Being gluten free in today’s world is easier than ever.  With the new gluten free products on grocery store shelves growing 63% from 2012 to 2014 and reaching sales of $8.8 billion* there are a lot of good products out there that provide alternatives to our gluten containing favorites.

But, one of those that hasn’t surfaced just yet is a gluten free alternative to those soft, rich King Hawaiian rolls.  And, I especially wanted this so that I could share one of my favorite French Toast recipes – Macadamia French Toast.  So, this could be a dual purpose recipe for the holidays.  You could make this as a roll to go with your Christmas dinner and make enough so that you have 7 rolls left over for the French Toast recipe for your New Year’s day brunch.  I’ll be sure to get the Macadamia French Toast recipe up on the blog by then.

But, where to start?  There are plenty of gluten free Hawaiian Roll recipes out there, but I like to start with the wheat flour version and convert it from there.  So…I found a wheat flour recipe from King Arthur’s site and started there.

This dough is considered a rich yeast dough.  With a dough this high in sugar, the yeast is competing with the sugar for water – so it leaves the yeast high and dry and not as effective as it should be.  King Arthur recommends using osmotolerant yeast (and they’re right).  Using this type of yeast shortens the rise time, however, I’m an Executive Pastry Chef and I don’t have osmotolerant yeast in my pantry, so…I can’t expect you to.  That’s why I’m boosting the rise with a chemical leavener – just a touch of baking soda and baking powder gives this bread a bit of a ‘lift.’ The best baking pan for this particular dough is a regular muffin tin.

I have tested and tweaked this recipe quite a few times and I have gained a few pounds in the process.  I have another batch in the oven right now and the smell in here is a.m.a.z.i.n.g.  I almost can’t wait until these are out of the oven.  My salted butter is at the perfect temperature just waiting to melt into these soft, sweet pillows of heaven.

*Food Technology, November 2015, Vol. 69 No. 11, p 21

Mangia!  Mangia!  xoxo

Gluten Free Hawaiian Roll
Author: Deb Farina
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 rolls
These soft, sweet pillows of heaven are great as a dinner roll but perfect for Macadamia French Toast.
  • Sponge
  • ¼ cup (1.1 ounce) GF Farina All Purpose Flour*
  • ¼ cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1 Tablespoon (.4 ounces) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Dough
  • 1 Tablespoon (.3 ounces) psyllium husk
  • ¼ cup (1.4 ounces) potato flour
  • ¼ cup (1.0 ounces) coconut flour
  • 1 and ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 and ½ cups + 2 Tablespoons (11.5 ounces) GF Farina All Purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 ounces pineapple juice
  • ⅓ cup (2.6 ounces) light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces), unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • Egg Wash
  • 1 large egg plus 1 Tablespoon water
  1. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup flour, ¼ cup warm water, yeast and honey. Let rest 15 minutes.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in bowl of electric mixer: psyllium husk, potato flour, coconut flour, salt and 11.5 ounces of GF Flour. Mix for 30 seconds on low speed with paddle until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine pineapple juice, brown sugar, melted butter and vanilla extract. Do not add eggs to this mixture. The acid from the pineapple juice may start ‘cooking’ the eggs and you’ll end up with little bits of ‘cooked’ yolk and whites.
  4. With mixer running on low, add sponge to dry ingredients.
  5. Add Pineapple juice mixture and scrape down if necessary.
  6. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated. Mix on medium speed for 1 and ½ minutes to hydrate mixture.
  7. Dough will be super sticky.
  8. Place in greased bowl (not metal) and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place (I usually cover with clean towel) for 45 minutes.
  9. Using cupcake scoop, divide into 12 greased muffin tins. If necessary, using a wet hand, pat the top of the roll smooth. Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise 15 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  11. Whisk together egg with 1 Tablespoon of water. Brush egg wash onto tops of rolls.
  12. Bake 18 to 22 minutes until golden brown and springs back when lightly touched on top.
*GF Farina All Purpose Flour Blend recipe here.

And a very Merry Christmas wish from my house to yours!


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