Before we went gluten free, I used to love making whole wheat dinner rolls–just like the ones that I used to make when I helped out in our Waldorf Kindergarten. One of my favorite parts of making the rolls was kneading the dough. It took me four years, but I finally found a gluten free version that has the same chewy whole wheat texture of those rolls…and there is actually some kneading involved! (most–99% of gluten free bread is NOT kneaded) The key is psyllium husks which I’ve started using instead of xanthan gum. (like in my orange/poppy seed bread) Although I have made a few revisions, I based these rolls on a great bread recipe from “The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen”.
There are a couple tricks to these chewy gluten free dinner rolls.
First, teff flour is a key ingredient I think. It gives the bread density and texture that is usually lacking in the typical (chalky) gluten free bread. You can try other substitutions in the flours however. (e.g. white rice flour instead of finely ground brown rice flour, cornmeal instead of almond meal, etc)
Second, psyllium husk flakes (which can be found at your health foods store or online) is essential. The “stretchiness” it gives the dough is the reason why you can knead it. Once you whisk the husk flakes into the liquid however, do not leave more than a couple minutes or it will become TOO gooey!
Third, please do NOT overbake! If you break open a roll right out of the oven, it will appear gummy. Don’t worry! Give it ten or fifteen minutes and what was gummy will miraculously become chewy and fully cooked.
If you are gluten free and miss a good chewy bread, give these rolls a try!
CHEWY GLUTEN FREE DINNER ROLLS
* 3/4 cup teff flour
* 3/4 cup finely ground brown rice flour (or use white rice flour)
* 1 cup sorghum flour
* 1/2 cup almond meal
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 1/2 cups warm water (105-109 degrees F)
* 1 package yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
* 1 teaspoon cane sugar
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 tablespoons maple syrup
* 1/3 cup psyllium husk flakes
* 1/3 cup ground flax seeds
1) Mix all dry ingredients together well in a large mixing bowl.
2) In a smaller bowl, mix warm water (I always use a thermometer to make sure temperature is correct), cane sugar and yeast together. Set aside for a few minutes until foamy and bubbly.
3) Whisk olive oil, maple syrup, psyllium flakes and ground flax seeds into the yeast mixture. Set aside for TWO MINUTES–no longer! Whisk again.
4) Combine wet and dry ingredients together and mix thoroughly. The dough will be sticky.
5) Turn dough out onto a board that has been dusted with teff, or sorghum flour. Using as little extra flour as possible, (approx. 1/4 cup) gently knead the dough until it holds together but is still slightly sticky. Form the dough into a ball, place it in a clean bowl and cover with a cloth.
6) Let dough rise in a warm place until double in size. (about an hour)
7) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
8) Place an ovenproof dish filled with several cups of water on the bottom rack of your oven. Turn on your oven to preheat to 400 degrees.
9) Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured board. Knead for about a minute.
10) Form dough into balls (approx. 1/3 cup each) and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Let rise for another 30 minutes.
11) Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes–no longer! Rolls will be slightly brown, but will be slightly “gummy” inside.
12) Place on a rack to cool for 10-15 minutes.
13) Enjoy with non dairy butter or spread of your choice!