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What Are Gluten-Free Rolls?

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  • Written By: H. Bliss
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2017
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Gluten-free rolls are individual servings of bread made from flour from sources other than grain from the wheat family. Varieties of gluten-free flour are many, but the most common types of flour used in gluten-free rolls are rice and tapioca flour. Gluten-free rolls are usually eaten by people who are sensitive to the dietary gluten that comes from wheat grain. These rolls can be made at home in a gluten-free kitchen, or they can be purchased at stores that supply specialty gluten-free breads.

A diet free of gluten is vitally important for people with celiac disease, for whom consuming gluten can have severe consequences. Flour sources that contain no gluten include amaranth, quinoa, and sorghum. Other gluten-free substitutes for wheat flour include tapioca flour, potato starch, and flour made from ground dried legumes like beans. Legumes commonly made into flour include chickpeas, lentils, and several varieties of beans like fava beans, white beans, and black beans.

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Since gluten contributes to the familiar texture of wheat bread, a baker must take steps to simulate the presence of gluten in gluten-free bread. The usual way of achieving a palatable texture is to mix several gluten-free flours to achieve the desired texture and flavor. Homemade gluten-free rolls are most often made with all-purpose gluten-free flour, which is generally a combination of several rice flours with tapioca flour, but they can be made with other types of gluten-free flour. Some recipes also contain xanthan gum, an ingredient that helps lend a more wheat-bread-like texture to the rolls.

In addition to yeast, gluten-free rolls also include sugar, salt, and milk, and they may contain eggs. Some recipes include baking powder. Gluten-free rolls are sometimes made in buttered single-serving muffin pans that help give the rolls a round and uniform shape. They may also be arranged on a cookie sheet to bake.

When making gluten-free rolls, any grains related to wheat should be avoided due to the presence of gluten. Species of wheat are many, but major species used in commercially sold breads, pastries, and pastas include bread wheat, durum wheat and spelt. No amount of these grains is acceptable when creating a bread mixture that is gluten free. Generally, any traces of wheat must also be removed from any kitchen surfaces or equipment used to make the rolls. Some individuals are highly sensitive and react to small amounts of gluten found in products contaminated with wheat.

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