Gluten-Free Rolls

Made with finely ground golden flax seed and baked free form.
Gluten-Free Rolls: Made with finely ground golden flax seed and baked free form

One of the hardest things to replicate with gluten-free products is the stretchy, chewy texture of bread. I have experimented with many different methods of recreating the feel without the gluten protein (some of which went straight into the trash), but after all of the trial-and-error I think I have finally figured it out! Ground flax seed.

When mixed with hot water, ground flax seed forms a gelatinous slurry, and is often used as an egg substitute in vegan baking. I’ve been trying to incorporate flax seed into my diet for a variety of reason (click here for more about the health benefits of flax) by throwing a few tablespoons into my baked goods, so I thought, why not try a flax seed slurry instead?

Recipe update 8/25/13: I’ve tried this recipe with both coarsely ground brown flax seed and finely ground golden flax seed, and the golden is a winner hands down. That said, use whatever you have on hand.

Presto. This added just the right chewiness to the gluten-free bread recipe I’ve been working on. This is certainly the closest I have come to the thick, chewy, gluten-free bread, of blessed memory.

I prefer to bake my gluten-free bread as rolls using a muffin tin because I can freeze them individually, and I find that gluten-free baked goods often end up doughy in the middle as the outside bakes much more quickly. If you do try this as a loaf, let me know how it turns out!

Note: If you prefer not to buy the individual gluten-free flours listed below, you can use a gluten-free flour blend but it will not necessarily have the same texture or results as using individual flours. If your flour blend already contains xanthan gum, omit from the recipe.

gluten-free rolls
Gluten-Free Rolls: Made with coarsely ground flax seed and baked in muffin tins

Gluten-Free Rolls


1 1/8 cups warm water
1 Tbsp honey (or sugar)
1 packet of yeast (2 1/4 tsp)

2 Tbsp ground flax seed (preferably finely ground golden)
4 Tbsp hot water

2 eggs
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey (or sugar)

1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/8 tsp sea salt


  1. Grease a 12 muffin tin.
  2. In a small bowl, combine warm water, honey, and yeast. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes.
  3. In another small bowl, mix together ground flax seed and hot water. It will thicken and form a slurry. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a mixer, beat the eggs on high for 5 minutes. Add oil and honey beat for another 2 minutes. Add flax seed slurry.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: sorghum flour, tapioca starch, millet flour, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Add proofed yeast and egg mixture and stir until combined; it will be the consistency of a thick drop-biscuit batter.
  6. Divide the dough evenly between the muffin cups (I used my large cookie scoop). Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes (if it’s chilly in your kitchen, you can either 1: turn the oven on to the lowest setting and place the muffin tin about 6 inches from the oven vent, or 2: set your oven to preheat to 300 degrees but turn off after about 30 seconds, then set the muffin tin in the oven to rise).
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (if you have convection, use it! And if you did your rise in the oven, no need to remove the tin while it pre-heats). Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the tops are very firm.
  8. Remove rolls to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months (wrap individually for best results in the freezer).

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