Gluten-Free Sourdough Rolls

These gluten-free sourdough rolls are soft, fluffy, pillowy, chewy, and flavorful just like the “regular” good old dinner rolls! They can be made with starter discard if you have a strong and established sourdough starter. Make sure to check out my other gluten-free sourdough recipes!

Gluten-Free Sourdough Rolls in a bowl with a tea towel.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

Texture. These rolls are incredibly soft, fluffy, and moist!

Flavor. No grittiness here! Tastes just like a good old dinner roll. You can also use them as hamburger buns. For xanthan gum-free buns check out my sourdough buns recipe!

Easy. These dinner rolls only need one rise before baking!

Note: you might also like my sourdough naan bread, bagels with discard, and sourdough soft pretzels!

What Is A Sourdough Starter?

A sourdough starter is wild yeast that is used to bake sourdough bread. I love baking gluten-free bread, so I use a starter made with gluten-free flour. If you have never baked sourdough bread, you should definitely try it. If you are into darker bread, check out my sourdough with buckwheat flour, and if you like lighter flavors, try my one-rise sourdough boule. For more recipes with sourdough, check out my list of the best gluten-free sourdough recipes!

Ingredients

Ingredients on a white surface.

Psyllium husk – you can use whole husks or powder. Just try avoiding very fine powder as it behaves differently in recipes. To see the difference go to my psyllium husk instructions post.

Xanthan gum – I am using both psyllium husk and xanthan gum in this recipe for the best texture!

Egg – use a room-temperature egg.

Oil – I used sunflower oil.

Gluten-free sourdough starter – use a mature starter, not discard. A mature starter is a starter at its peak activity that is still bubbling up!

Substitutions

Tapioca starch (same as tapioca flour) – you can use arrowroot starch. You can also use cornstarch/potato starch but your rolls might not be as chewy.

Brown rice flour – you can use millet flour instead.

Lentil flour – use gluten-free oat flour, sorghum flour, or white teff flour instead.

Sourdough starter – you can make these gluten-free dinner rolls with yeast instead of sourdough starter, for that, omit the starter and use 8g of active dry yeast.

Psyllium husk – there is no good substitute for psyllium husk other than psyllium husk powder. If using powder, use 8.5 grams and add it to the dry ingredients instead of the water. Do not reduce the water amount! You will need to let the dough sit for psyllium husk to absorb the liquids.

Xanthan gum – I am using both psyllium husk and xanthan gum in this recipe for the best texture. For the best results, use both.

Milk – use plant-based milk for a dairy-free version.

Egg – you can use ¼ cup of applesauce or a chia (or flax) egg.

Sugar – you can use honey or maple syrup instead.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Mix the dough

Psyllium husk mixed with the other wet ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.

Add psyllium husk, sugar, oil, milk, and water to a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside for a couple of minutes for psyllium gel to form.

Adding all the dry ingredients together.

Add dry ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl) and whisk to combine.

Adding all ingredients to the same glass bowl.

Once psyllium gel is ready, add it to the dry ingredients along with the egg and the sourdough starter.

Kneading the dough with a hand mixer and dough hooks.

Knead the dough for 5 minutes with a stand or hand mixer and 10 minutes if you are mixing by hand. Kneading for a longer time allows the rolls to have an extra smooth surface without bumps!

Step 2 – Shape the rolls

The dough turned over onto a floured surface.

Grease a medium-sized baking dish with butter, margarine, lard, or oil and set aside. Turn the dough onto the floured surface. The dough will be very sticky! Avoid the urge to add more flour. Rather, grease your hands with oil to prevent sticking. Keep greasing your hands if the dough starts sticking again!

Measuring out the dough for one bowl on a digital scale.

Separate the dough into 9 balls. I recommend using a digital scale to make sure all rolls are about the same weight. Mine are around 95 grams per ball.

The rolls before the rise in a baking dish and after the rise in the same glass baking dish.

Finally, grease your hands with oil and shape each piece of the dough into a ball in between the palms of your hands. Place each ball into the greased baking dish, cover with a tea towel, and leave to rise for 3-3 ½ hours. The rolls won’t rise as much in this stage but they will puff up significantly during baking.

Step 3 – Bake the rolls

Egg rolls after the rise being egg washed with a silicone brush.

30 minutes before the rolls are done rising, start preheating the oven to 375F/190C. Once the rolls are ready (they will puff up a bit, not much), prepare the egg wash and brush the rolls with it to encourage browning. To make the egg wash just whisk 1 egg with a fork in a small bowl, then brush the rolls with it using a silicone or a baking brush. Don’t use the whole egg, use just enough to cover the entire surface of the dough.

Place a medium-sized dish with water on the bottom of the oven. The steam will encourage the oven spring (rising) and prevent the crust from forming. Your rolls will be very soft! Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the water and bake for additional 5 minutes. In these last 5 minutes, the rolls will brown more and finish baking. The internal temperature of baked-through rolls is 210F/100C. A toothpick should come out without raw dough sticking to it (a couple of crumbs is okay).

Brushing the gluten-free sourdough rolls with butter after they had been baked.

As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, generously brush them with melted butter while they are still hot. You can eat the rolls right away, no need to wait for them to cool!

Pressing down a dinner roll with a finger.

How To Store

The rolls are best on the day of baking but they can be kept at room temperature for 2-3 days in a textile bread bag or a sealed container. You can keep the dinner rolls in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or freeze them for up to 3-5 months. To defrost, let them thaw at room temperature or warm them up in a microwave. If you are defrosting a few sourdough rolls at the same time, you can pop them into the oven at 375F/175C for 5-10 minutes or until ready. Brush with more butter for a better texture.

Expert Tips

Use a digital kitchen scale for the best results. If you accidentally overpack or underpack the measuring cups (which is very easy to do, especially if you are in a hurry), you might end up with gummy or dense dinner rolls. A kitchen scale will also save you time (and dishes to wash!). If you are using measuring cups, make sure to fluff up the flour in the jar first, then spoon it into the cups without pressing the flour into them, and then brush off the extra flour by swiping a knife over the top of the cup.

Use an oven thermometer to avoid underbaking or burning. A lot of ovens run hot or cold (mine does!), so a thermometer allows you to have consistent results!

Use a mature sourdough starter. If your starter is weak, only bubbles a little, or is not mature, the rolls will still be delicious, they just won’t have as many air pockets. A mature sourdough starter is a starter at its peak activity that is still bubbling (it hasn’t fallen flat yet).

If you want more sourness to your rolls, leave them to ferment overnight in the refrigerator.

Keep greasing your hands if the dough gets sticky. The only time you need to use extra flour is to flour the working surface. Otherwise, avoid the urge to add flour!

FAQ


Why Did My Sourdough Rolls Burn?


Your oven might be running hot. Use an oven thermometer to make sure you are baking at 375F/190C and not higher.


Why Are My Rolls Gummy?


Your rolls might be gummy due to the type of flour you are using. If you are not using my homemade flour recipe, then increase the amount of flour you are using by 40g at a time.


Why Are My Rolls Not Rising?


If you followed the recipe, yet, the rolls are not rising, your sourdough starter might not be as active as it needs to be to raise the dough. Although you don’t need to see a big rise for the rolls to turn out great!


Is Sourdough Gluten-Free?


Sourdough is only gluten-free if you make it with gluten-free flour, otherwise sourdough is not gluten-free.

If you liked this gluten-free sourdough rolls recipe, you might also like my GF flatbreads with sourdough discard, pizza crust with sourdough, and sourdough English muffins!

Gluten-free sourdough rolls on a kitchen towel in a bowl.

Gluten-Free Sourdough Bread Rolls

Natasha
These delicious gluten-free sourdough rolls are soft, fluffy, and moist just like the "regular" dinner rolls!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rising/Proofing 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Course Bread, dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 9 rolls
Calories 212 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Wet Ingredients

  • 10 grams (5 tsp) psyllium husk 8 grams if using powder, if you have only very fine powder, look at this  psyllium husk guide first
  • 150 grams (1⅗ cups) water room temperature
  • 20 grams (1½ tbsp) oil I used sunflower oil
  • 25 grams (2 tbsp) sugar maple syrup/honey
  • 90 grams (⅓ cup + 2 tbsp) milk warm, not hot
  • 200 grams gluten-free sourdough starter mature
  • 1 egg room temperature

Dry Ingredients

  • 160 grams (1⅓ cups + 1 tbsp) tapioca starch arrowroot starch, potato starch, or cornstarch will work, too
  • 130 grams (1 cup) brown rice flour or millet flour
  • 25 grams (⅛ cup) lentil flour sorghum flour, GF oat flour, or white teff flour will work, too
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder check the package to make sure it is GF
  • tsp salt

You Will Also Need

  • 1 egg for the egg wash
  • 20 grams butter for brushing the buns after baking

Instructions
 

  • Add psyllium husk, sugar, oil, milk, and water to a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside for a couple of minutes for psyllium gel to form.
  • Add dry ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl) and whisk to combine. Once psyllium gel is ready, add it to the dry ingredients along with the egg and the sourdough starter. Knead the dough for 5 minutes with a stand or hand mixer and 10 minutes if you are mixing by hand. Kneading for a longer time allows the rolls to have an extra smooth surface without bumps!
  • Grease a medium-sized baking dish with butter, margarine, lard, or oil. Turn the dough onto the floured surface. The dough will be very sticky! Avoid the urge to add more flour. Rather, grease your hands with oil to prevent sticking. Keep greasing your hands if the dough starts sticking again!
  • Separate the dough into 9 balls. I recommend using a digital scale to make sure all rolls are about the same weight. Mine are around 95 grams per ball.
  • Finally, grease your hands with oil and shape each piece of the dough into a ball in between the palms of your hands. Place each ball into the greased baking dish, cover with a tea towel, and leave to rise for 3-3 ½ hours. The rolls won’t rise as much in this stage but they will puff up significantly during baking.
  • 30 minutes before the rolls are done rising, start preheating the oven to 375F/190C. Once the rolls are ready (they will puff up a bit, not much), prepare the egg wash and brush the rolls with it to encourage browning. To make the egg wash just whisk 1 egg with a fork in a small bowl, then brush the rolls with it using a silicone or a baking brush. Don’t use the whole egg, use just enough to cover the entire surface of the dough.
  • Place a medium-sized dish with water on the bottom of the oven. The steam will encourage the oven spring (rising) and prevent the crust from forming. Your rolls will be very soft! Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the water and bake for additional 5 minutes. In these last 5 minutes, the rolls will brown more and finish baking. The internal temperature of baked-through rolls is 210F/100C. A toothpick should come out without raw dough sticking to it (a couple of crumbs is okay).
  • As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, generously brush them with melted butter while they are still hot. You can eat the rolls right away, no need to wait for them to cool!

Notes

How To Store

The rolls are best on the day of baking but they can be kept at room temperature for 2-3 days in a textile bread bag or a sealed container. You can keep the dinner rolls in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or freeze them for up to 3-5 months. To defrost, let them thaw at room temperature or warm them up in a microwave. If you are defrosting a few sourdough rolls at the same time, you can pop them into the oven at 375F/175C for 5-10 minutes or until ready. Brush with more butter for a better texture.

Expert Tips

– Use a digital kitchen scale for the best results. If you accidentally overpack or underpack the measuring cups (which is very easy to do, especially if you are in a hurry), you might end up with gummy or dense dinner rolls. A kitchen scale will also save you time (and dishes to wash!). If you are using measuring cups, make sure to fluff up the flour in the jar first, then spoon it into the cups without pressing the flour into them, and then brush off the extra flour by swiping a knife over the top of the cup.
– Use an oven thermometer to avoid underbaking or burning. A lot of ovens run hot or cold (mine does!), so a thermometer allows you to have consistent results!
 Use a mature sourdough starter. If your starter is weak, only bubbles a little, or is not mature, the rolls will still be delicious, they just won’t have as many air pockets. A mature sourdough starter is a starter at its peak activity that is still bubbling (it hasn’t fallen flat yet).
– If you want more sourness to your rolls, leave them to ferment overnight in the refrigerator.
– Keep greasing your hands if the dough gets sticky. The only time you need to use extra flour is to flour the working surface. Otherwise, avoid the urge to add flour!

Nutrition

Serving: 1rollCalories: 212kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 3.6gFat: 3.7gSaturated Fat: 0.7gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 411mgPotassium: 227mgFiber: 3.3gSugar: 4.2gCalcium: 71mgIron: 1mg
Keyword bread rolls, gluten-free rolls, Gluten-free sourdough discard recipes, gluten-free sourdough rolls, Gluten-free sourdough soft rolls
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

4 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Sourdough Rolls”

    1. I haven’t made these without xanthan gum but you can try making it with psyllium husk only. In that case, use 20 grams of psyllium husk and 250 grams of water (my best guess!).

  1. 5 stars
    Tonight was the 3rd time I’ve made these rolls, and I am in love! This recipe makes such delicious, fluffy rolls that are not even close to your typical gluten free option. Thank you!

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