This recipe for homemade Against the Grain-style gluten free rolls is just like the original. Stop paying too much for packaged gluten free bread!
A few years ago, in a pinch I bought a package of Against the Grain original rolls. They were so expensive (nearly $9 for 4 rolls!) that it was really really (really) hard to pull the trigger.
But my family loved them. So I did the only thing that seemed reasonable to me. I made my own copycat version asap.
Clearly, I love a good copycat recipe (I wrote a whole book of them), and I love a good bread recipe (another whole book). This copycat recipe for Against the Grain gluten free rolls is like a dream come true! ;)
This is not a bread recipe, though, like any other. It’s really a modified pão de queijo recipe, made of just tapioca starch/flour, eggs, milk, cheese and oil.
It doesn’t handle like any of our new gluten free bread recipes, and it’s not meant to. It really must be made in a food processor, and when you handle the dough itself, a light touch really is important.
You’re not kneading in the traditional sense. You’re just coaxing it into a roll shape. The oven does the rest. The result is a simple but lovely cheesy roll with a really nice chew and a slightly crispy crust.
I originally wrote about these rolls in 2013. They were such a hit that I expanded my repertoire of tapioca flour bread recipes.
Along the way, I’ve made these breads so many times that I’ve modified this original recipe and the method a bit, both to simplify the process and to handle the issues that sometimes come up.
Here are a few recipe notes that will ensure your success:
- The original method included simmering the milk, like you do in pão de queijo. But I tested the recipe many times without simmering the milk and just changing the ingredient proportions a bit, and it worked really well. Now, all you have to do is put all of the ingredients in the food processor in the order listed, and turn it on. Much simpler!
- The quality of tapioca starch/flour you use matters a lot. I can only recommend tapioca starch/flour from nuts.com, Authentic Foods and Vitacost.com. Bob’s Red Mill tapioca starch/flour is of very inconsistent quality and I recommend against it.
- The tapioca starch/flour sold in bulk in Asian food stores is also very inconsistent and frequently contaminated with other ingredients, sometimes gluten-containing ones. I also recommend against using that.
- If you have issues with your food processor stalling during preparation, it is likely that the tapioca flour has clumped at the bottom of the bowl and the blade has become stuck.
- Opening the top and stirring the dough to loosen it will get it working again. You may have to repeat the process a few times.
- Temperature matters. Right after preparation, the dough will be relatively loose and very sticky. Chilling it will allow you to divide it into portions.
- Chilling the dough again after shaping and before baking will keep the rolls from spreading out, instead of rising up, during baking.
- Depending upon the time of year and your climate, you may need less milk than the full amount called for. So add it slowly!