry Yeast, and black pepper (not pictured.)
The dough will still be fairly sticky after mixing. It should look like the image below.
I like to roll out the dough on a piece of parchment paper dusted with gluten-free flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface and dust with a little more flour.
Use a biscuit or cookie cutter to shape the rolls. The dough is still pretty sticky, so you can dust the cutter in more of the flour to help keep it from sticking so much.
After all of the biscuits have been cut, brush the tops with olive oil. This will help keep them from drying out and as a result the dough will rise higher.
Below you’ll see the rolls have risen up quite a bit and are ready to be baked.
Disclosure: Red Star Yeast compensated me for developing this recipe. The opinions expressed are 100% my own. I only recommend products that I use and love in my own kitchen.