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One Dough, Three Delights

By Laurie Sadowski

Use this one gluten-free recipe to master the art of allergy-friendly buns. Shape it, pipe it or flavor it – to suit your baking whims.

Versatile Gluten-Free Yeast Dough

This sticky dough will be similar to a thick cake batter, so resist the temptation to add flour.

Makes enough for 8 to 12 rolls

Free of: gluten and all top allergens


  • 1¼ cups + 2 tbsp sorghum flour
  • ⅔ cup arrowroot starch or potato starch
  • ½ cup quinoa flour
  • ⅓ cup tapioca starch
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 1⅛ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ cup warm water, divided
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp agave nectar (or maple syrup)
  • 1¼ cups club soda, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp canola or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together sorghum flour, arrowroot starch, quinoa flour, tapioca starch, sugar, xanthan gum and salt.
  2. Pour ¼ cup warm water into a small bowl and stir in ground flaxseed. Pour remaining ¼ cup warm water in another bowl and stir in yeast and 1 teaspoon agave. Let both mixtures stand for 5 minutes, or until the flaxseed has gelled and the yeast foams.
  3. Put club soda, 2 tablespoons agave, oil, vanilla and vinegar in bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment and mix briefly to combine. Turn mixer on low speed and add one-third flour mix. Add flaxseed gel, proofed yeast mixture and remaining flour mix. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 4 minutes, stopping to scrape down bowl sides as needed. The finished dough will be sticky, thick batter.

Hot Cross Buns Variation: Add 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, ⅛-¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1 cup raisins to flour mix in Step 1.

Hot Cross Buns

These soft gluten-free buns are studded with raisins, have a hint of spice, and are covered with a warm, apricot glaze.

Makes: 12 buns

Free of: gluten and all top allergens


    1. 1 batch Versatile Gluten-Free Yeast Dough with Hot Cross Buns Variation
    2. 6 tbsp sorghum flour, plus additional for flouring
    3. 2 tbsp tapioca starch
    4. 2 tsp sugar
    5. pinch xanthan gum (optional, prevents cracking once baked)
    6. ¼ cup water, plus additional as needed
    7. 3 tbsp apricot jam


      1. Lightly grease and flour 2 9-inch round pans.
      2. Use oiled or wet hands to form the sticky dough into 12 rounds, and place 6 into each pan.
      3. Let rise uncovered in a warm, draft-free place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size and touching.
      4. While the dough is rising, whisk together 6 tablespoons sorghum flour, tapioca starch, sugar and xanthan gum in a small bowl. Slowly add ¼ cup water, while stirring to create thick paste. Transfer to a piping bag with ¼-inch tip. Once dough has risen, pipe crosses on buns.
      5. Preheat oven to 400º F. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until buns are lightly browned, sound hollow when tapped and the centers register 200º F. Let cool in pan 5 minutes then transfer buns to a cooling rack.
      6. To glaze, warm jam briefly in the microwave and dilute with water if needed to make a drizzly consistency. Brush onto buns while warm.

Sweet Cross Variation: For a less-traditional treat, skip step 4 and the accompanying ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 teaspoons milk alternative and ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth. When cool and ready to serve, pipe icing in a cross on top of each bun.

Next: Soft and Tender Cinnamon Rolls

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