I made these for a gathering with friends yesterday, then put them in the oven to rise. As it turned out, they only got to rise for five minutes before I had to turn the oven on to get them cooked fast. Surprisingly, they still rose very well. If you don’t have time to give them 30 minutes to rise, just start cooking them. You won’t get as much rise, but you will get quite a bit.
These don’t taste exactly like the white gluten buns you remember. But why should they? They’re light, fluffy, and soft, delicious with a hamburger.
You’ll be eating these this summer on all the cookouts you’ll be having.
Say goodbye to the bun-free burger.
1 ½ cups rice flour
1 cup gluten-free cornstarch (1/2 cup potato starch, 1/2 cup tapioca starch for corn-free)
2 tablespoons yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
½ cup milk, plus ¼ cup as needed.
¼ cup warm water
1/3 cup olive oil
Grease two large baking sheets well with butter. Preheat the oven on WARM. If you don’t have a WARM setting, heat the oven to lowest setting and 10 minutes before you put the bread in, turn it off and open the door.
Position rack in the center of the oven.
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat with your electric mixer until blended.
Stir all the wet ingredients (except the extra ¼ cup milk) together in another bowl.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat with electric mixer for 1 minute. If the mix is really thick and your mixer is having a hard time blending it, add the extra quarter cup milk while you are blending. Remember, you still want the dough to be thick enough that it will not spread out on the pan.
Allow mix to sit for 1 minute. Beat for one minute, then allow to set for another minute. Repeat the process 2 more times.
After this, beat for one minute and allow to set for 5 minutes. Beat again.
Using a large spoon, spoon clumps of dough onto the baking sheet and push them off with your hands. The mix should be thick enough that it won’t spread out. Shape each clump into a ball with your hands. You aren’t rolling this dough. You’re just pushing the edges in to make it slightly rounder on the pan. The dough is too sticky to roll. You want it to be wet, so don’t use any flour or starch when shaping them.
Set the buns in the oven on WARM (or as prepared). After it has been in the oven for five minutes on warm, turn it off completely and allow to set for 25 more minutes to rise.
Once the dough has risen completely, turn the oven to 350 degrees F.
Now here’s the strange part:
Take a muffin tin (or a large cast-iron pan) out of your cupboard. Put about six ice cubes in the muffin pan. Put the muffin tin (or cast-iron pan) in the oven below the rolls (bottom rack).
What’s this for? The ice cubes will create some wet steam in the oven, which makes the rolls brown better. I’ve found that the technique works better than egg wash.
Cook rolls for about 30 minutes. Leave the ice cubes in the oven.
When done, the rolls should be a light brown color and should feel soft but firm. Take them out of the oven.
Taking one of the rolls, slice it down the center like a hamburger bun. Also check for doneness while doing this. If the roll is slightly wet in the center, then put the rolls back in the oven. If not, let them cool, then put them in an airtight container until use. Use within 48 hrs, or they will dry out. They are best eaten fresh.