Hot, Steamy, Wonderful Gluten Free Yeast Rolls

Learning to make really good gluten free yeast rolls was a huge challenge for me. I wanted yeast rolls that made you sing when you took you first bit. I wanted them to be hot and light and fluffy. And, I even wanted them to reheat well the next day.

That’s asking a lot from a gluten free yeast roll!

But finally, after numerous iterations of this recipe, I figured it out. The secret is adding just a bit of potato starch. These yeast rolls will make you very, very happy. And very very full. Ration them out carefully, or you might just find a two year old sitting in the pots and pans cabinet having a little feast. I’m not going to name names, but you’ve been warned =)

Mary’s Yeast Rolls (1 ½ dozen rolls)

2 c. brown rice flour
1 ¼ c.cornstarch or tapioca starch
1/4 c. potato starch
1 Tbsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs, beaten
¼ cup butter, melted
1/8 cup sugar (2 Tbsp)
1 ¼ cup milk (non-dairy works fine)
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast

Heat the milk in a saucepan until it is scalded (heated to 180 degrees F). Let the milk cool to 110 degrees F and add the sugar and yeast and stir gently until combined. Set the milk mixture aside until the yeast has proofed.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown rice flour, starches, xanthan gum and salt. Add the milk/yeast mixture and the beaten eggs to the flour and beat for 3 -4 minutes. Cover the dough and allow it to rise until doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead it gently a few times. Separate the dough into 18 even pieces. Roll each piece of dough between your floured hands until it forms a ball. Then lightly coat the roll with flour and set aside on your baking pan.

Repeat for each piece of dough. Cover the rolls with a lightly floured towel and let them rise for thirty minutes. Brush melted butter over the tops of the rolls and bake at 425 degrees F for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the top of the rolls are golden brown and crispy.


  1. What are your recommendations for a non dairy milk in these recipes ?
    I’m new. THanks.

    • Debbie- I use regular unsweetened rice milk in exchange for dairy milk and it seems to work great in the recipes that I have tried in the past. Hope this helps.

  2. Hello! I am looking for a great roll recipe for our Thanksgiving dinner (there are only 2 out of 18 of us that need to do gluten free but we’re doing the whole meal gluten free). I tried your rolls recipe last night and I have to say that they are pretty good, although mine never browned (and I left them in there for about 15 extra minutes and even added butter). My primary concern is that I found them to be a bit chewy….like bubblegum, but not horrible. I measured everything carefully and leveled off everything. I did happen to use the tapioca instead of the cornstarch that you suggested as a substitute, do you think this could have affected the outcome? All in all these are a pretty good base recipe to work off of. I’d maybe suggest rolling the rolls in a starch (potato or tapioca?) instead of flour because the flour can leave a gritty outer-texture and the starch will be smoother. I’m very happy with this! Best roll recipe I’ve found. :) Thank you so much! :)

    One easy thing I’d maybe suggest is rolling the rolls/balls in a starch instead of a flour because the flour can leave a gritty outer-texture and the starch will be smoother. I’m very happy with this! Best roll recipe I’ve found. :) I’m going to try to make them again tonight with a few tweaks (adding more salt, try the cornstarch instead of the tapioca, and might also try some sorghum instead of all brown rice flour….just because I like sorghum ;P).

    • Melissa, in the gluten free cooking that I have done, I noticed that rice flour tends to be a little gummier than some other flours. Especially when combined with tapioca starch. Rice flour is a lighter, starchier flour, so it tends to be less flavorful and gummier than some of the other flours out there. I really like sorghum flour and I think that would be a good substitute for the rice flour. I really like hearty tasting rolls that are soft and flavorful, but not gummy and chewy. You might try checking out this link: Karina likes to use other flours other than rice because of it’s gummy nature.

  3. Sorry for the last comment with all of my repetitious sentences..I should really learn to grammar check before I hit send ;-O.

  4. I made this recipe as it is stated here and mind didn’t rise very much the first time (I gave it 1 hour and 5 minutes to rise) and not at all the second (30 minutes like the recipe asked for). What could of gone wrong? I love rolls and I am excited to see if they work out. They are baking as we speak… Any help? Not warm enough in the house for the yeast?

    • Hi Juanita,
      The temp of your house could definitely contribute. During the cold parts of the year I let my yeast breads/rolls rise on top of our gas stove so that they get the extra heat form the pilot lights that are right under the stove-top. A dough that is too stiff can also keep the rolls from rising. The consistency of roll dough should be just a bit thicker than the consistency of good GF bread dough.

  5. Do you think these could be made in a bread machine on the dough cycle?

    • Hi Joanne,

      You’re guess is as good as mine. I rarely use my breadmachine anymore and I’ve never used the dough cycle. I do find that my bread does better when I mix it with a mixer for 3 or 4 minutes – the kneading action of my bread machine doesn’t do that well enough.

  6. Molly Brack says:

    Hi – Would another kind of flour work as well? I’m finding that I’m not crazy about the flavor of brown rice flour. I’m just learning how the different flours and starches work so I’d love suggestions if there is a particular other one that might be better than others for this recipe. Thanks!

    • Hi Molly,

      Sorghum flour will work as well. I like the results better with brown rice flour, but I did test the recipe yesterday with sorghum flour and it turned out reasonably well. No other changes to the recipe were required.

  7. Tried this receipe today and because of problems with eggs used an egg substitute. Turned out horrible. Hard and dense rolls, had to throw away. Also I used coconut milk but the receipe said milk substiture was ok. Must be the egg problem.

  8. hi, i just found you via a friend and am new to the gf world. I want to try your really good sandwich bread, but don’t have a bread machine. do you have directions for how to make this without the machine?

  9. I was hoping that I could get some advice. I found these while searching for something warm and yummy to make my little guy for thanksgiving. He though is allergic to eggs and I saw someone posted they didn’t turn out well with an egg substitute. Any suggestions? I could try flax eggs. I usually use ener-g egg replacer. I really want to make these and have them turn out well. Thanks for any ideas.

    • Hi Brandy, I would go ahead and use the egg replacement powder. My guess would be that the previous commenter’s flour/liquid ratio was off, and the dough was too dry. That’s easy to do with rolls because you need a dough that can stand on its own, and that’s drier than the optimal consistency for a gluten free yeast bread.

      If I were to make a new yeast roll recipe now, I would increase the water so that the dough is a very soft consistency and the scoop it into small muffin tins for baking.

      • Thanks for the advice. I spend alot of time and money trying to make things that my son will like and CAN eat. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

  10. Has anyone tried this recipe using Red Bob Mills GF all purpose flour mix? I really would like to have some great gf rolls for Christmas dinner & that’s typically what I use. Thx

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