Saturday, January 16, 2016

Hamburger, Hotdog and Sandwich Buns

Have I longed for hamburger and hotdog buns which are not hard as a rock or rubber like or not made from rice flour. Most of the commercial rolls are dry or rubbery. At a restaurant, I ordered a hamburger with a gluten free bun and ended up just eating the hamburger and leaving the bun on my plate. Disappointing and a waste of money.

I'm pretty sure that those commercial rolls or buns were good when they came out of the oven but as they sit in the restaurants or grocery stores, they lose their appeal. That happens with all gluten free bread, even homemade gluten free bread. Gluten free bread has a very short shelf life.

More and more gluten free bakers are beginning to use or make flour blends using whole grain gluten free flours, other than rice.  Many of the other flours have a wonderful taste. Those could be sorghum flour, oat flour, millet flour, teff flour, corn flour (masa harina, not corn starch), quinoa flour and many others . They give bread a great flavor as opposed to the cardboard taste. Adding flaxseed meal and chia seed also help flavor.

Flour Combinations for Gluten Free Buns and Rolls

I have tried more than a dozen recipes for rolls and buns. Most of the rolls or buns were not even worth saving for bread crumbs or cubes for stuffing/dressing. Finally, I've found a combination of flours that works! Variations of the combination can be found on several bloggers' sites such as Chrissy Lane's site, Linda Daniel's site (especially flour blend 2), and Carol Fenster's Book, 1000 Gluten-Free Recipes.

Another gluten free combination I like is Jules Gluten Free Flour Mix recipe. Her mixes can be bought on line but I like to use her recipe for flour choices. I am currently working on a combination of her recipe that I like. See her combination here. The combination of flours can also be found in her book, Free for All Cooking. I will blog later about using this combination of flours for making bread, rolls and buns.

Carol Fenster's recipe is similar but contains no almond flour. Her first recipe for a similar recipe called for corn flour. I like the taste and texture of the almond flour. The almond flour helps improve moisture and tenderness and acts as a stabilizer.  Corn flour (not corn starch) or bean flour can be substituted for the almond meal. Cornstarch can be substituted for the potato starch but the potato starch helps retain moisture and gives a light consistency to the bread.

When baking, this bread smells just like the bread I made with wheat flour. At first I was disappointed because it was rubbery out of the oven but the taste was fantastic! I broke the rule! Gluten free bread should always be left to cool before cutting or eating. If the bread is left to cool, the texture improves and can be compared to wheat bread. Also, remember that gluten free bread is always better toasted. It helps improve the consistency, adds moisture and helps seal the bread from crumbling. The University of Nebraska's Extension agrees with this. These buns or rolls can be served if warm, but not hot out of the oven.

Several bloggers use this mini cake panel pan for baking rolls and buns.  I ordered the pan through Amazon and it works ok, but the height of the wells are only about 1 inch. Since gluten free batters need straight sides in which to climb, this pan doesn't give the buns much room to climb. The buns only rise up just a little over an inch. Remember, gluten free products usually shrink while cooling, which makes the buns thinner. If I'm in a hurry, I might use the cake/bun pan. If I want higher buns, I use the muffin tins with the aluminum foil collars.

I make sourdough English muffins and use muffin rings to make them. The rolls rise beautifully in these rings. To help the rolls be higher, I wrapped the rings and formed a collar to help give the buns height. Notice, I enclosed the bottom of the ring with the aluminum foil. The foil seemed to work better than the parchment paper. I placed the rings on a sheet pan.

On the left and middle are 4" muffin rings. On the right are
4" cake springform pans
Another pan I used was 4-inch springform pan. The pans are non-stick. There is a problem with them in baking gluten free products. The buns were rather flat. Gluten free batter needs a straight side to climb and the slick non-stick side offers no help to the batter. The pan needs to be lined with parchment paper. In the photo, one pan is lined by pressing the parchment paper in the pan. Another has a circle cut for the bottom and a strip for the sides. Despite all that, the bread did not rise as much as the bread in the muffin rings.

The collar on the muffin rings worked great. The batter rose up to the collar and was perfect!

Second rising

Four-inch buns for hamburgers, sloppy joes 
or sandwiches

After all the experimenting, my conclusion is that the muffin rings wrapped in aluminum foil worked the best and make the best shaped rolls. Wrapping the rings isn't that much trouble so I will continue using this method until I find a better method.

Notice one of the photos states that it is the second rising. Usually gluten free bread does not have a second rising. But the dough  comes out ot the refrigerator and is scopped into the muffin rings. It needs time to come to room temperature and in that time (about 15-20 minutes), it rises a little. If left too long, the bread dough will collapse.

Also, notice that the tops of the buns are not smooth. The reason is that batter breads have lumpy tops. Kneaded breads usually have smooth tops. To smooth out the tops of my English muffins, I wet my fingers and smooth out the tops. It works somewhat with this bread dough also. (The buns in the photo were not smoothed). An egg wash can be used on the top to hold sprinkled seeds such as sesame seeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds, sunflower seeds or your favorite seed.

In the recipe for these buns, seed dust was used rather than gums. The seed dust was a lighter color version made with light colored ground flaxseed, light ground chia seeds and ground psyllium husk. The darker version would work just fine. If you don't use seed dust, you can use xanthan gum or guar gum.

A teaspoon of vinegar helps the yeast. Yeast likes a slightly acidic environment. Do not over-do the acidic environment. A pinch of powdered ascorbic acid (vitamin C) could substitute for vinegar, though, vinegar is never tasted. A teaspoon of organge juice or lemon juice could also be used rather than vinegar.

Dry milk was added to the dry ingredients because dry milk gives flavor, acts as a tenderizer for a tender crumb and adds color to the crust as the bread bakes. The milk adds protein and sugar. The combination, when baking, add a more complex flavor.

Hotdog Buns

The hogdog nuns are only slightly more difficult. I made a hotdog bun form with aluminum foil to help me shape the bun pan. I used a disposable aluminum muffin tray to make the 6 muffin cups into e large hotdog nun shapes. (Do not throw it out. Wash it and use it many times(. Also, small disposable aluminum loaf pans can be reshaped into hotdog bun shapes.

As stated before, gluten-free batters need a side on the pan or parchment lined pan in order to rise correctly. Regular bun pans do not give support needed for gluten-free batters. There are several ways to successfully shape gluten-free hotdog buns.

The New England hotdog pan can be used. Not all have sucessfully used it but when it works, it makes beautiful buns. It is a great heavy pan, but it does cost a bit. The problem I find is that one has to choose to cut the buns very thick or very thin. The pan also needs some type of weight on it as it bakes.

The blogger in this blog has used disposable aluminum grilling trays to shape hotdog buns. These are hard to find in the store but they can be found here on Amazon. 

You will need to find what works for you. There are several suggestions at this site.

Gluten Free Sorghum Flour Blend 

This gluten free sorghum flour blend is great to use for yeast breads, quick breads, muffins and scones. My favorite combination of this flour blend is sorghum flour, tapioca starch potato starch and almond meal. There is no hint of the almond flavor in the bread.

Ingredients for flour blend: 1 1/2 cups (185 grams)  sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups (186 grams) tapioca starch
3/4 cup (125 grams) potato starch or cornstarch (98 grams)
3/4 cup (84grams) almond meal or corn flour (87 grams) or bean flour (90 grams)
2 cups (246 grams) sorghum flour
2 cups (250 grams) tapioca starch
1 cup (165 grams) potato starch or cornstarch (130 grams)
1 cup (112 grams) almond meal/flour or corn flour (116 grams)

Notice that most of the substitutes are similar in weight except the potato starch and the cornstarch. I haven't tried the cornstarch substitution suggested by Carol Fenster. Her years of judgement and knowledge of gluten free flour far out weighs mine but I am sure that the consistency of the batter with corn starch will be different than the batter with potato starch.

Sorghum Flour Buns and Rolls

Dry ingredients:
3 3/4 cups sorghum bread flour blend
2 tablespoons sugar
2-3 teaspoons instant yeast
3-4 tablespoons dry milk (can be omitted, if necessary)
2 tablespoons seed dust (or 2 1/2 - 3 teaspoons xanthan gum)
1 teaspoon salt
Wet ingredients:
1  cup water, room temperature
1/4 cup olive oil (or oil of choice)
3 eggs 
1 teaspoon vinegar


In a small bowl, whisk wet ingredients together. Set aside

In a large non-metal bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Beat the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put the bowl in the refrigerator. The dough needs to hydrate at least 12 hours -- better 2-3 days. While in the refrigerator, the dough not only hydrates but develops flavor.

Next day or days:

Preheat oven to 350℉ (convection oven to 325℉).

To bake the buns or roll, place the batter (removing from the fridge) in the container you choose to bake the buns or rolls in. I use an ice cream scoop to fill the pans. It helps keep the buns or rolls the same size. 

Let rise about 15-30 minutes. Most of the time, I heat water in a glass bowl for 3 minutes in the microwave. I place the pan on top of the bowl, close the microwave door and let the pans and dough warm about 15 minutes. If you choose not to use this method, the let the pans and dough come to room temperature about 30 minutes.

Bake about 15 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 205℉. Remove from oven and let cool in pan about 5 minutes. Remove the buns or rolls from the pans to a cooling rack. They can be served warm.

These rolls, as most gluten free bread, are best served the same day baked. On the second day, I have warmed them before in a damp paper towel in the microwave for 10 seconds and they were OK but not as good as the day baked. I have frozen the rolls individually and warmed them and they also were OK but not as good as the day baked.


These gluten free rolls and buns are quick and easy, especially, making them the second day out of the fridge. They take 30 minutes out of the fridge. If you don't let the dough spend the day or night in the fridge, you might be disappointed because it has not hydrated properly nor developed the wonderful yeast flavor yet. Try this simple method, you may like it. 

If you have other methods to share, I would like to hear about them. We all learn from each other.

As stated  before, Jules Shepard has a wonderful recipe for gluten free bread flour also. I will be posting a recipe using that flour blend later.


"America's Test Kitchen Gluten-Free Flour Blend - Cook's Illustrated." N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2016. <>.

"Bread Machine Ingredients." Baking Tips: Bread Machines & Ingredients. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2016. <>.

"Carol's Sorghum Flour Blend." Savory Palate Blog RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2016. <>.

Fenster, Carol. 1000 Gluten-Free Recipes. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Print.

"How to Make a Gluten Free Bread Flour Mix - Gluten Free Bread." Gluten Free Bread. N.p., 22 Feb. 2013. Web. 08 Jan. 2016. <>.

Shepard, Jules E. Dowler. Free For All Cooking. Cambridge: Da Capo, 2010. Print.

"Substitutions - Gluten Free & More." Gluten Free & More. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2016. <>.

"The Maillard Reaction and Foods." Cooking and Eating for Health The Maillard Reaction Reconsidered (2015): 1-2. Web.<>

"Top 30+ Best Gluten-Free Hamburger Bun, Hot Dog Bun, and Sandwich Roll Recipes." Gfegluten Free Easily. N.p., 23 June 2014. Web. 08 Jan. 2016. <>.

Written By Beckee Moreland, Make It Gluten Free, Llc And Jean Guest, Phd, Rd, Lmnt, Reviewed By Jamie Kabourek, Ms, Rd, Unl Food Allergy Research & Resource Program;, Barbara Kliment, Executive Director, Ne Grain Sorghum Board;, and Alice Henneman, Ms, Rd, And Jenny Rees, Ms, Unl Extension Educators. Gluten-Free (GF) Baking Gets Better with Sorghum (n.d.): n. pag. Web.