Gluten Free Lion House Dinner Rolls

Gluten Free Lion House Dinner Rolls

2 dinner rolls leaning against each other on white surface

One of the most amazing things about the Gluten Free Bread Flour blend in GFOAS Bakes Bread is that, not only does it make gluten free yeast bread that looks, tastes and smells like gluten-containing yeast bread, but the dough itself is something you can handle, knead and shape. Now, you need to handle it with a very light touch, and the dough performs its best when it’s cold from the refrigerator, but, really, it’s so close you won’t believe your eyes (or your hands, or your tastebuds!). It also means that, although gluten free baking is different so I need to make adjustments, I can use conventional bread recipes like Mel’s recipe for Lion House dinner rolls as a jumping-off point to make gluten free Lion House dinner rolls.

Dinner roll dough being shaped and dinner rolls on brown surface

These tender and buttery rolls come together so easily, since even shaping them doesn’t require any special technique. Just roll out the dough, slice it into two rectangles, then 12 rectangles, roll each up and let them rise. That’s it. And even though I’m a big big fan of the long first rise in the refrigerator, I’ve also shaped and baked these rolls on the same day the dough is made (see the **note in the first step in the recipe) and it works beautifully.

Dinner rolls on a brown surface

As if all that weren’t enough, these rolls also freeze beautifully, and the recipe can be doubled (or tripled, if you’re really feeling prep-py). My niece and nephew, gluten-eaters from way back, had these rolls last weekend at dinner with my kids, and they were fighting over the last one. And they were fresh—from the freezer. ;)

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 rolls


3 cups (420 g) Gluten Free Bread Flour*, plus more for sprinkling

2 teaspoons (6 g) instant yeast

1/3 cup (32 g) nonfat dry milk, ground into a finer powder in a blender or food processor

3 tablespoons (38 g) sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons (8 g) kosher salt

1 cup (8 ounces) warm water (about 95°F)

3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 egg (60 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 to 2 tablespoons (14 to 28 g) unsalted butter, melted


  1. 1 cup (140 g) Gluten Free Bread Flour, as discussed more fully on pages 8 to 10 of GFOAS Bakes Bread, contains 100 grams Mock Better Batter all purpose gluten free flour (or Better Batter itself) + 25 grams whey protein isolate (I use NOW Foods brand) + 15 grams Expandex modified tapioca starch (for Expandex resources, click here).
  2. For a calculator that helps you build the flour without math, please see my Gluten Free Flour page.
  3. If you would like to use Ultratex 3 in place of Expandex, please see #6 on my Resources page for instructions.


  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, place the flour, instant yeast, nonfat dry milk and sugar, and use a handheld whisk to combine well. Add the salt and whisk again to combine well. Add the water and 3 tablespoons melted and cooled butter, and the egg, and mix on low speed with the dough hook until combined. Raise the mixer speed to medium and knead for about 5 minutes. This is a lovely, smooth, enriched dough. It climbs up the dough hook during kneading but remains intact and smooth. Spray a silicone spatula lightly with cooking oil spray, and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl or proofing bucket large enough for the dough to rise to double its size, spray the top of the dough with cooking oil spray, and cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap (or the oiled top to your proofing bucket). Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days.**

    **Note: If you prefer, you may make and use this dough on the same day. It will not be as easy to handle, however, but you can work with it. To use the dough the same day it is made, after making the dough, set the covered dough to rise in a warm, draft-free environment to allow it to rise to double its size (about 1 hour). Once it has doubled, place it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or until it is chilled. This will make it much easier to handle. Then, continue with the rest of the recipe instructions.

  • Preparing the dough for shaping. On baking day, line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, and set it aside. Turn out the chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface and, using the scrape and fold kneading method and a very light touch, sprinkle the dough with more flour and knead it lightly, sprinkling with flour when necessary to prevent it from sticking, scraping the dough off the floured surface with a floured bench scraper, then folding it over on itself. Repeat scraping and folding until the dough has become smoother. Do not overwork the dough or you will incorporate too much flour and it will not rise properly.

  • Shaping the rolls + the final rise. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into an 11-inch square. Using a pastry brush, paint the top of the dough generously with the melted butter. Using a pizza wheel or very sharp knife, divide the square in half, creating 2 equal rectangles, each 11-inches x 5 1/2-inches. Slice each of the 2 rectangles into 6 smaller rectangles, each about 1 3/4-inches x 5 1/2-inches (see step by step photos). Starting at the short end of each of the 12 small rectangles, roll the dough up into a snail shape and place, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet, about 2-inches apart from one another. Dust the rolls lightly with more flour to give the dough a “cloak” to rise into. Cover the baking sheet with oiled plastic wrap (be sure to leave the dough room to rise under the plastic), and place in warm, draft-free location to rise only until about double its original size (about 40 minutes to an hour). If you overproof the rolls, they will lose their smoothness on top, so be sure not to overproof.

  • Bake. As the dough is in its final rise, preheat your oven to 375°F. Once the dough has finished rising, uncover it, and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for about 14 minutes, or until the dough is very puffy, just beginning to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (a toothpick test is more useful here than an internal temperature). Remove from the oven and immediately cover the entire baking sheet with a clean tea towel, tucking the ends of the towel under the baking sheet to create a loose seal. Allow the bread to cool for at least 30 minutes under the towel. This will keep the crust soft and squish. Uncover, and serve, or cool the rolls completely and place in a well-sealed freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature and refresh the rolls in the toaster oven before serving.

  • Adapted from the Lion House Dinner Rolls recipe on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (thanks Mel!) as selected by you from my Must Make Gluten Free Pinterest Board.



P.S. Do you have your copy of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread? Thank you thank you thank you for playing such an important part in this, the Gluten Free Bread Revolution! Tell everyone about it!!

Comments are closed.

  • amy wilkinson
    September 16, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    the recipes for the last several days are not coming up on your blog nicole. i get the feed to my inbox as usual. i just thought i’d let you know….

    • September 16, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      Thanks for letting me know, Amy. It’s apparently a caching issue on my end, and my web developer gave me a workaround for now that should fix it and when we redesign my site it will be done differently. So sorry about that! If you clear your computer’s cache, it should show the proper way now. :)

  • klbcos
    September 9, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Nicole, I have a kitchen that is rather cold and even cool in the summer time. How do I get yeast breads to rise well in that environment? Also, do your high altitude bakers need to make any adjustments? I have to deal with both of these challenges. I am excited to begin trying some of your recipes.

  • Diane Stemple Swearingen
    September 9, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    I love all your recipes….you are my “go-to” gluten free blog! But this one…OH! I can’t wait to try it!!

  • Mel
    September 8, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    I am totally and completely amazed with how you can convert ANYTHING from gluten-containing to gluten-free. I never on this earth thought I’d see a gluten-free Lion House Roll. They are my favorites ever and even though I don’t bake gluten-free 100% of the time, it fills my heart with joy knowing the gluten-free dough is just as dreamy to work with as the original. You are amazing.

    • September 9, 2014 at 8:04 AM

      Aw, thanks, Mel!!

  • lex
    September 8, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    The book is amazing and well worth getting!

    • September 9, 2014 at 8:03 AM

      Thanks, lex!

  • Lucy
    September 8, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Nicole, these looking amazing!
    School is still on strike, I think we have a new recipe to try out today. If anything my girls will be well trained for Culinary School. May as well skip the next 6-8 years and go straight to college… :)

    • September 9, 2014 at 8:03 AM

      LOL, Lucy, I think you’re running your own vocational school for them. Lucky kids!

  • my2gals
    September 8, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    My daughter is also Casein free. Can we omit or replace the milk with anything? I usually use coconut or almond milk but not sure if it comes dry? Any suggestions? I would use grassfed ghee in place of the butter.

    • Mindy
      September 8, 2014 at 4:18 PM

      You could try this dry goat milk powder. Not sure how it would affect the taste. I’ve seen this at Whole Foods and Sproutsh

    • Donia Robinson
      September 8, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      In the quick and easy book, one of the dairy free recipes calls for almond flour. It seems like it is sort of in place of the buttermilk powder in the dairy version. If it were me, I’d probably try that. That’s really straying off the beaten path, though, so it could very well be a total flop! And I’m sure Nicole wouldn’t recommend it. Experiment at your own risk! (But I usually do!!)

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