Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The best gluten free bread, ever. Herbed and apricot cardamom.

Oh my goodness. I stumbled upon Sea's recipe for gluten free rosemary teff rolls. Intrigued, and itching to try out the teff flour I got for Christmas from Dana, I started out. I wanted to split the dough in half once it was made, making one half savory, to be dipped in garlic and herb olive oil, and making the other half sweet. 

When I was a kid, my mom used to get loaves of this great white bread with apricot chunks in it that I've been itching to replicate. That bread was soft and plain, but with bursts of sweet-sour apricot pieces throughout that I couldn't get enough of. I Googled "apricot bread" to get some flavor ideas, and came up with some recipe with apricots, nuts, and cardamom. I didn't have any nuts, but I love cardamom. Every year for Christmas (prior to herself and 2/3 of her children going gluten free), my mom would make a braided cardamom loaf, with large grain sugar on top. This year Dana made one using Bob's Red Mill bread mix, changing things up and adding cardamom, and it was delicious. Sorry Dana, this is what we are having next year. 

I wasn't expecting much. I've baked some decent gluten free breads before, but nothing this close to regular bread. I was blown away. Crunchy on the outside, soft and well, bread like inside. Not crumbly and stiff like other breads. Alex was blown away. I was blown away. Just to be sure, I microwaved a few this morning and ate them for breakfast with butter, and yup, still soft and bread like. Ooooh. 

Apricot Cardamom Rolls
For the original roll recipe go here.

3 eggs
1/4 c oil
1/4 c sugar plus 1 t plus 1 T
1 t cider vinegar
2 t vanilla
1 1/4 c milk, warm
1 t salt
1 T xanthan gum
1/3 c potato starch
1 1/2 c rice flour
1/2 c sorghum flour
1 c tapioca starch
1/3 c teff flour
1 T yeast
1 t cardamom
3/4 c diced apricots
1 beaten egg, for the egg wash
large grain sugar

Combine yeast, 1 t sugar, and milk in a bowl and let sit until foamy. Toss apricots in 1 T sugar and set aside. Beat eggs in the mixer until combined. Add in oil, vinegar, and 1/4 c sugar. Dump in all the dry ingredients and the foamy, yeasty milk, and mix until everything is moistened. Scrape down the bowl, and then turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat for 4 minutes. Fold in the apricots. 
Using two spoons, shape the dough into balls and place a few inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Smooth the tops with wet fingers, then brush with beaten egg. Let rise for half an hour or so until doubled in size, then sprinkle with large grain sugar. Preheat the oven to 375, and place a pan with 1/2" of water on the bottom rack. When the oven is hot, bake the rolls 20 minutes. I made two pans of rolls, if you do that bake them one at a time. 

For Herb Rolls
Same recipe, follow the directions above but add in the herbs with the dry ingredients, leave out the cardamom/vanilla and apricots/extra sugar.

-add in 1 t each of rosemary, thyme, dried onion, oregano, as well as 1/2 t of pepper and paprika. Next time I might mix in some Parmesan and maybe garlic!


  1. I just recently discovered your blog as I am a newly diagnosed Celiac. Thank you for posting your recipes and beautiful photographs. You give a girl hope over here. And this bread looks fabulous - gluten-free or not!

  2. Anonymous6:50 PM

    Beautiful! Aren't these rolls amazing??? I need to make them again...


  3. Jill,

    This is without a doubt my favorite GF bread. Now, let's put our heads together. How can we use the same batter and make bagels? Or a regular shaped loaf of bread. Your thoughts?


  4. Ellen-
    I will work it out, bagels. I was thinking about using this for pizza crust, I'm sure it could make a regular loaf of break, my next plan is to make kind of like a cross between monkey bread and cinnamon buns, with lots of brown sugar and sticky sauce. I have so many ideas/plans! Let me know if you come up with anything else!

  5. Anonymous10:33 AM

    All I can say is Wow! Those look wonderful. I am very excited to try making these. Thanks for the post and thanks to Sea for her original post

  6. Anonymous1:22 AM

    Beautiful looking rolls, I am very pleased at the results when I bake with teff, do you have any trouble tolerating it? I've heard it is debatable as far as 100% gluten free but I have had no trouble and I sure love the outcome when I use it. I am beginning to bake for friends so I would like to know how others are affected if at all. I've been dying to make "monkey bread" lately! MMMM

  7. Glutenfree4goofs- I don't have any trouble tolerating it, neither do my mom or sister who are also gluten free. I looked around on the internet and saw there was some debate, but the most recent things I saw said that it was gluten free, and also, I buy Bob's Red Mill teff flour, and they test their things down to I think 20 ppm which is safe for most people. However, if you don't trust the teff, play around with other flours you trust, and let us know how things turn out!

  8. Do you know if this recipe would work with a milk substitute, such as almond/rice milk? I am in love with you blog and drool over your beautiful pictures. Your desserts look unbelievable, but I'm the only one in the house that eats sweets and now that I've discovered the key to GF baking, I've noticed that my body is hanging onto every ounce of sugar. I'm trying to cut back on dessert, but figured I could call your bread healthy :)

  9. CDM- I bet the recipe would totally work with a milk sub. I've made pizza dough with water instead of milk before and it's come out fine, I'm sure other milks would be fine! Let me know how it turns out if you try it, maybe halve the recipe just in case it doesnt work out.
    And I know what you mean about the sweets thing, I am addicted to baking and have such a problem with eating too many sweets, but I can't help it!!!! Ugh.

  10. I just found your blog and I can't wait to try your corn dog recipe. I love this dinner roll recipe. I did make it with rice milk and it turned out great. I also baked it as a loaf and I think I baked it for about 40 minutes. I had to cover it with foil halfway through so that it did not get too brown. It made the best sandwiches! Great recipes and pictures too

  11. Late to the party... but I've been making these (from Book of Yum) with soy or rice milk and Ener-G egg replacer for 4 eggs and they turn out great. I've also used it for a pizza crust but I think next time I would bake it part-way first, before I put the toppings on, so it doesn't get soggy in the middle. This looks like a splendid variation! I have cardamom; now I need to rush out and buy apricots!

  12. Hi, these look so good! I am going to make these today to see if I want to make them for Thanksgiving. I'm excited to give them a try! I was just wondering, though, if you think that I can still get good results with using a hand mixer. I don't have a Kitchen Aid type mixer... also, what is the purpose of putting the pan of water in the over when you bake the rolls? Just curious. =o) Thanks for posting, they really do look great!!

  13. I tried making these twice and both times they didn't rise. I know the yeast was good because it foamed up quite a bit. I tried once on the counter but I thought it was too cold so I put them in the oven with the oven light on for a little heat but that didn't work either. Any ideas???

  14. Hey this is look like so strange but is it sweet or else.

    seo services

  15. This looks delicious! thanks for the recipe!

  16. Anonymous7:52 PM

    I can't tell you how much it has meant to me to eat bread this delicious!! I have tried recipe after recipe since learning 4 months ago that I was allergic, and every one I had tried was horrible. I was beginning to think GF bread was some kind of cruel joke. But this recipe has made me sooooo happy! I just made it for the first time and it came out fantastic.

  17. Anonymous2:26 AM

    These look AMAZING -- I may actually have rolls at the Thanksgiving table this year! Could you give me an idea of how many rolls the recipe makes? (We're having a houseful over!) Thanks!!! Deb

  18. Oh, hm, I forget! I think about two dozen, depending on how big you make them. It's a pretty big recipe!

  19. I made these yesterday for Thanksgiving. They were absolutely delicious. Great recipe. Thanks so much.

  20. Anonymous7:55 PM

    I'm wondering if these can be made as simple rolls (or as a boule) without the apricots and cardamom. I'm still in search of a really great bread recipe and the texture of these looks amazing!

  21. Amy, yes ma'am! leave everything out and just make plain, they're good.

  22. I just found your site AND your amazing rolls! I will be trying them soon as the pictures look beautiful. Could it be true, real GF rolls that taste like fresh bread and with Cardamom? Yummy. Thanks for your obvious successful efforts.

  23. I foudn this on google, and seems to work well.

  24. Anonymous6:09 PM

    Help! I just made these for the first time and they didn't work at all. The dough was so wet (even after adding additional flour) that it flattened out into a cookie shape. I made a few substitutions I researched on the web - almond milk, gelatin dissolved in water instead of the xanthan gum, corn starch instead of potato starch, and brown rice flour for the teff flour. otherwise, I stuck to the recipe. what's wrong?

  25. Anonymous, I'd say you probably made too many substitutions. The recipe works, as is, but I can't vouch for it with a lot of substitutions. Sorry!

  26. Lauren5:31 PM

    These look delicious! Quick question about the cardamom: does this recipe call for whole cardamom (green? brown?) or ground cardamom?

    Sorry if this is a really basic question. I just found out I'm gluten intolerant (and cow's milk, soy, egg-intolerant...yeah it's been a good week...) so am just starting out with these new ingredients!

  27. ground cardamom, probably brown? I just buy 'cardamom' at the store, already ground.

  28. I just found your blog via stumbleupon and wanted to let you know that the very first blog I wrote was a food blog called 'Hey, that smells great' - small world :)

  29. Anonymous6:44 AM

    Hi! These rolls look gorgeous! Do you know if they freeze well? My sister is coeliac and works and goes to school full time, so I'm looking for stuff she can make maybe once a month as she has virtually no time for cooking. Since I don't live near her, I can't do the baking for her.

    Also, for myself, can I substitute baking powder for the yeast? Otherwise, I'll just have to drool over the lovely photos! :)