Soft inside, crusty brown exterior–you’d never guess these vegan gluten-free buns are made without any oils or gums! The perfect bread for sandwiches, with soup, or just snacking.
I can explain. I can explain why it has been a ghost town around here. No recipe for over a week, what is this craziness??
I took a spontaneous book-one-day-leave-the-next trip to visit my sister all the way across the country. I’ve been doing my best to still reply to comments in between planes and trains and travels to Oregon and back, but there was so much exploring to be done!
Morning mountain climbs. City street wanderings. Hunting down vegan eats. Latte and laptop-work afternoons. A taste of the car-free walk-everywhere life. Chilly nights and surprisingly sunny days. Admiring the crazy colorful flower scene. Drop-in yoga classes. Serious chats and silly chats and late night sleepy chats. Falling in love with this beautiful bit of the world. So many wonderful moments. The kind of moments that made me miss it before I even left.
It was the kind of vacation that left me twice as tired as I was before I left–my favorite kind. There’s always time to catch up on sleep later.
And it was so exciting to see vegan options just about everywhere! Vegan chick’n caesar salad. Vegan carrot cake parfait. Vegan chai frappucino. We even wandered in a little pie shop (mostly just looking for a restroom) and came out with a vegan and gluten-free chocolate tart! The place wasn’t advertised as being vegan at all, Portland is just that cool.
I didn’t get nearly as much work done as I thought I would on this trip. Four hour flight? That should be productive. Four hour flight next to a very talkative 3 year old…not so much. Four hour flight at 12:30 a.m. on the way home…slept the whole way.
But I did manage to get this post and video edited, and I’m super excited to finally be sharing it!
Vegan Gluten-Free Buns
Gluten-free, oil-free, vegan bread is something I’ve been dreaming about and experimenting with for a while. Pretzels still elude me, but these delicious little gluten-free buns are versatile and soft and golden brown–perfect for sandwich-making, soup-sopping, or just straight snacking.
In previous gluten-free bread recipes I used a store-bought GF all purpose flour blend for ease. But that always led to many questions and concerns since every mix is different and they are not universally available. So for this recipe I mixed my own flours to create a similar but simplified gum-free flour blend.
I used equal parts brown rice flour and white rice flour, plus tapioca flour (or starch) for extra sticky-ness. I have not tested any substitutions for the tapioca flour, potato starch or cornstarch may work but substitute at your own risk.
Since I know many of you love using oat flour for everything, I did test an oat flour version of this recipe and it does work. I still prefer the texture with the rice flours, but I really like the flavor with the oat flour.
Yeast and Friends
This is a yeasted recipe, but without gluten the yeast needs some help to get that lift. Baking powder and baking soda + acid help with that. I used apple cider vinegar for the acid, but you could use lemon juice as well.
Another important part of this recipe is ground psyllium husk. Ground psyllium binds and creates structure, fulfilling a similar role as xanthan gum in many gluten-free recipes. Why psyllium? Because psyllium is a plant fiber, it actually helps digestion as opposed to xanthan gum which can upset it. Psyllium husks are easy to find at any health food store, just make sure you get the powder or ground not whole.
The best substitute here is ground flax seed. The one tablespoon of ground psyllium husk can be replaced with 1/4 cup ground flax seed. I still prefer the texture with the psyllium husk, but it’s a pretty subtle difference.
The Potato Part
The potato part of these gluten-free buns is a potato puree. Cooked potatoes blended with water become very starchy and sticky, which gives the bread moisture and stickiness that makes for an easy to work with dough.
I always use gold potatoes for the potato puree, although I’m sure white would be fine too. One medium gold potato is all you need. For an exact measurement, mine was approximately 250g.
In order to have enough volume to blend the potato puree, you will have to make more than the 1/2 cup you need for the recipe. You can save the extra for another batch of buns, or add some seasonings and nutritional yeast to make a delicious vegan cheese dip/sauce.
If you don’t want to bother with the potato cooking and pureeing, you can substitute with an equal amount of unsweetened plain non-dairy yogurt.
The Steamy Secret to a Toasty Brown Crust
These gluten-free buns bake best with the help of steam! That is the key to getting them to brown on the outside with a crusty exterior without risk of cracks or drying out. Place a large pan filled halfway with water on the rack underneath your bread before you preheat your oven, and that will create steam on all sides of the buns as they bake.
I love these vegan gluten-free buns by themselves warm from the oven, toasted with jam the next day, or sliced in two and sandwiched with all sorts of veggie fillings like so…
Soft inside, crusty brown exterior--you'd never guess these vegan gluten-free buns are made without any oils or gums!Click To Tweet
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Yields 6 buns
2 hrPrep Time
18 minCook/Chill Time
2 hr, 18 Total Time
1 medium yellow potato (about 250g)
1 cup water
3/4 cup plant milk
2 tsps yeast
2 tbsps coconut sugar
3/4 cup brown rice flour (*see notes for an oat flour option)
3/4 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 tbsp ground psyllium husk (*see notes for substitution)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup potato puree from above (*see notes for substitution)
- Potato puree: Cut the potato into large chunks. Combine potato and 1 cup water in medium saucepan.
- Cover and boil until fork tender.
- Transfer potato and cooking water to a blender. Blend until smooth. You will only need 1/2 cup of the puree for this recipe.
- Dough: Heat the milk until it is warm to the touch but not hot (~110°F). Add the coconut sugar and yeast. Stir. Set aside for 5-10 minutes until foamy on top.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, psyllium husk, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Once the yeast is foamy, add it to the dry ingredients along with the vinegar and potato puree.
- Mix with your hands until everything is combined and you have a very sticky dough.
- With slightly wet hands, divide the dough into 6 balls. Arrange on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
- Cover with a damp cloth and set in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Fill a large pan halfway with water. Place in the oven on the bottom rack. Preheat the oven to 425?.
- Remove the towel covering the buns. Place them on the top rack of the oven (be careful of the steam that will come out when you open the oven door). Bake for approximately 18 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, cool briefly, and enjoy. They are best within the first 24-48 hours.
Oat flour instead of rice: Use 1 1/2 cups oat flour instead of the white and brown rice flours. Increase tapioca flour to 1/2 cup.
Ground flax instead of psyllium husk:Use 1/4 cup ground flax seed meal in place of the 1 tbsp psyllium husk.
Yogurt instead of potato puree: Use 1/2 cup unsweetened plain non-dairy yogurt (I used coconut yogurt) in place of the potato puree.
Looking for more oil-free, gluten-free, vegan bread? Try this Flatbread!
You know what would be amazing on those veggie sliders up above? This Cauliflower Hummus!