Today’s recipe is for gluten free brioche buns that are so soft they almost feel like the real thing!
I posted my first attempt at brioche buns a long time ago and although it gathered a good amount of attention, I wasn’t 100% happy with the result. I was new to baking bread at the time and still had a lot to learn (still do now at some extent!). After some practice, however, I have finally reached gluten free brioche buns perfection!
Even my non-coeliac boyfriend is so impressed, he went as far as saying they feel just like ‘normal’ bread. At least when straight out of the oven. Success!
I’m not even exaggerating when I say this. I never thought I would experience such soft, elastic, bouncy bread ever again, let alone it be homemade. The first bite honestly blew our mind!
I mean, look at it and see for yourself. When was the last time you were able to bend a gluten free bread bun like this? And without it breaking apart or at least crumbling a little!? This is so elastic it’s almost unreal. The closest I’ve come to what I remember real bread being in all my gluten free years.
The only downside – but this applies to all homemade bread, gluten free or not – is that these gluten free brioche buns are best eaten fresh. They do lose some of their elasticity by the next day, although they’re still very tasty and easily softened again in the microwave. 🙂
The nutrition side
Not that you need any other reason (or excuse) to eat brioche buns, but did you know that they’re also not too bad nutrition wise?
They contain less carbs than standard gluten free white bread rolls, a bit more protein (about 10% of your daily needs), a good amount of all vitamin B (including 17% of your daily B12 needs) and nearly 20% of your daily needs of Vit A and E. Among other things.
(Info taken from entering ingredients in a nutrition tracker)
Tips for best results:
1. Use bread flour.
2. Don’t skip or shorten the resting time. Be patient and let the dough double up in size. To make life easier – if you don’t have two hours to sit around at home while the dough rises by the oven – you can prepare it the day before and leave it to rise in the fridge overnight.
3. Use a bun tray. With gluten free dough needing more liquid than ‘normal’ bread, this is especially important for the buns to cook with the right shape. But if, like me, you don’t have one, then follow the advice below.
4. Make the buns relatively small if using a flat baking tray. This yields by far the best texture and shape. As I said above, the challenge with baking gluten free is that you always need more liquid than when using gluten containing flours and this can make the dough more difficult to handle. In this case, the large buns tend to collapse and spread a little. Whereas the smaller ones keep their shape and cook just right on the inside.
5. Don’t let the gluten free brioche buns sit around for too long after being taken out of the oven. Homemade bread is notorious for drying out quickly so let them cool down a bit, then quickly store them in an air tight container.
6. Reheat next day (or older) leftovers in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to make them soft again.
Gluten free brioche buns recipe:
Difficulty level: easy
Preparation time: 10 mins
Resting time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 20 mins
Cooking temperature: 200C (400F)
Yields: 7-8 brioche buns
*** Best eaten fresh ***
- 225-260g gluten free white bread flour (I used Doves Farm)
- 1 tsp dry active yeast (I used Allinson)
- 1-2 tsp xanthan gum (only if your flour blend doesn’t already contain it)
- 1+1/2 tsp caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 150ml milk
- 100g unsalted butter
- 2 medium eggs (45-50g each)
- 1 egg (to brush over the buns)
Note: the amount of flour needed will depend on what flour blend you use as some need more liquid than others. But it also depends on what kind of baking tray you’re using. If you have a proper bun tray, you can use less flour as the moulds will keep the bun in the right shape, but if using a flat baking tray you may have to put more flour
How to make the dough:
- Warm up the milk in the microwave in 10 seconds increments until lukewarm.
- Add the sugar and yeast to the warm milk and let it sit for a few minutes until frothy.
- Meanwhile, combine the flour, salt and xanthan gum in a mixing bowl.
- Melt the butter in the microwave in 10 seconds increments.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the frothy yeast/milk mixture, melted butter and 2 eggs. Mix well until you reach a smooth creamy dough that resembles cake batter.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and let the batter rest and rise in a warm place for about 2 hours (or overnight in the fridge). What I do is turn the oven on to the lowest temperature and place the bowl on the opened door (so it’s not actually inside the oven). Note: grease the cling film with oil or a low calorie oil spray (my personal favourite) to make sure the dough doesn’t stick to it as it rises.
How to make the buns:
- Grease a bun or normal baking tray with oil or a low calorie oil spray.
- Shape the dough into buns. Now this dough is quite sticky so you’ll want to wet your hands first (shake off any excess). Be gentle with the dough and don’t apply pressure; you just want to shape the buns while still keeping the dough light and airy. Pressing too hard will get rid of the air bubbles the yeast created so just pass the dough from one hand to the other gently without pressing.
- Place the buns on the greased bun tray. If using a normal baking tray, leave space in between each bun.
- If using a flat baking tray, like me, gently lift the sides to help get the right shape. Note: and this is why using a proper bun tray is so much better! You don’t have to worry about the wet gluten free dough spreading and flattening. But when a flat baking tray is all you have, this step helps.
- Beat an egg and brush over the buns while also smoothing the surface and edges as much as possible.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven (200C/400F), on the middle shelf, for 20 minutes or until they turn golden.
- Let them cool on the baking tray for a bit and store in an air tight container. Note: don’t let them sit around for too long as homemade bread has a tendency to dry out quickly!