Gluten-Free Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

#237 Melissa: “We are a Gluten Free household and we have our 4 year old daughter to thank! She cried the first year of her life non-stop! One year later we found out it was gluten. We rarely eat out, so I make all her food from home and after two years Gluten Free breads are NOT my specialty and quite honestly scare me. I would love this book!”

#27 Jena: “What an awesome giveaway! I have celiac disease so everything I cook has to be gulten free.”

You guys. I made gluten-free Hawaiian sweet rolls.

And they were amazing (totally scary for me as it was my first foray into gluten-free bread but I was blown away by how well they turned out) and pretty darn lovely looking, too.

My friend, Nicole, of Gluten Free on a Shoestring fame is coming out with her 3rd gluten-free cookbook and it is entirely dedicated to gluten-free breads.

Which is kinda sorta amazing because when I think “eating gluten-free” I think “how the heck do I get my carb fix?”

Nicole has you covered.

While I don’t eat gluten-free as a lifestyle, I’m all for giving new recipes a try and I’m loving on these Hawaiian sweet rolls.

I can’t believe how accessible making your own gluten-free bread can be! Nicole gives, like, one zillions tips and tricks and step-by-step pictures for everything from bagels to baguettes, tortillas to scones in this new cookbook.

It is revolutionary (like no other gluten-free bread cookbook in the universe, really). You don’t want to mess around with these recipes – Nicole has tested and tested and tested these babies to make them foolproof and following the ingredients and instructions to the letter will ensure fantastic results.

Gluten-Free Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

On a personal note, I can count other food bloggers I’ve actually become real, live friends with on one hand.

Nicole? She’s the real deal. She has been a breath of fresh air in the blogging world for me.

She tells it like it is (read: she doesn’t have one fakety fake bone in her body) and I love her blogging guts. I’m so proud of what she’s created here and so honored to help her get the word out about her book.

To celebrate Nicole’s new cookbook, today, you have a chance to win one of TWO copies of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread. Whether or not you eat gluten-free or not, this is a treasure.

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post telling me your experience with gluten-free recipes. Winners will be announced in a few days!

One Year Ago: Nutella Butterscotch Crumble Bars
Two Years Ago: New York-Style Crumb Cake
Three Years Ago: Sky-Is-The-Limit Pudding Pie

Gluten-free Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

Yield: 12 rolls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 35 minutes
Gluten-Free Hawaiian Sweet Rolls


Hawaiian Roll Dough:

  • 3 cups (420 g) Gluten-Free Bread Flour (recipe below), plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoons (6 g) instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
  • Egg wash (1 large egg, at room temperature, beaten with 1 tablespoon water)

Gluten-Free Bread Flour:

  • 100 grams (about 11 1/2 tablespoons) all-purpose gluten-free flour (71%) (read note above)
  • 25 grams (about 5 tablespoons) unflavored whey protein isolate (18%)
  • 15 grams (about 5 teaspoons) Expandex modified tapioca starch (11%)

High-Quality All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour:

  • 42 grams (about 1/4 cup) superfine brown rice flour (30%)
  • 42 grams (about 1/4 cup) superfine white rice flour (30%)
  • 21 grams (about 2 1/3 tablespoons) tapioca starch (15%)
  • 21 grams (about 2 1/3 tablespoons) potato starch (15%)
  • 7 grams (about 1 3/4 teaspoons) potato flour (5%)
  • 4 grams (about 2 teaspoons) xanthan gum (3%)
  • 3 grams (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) pure powdered pectin (2%)

Make-It-Simpler All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour:

  • 90 grams (about 9 tablespoons) superfine white rice flour (64%)
  • 31 grams (about 3 1/2 tablespoons) potato starch (22%)
  • 15 grams (about 5 teaspoons) tapioca starch (11%)
  • 4 grams (about 2 teaspoons) xanthan gum (3%)


  1. Place the flour, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer, and use a handheld whisk to combine well. Add the salt, and whisk to combine. Add the butter, egg, pineapple juice, and vanilla, and mix on low speed with the dough hook until combined.
  2. Raise the mixer speed to medium and knead for about 5 minutes. The dough will be quite sticky, but should be smooth and stretchy. Spray a silicone spatula lightly with cooking oil spray, and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl or proofing bucket large enough for the dough to rise to double its size, and cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap (or the oiled top to your proofing bucket).
  4. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 5 days.
  5. On baking day, grease an 8-inch round baking pan and set it aside. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
  6. Knead until smoother as described below under general shaping tips. With a floured bench scraper, divide the dough into twelve pieces of equal size.
  7. Shape one piece into a round by following the directions for shaping small, round rolls below. Place the first roll in the prepared baking pan.
  8. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, placing the rolls less than an inch apart from one another. Cover the baking pan with oiled plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm, draft-free location to rise for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and brush the rolls generously with the egg wash. Allow the rolls to finish rising, uncovered, until fully doubled in size (about 20 minutes more).
  9. About 20 minutes before the rolls have completed their final rise, preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the baking pan on the lower rack of the preheated oven and bake until lightly golden brown, and the inside of the rolls registers about 185°F on an instant-read thermometer (about 20 minutes).
  10. Allow to cool briefly in the pan before serving.


Gluten-Free Flour: for the all-purpose gluten-free flour in Gluten-Free Bread Flour, you can use either the High-Quality All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour (below) or the Make-It-Simpler All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour (below that). For this recipe, the High-Quality All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour is best. It is a copycat recipe for Better Batter gluten free flour, so that commercially-available gluten-free flour blend will also work well. Each recipe for the flour blends makes 1 cup (140 g) of flour.

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General Shaping Tips:
Unless otherwise noted, always begin on a well-floured surface with floured hands.
1. With the help of an oiled bench scraper, keep moving the dough as you shape it, particularly if it begins to stick to the surface or your hands. The process of kneading the dough in this book will be done using the scrape-and-fold method: Scrape the dough off the floured surface with the bench scraper, then fold the dough over itself. Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour, scrape the dough up again, and fold it over itself again. Repeat scraping and folding in this manner until the dough has become smoother.
2. Keep the outside of the dough and the surface covered in a light coating of flour as you shape the dough. Handle the dough with a light touch to avoid kneading the flour into the dough, which might dry it out and result in a tight, unpleasant crumb.
3. It bears repeating: A light touch is the key. Repeat that to yourself as a mantra as you first learn to shape this bread dough. It’s the most important rule in shaping. More technique, less muscle.
4. You’ll notice that the recipes do not include instructions to allow dough that has been rising in the refrigerator to come to room temperature before shaping. Always begin with cold dough when shaping the dough in this book. It is much easier to shape.
Shaping Small Rolls:
1. On a well-floured surface, flatten the dough into a disk, then pull the edges toward the center of the disk and secure the edges together by pressing them between your thumb and forefinger.
2. Turn the dough over so that the gathered edges are on the bottom and cup your whole hands around the dough, to coax it into a round shape.
3. Place the round of dough on a lightly floured surface and cup only one palm around the dough with the side of your hand resting on the counter (the
side of your hand nearest your pinkie). Maintaining contact between the side of your hand and the surface, begin to move your hand in a circular motion
while gently coaxing the edges of the dough upward (toward the top of the round) with the tips of your fingers.
4. Slash the dough with a sharp knife or lame held at a 45 degree angle to the dough.

Recipe Source: from the book Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread: Biscuits, Bagels, Buns and More by Nicole Hunn. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright (c) 2013.

*Giveaway provided by Da Capo Lifelong Books, all opinions expressed are my own!