Gluten-free Buns

When you live a gluten-free life, there are times when you feel a void. Sometimes it’s a simple thing, like being able to eat your ice cream from a cone, being able to order take-out on a rough day, or being able to pay only $2 for cereal when it’s on sale. But for me, the other day it was being able to eat some Sloppy Joes on a bun. Yep, simple things. That’s when I decided to play in the kitchen a bit, and made these delicious “whole-wheat like” (but totally gluten-free) buns. We always ate whole wheat bread before going gluten-free, and the taste and texture are similar to what I remember. So, after 4 years of having to eat Sloppy Joes without a bun (blech), I got to top my bun with the messy, beefy mixture, some ketchup and mustard. And let me tell you; it was grand. :)


The Sloppy Joes recipe that I enjoyed can be found over at Mommy Moment, where I am a monthly recipe contributor.

57 Responses to Gluten-free Buns

  1. Elaine August 10, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    They look great, Jeanine ~ I have a question that maybe you could answer for me. I see many of the GF bread/bun recipes call for “cider” vinegar. The first loaf of GF bread I made for my son called for it and I followed the recipe and used it. He didn’t like it at all because of the strong vinegar smell and flavour. Since then I only use the regular white vinegar and he seems okay with that. Is there a particular reason that GF bread recipes call for the cider vinegar?? Thanks!!

    • Jeanine August 10, 2012 at 9:28 am #

      Thanks, Elaine!
      Interestingly enough, I don’t know. I’ve never been able to taste the apple cider vinegar, since it is usually only 1 teaspoon in the recipe, but I ‘think’ that using regular vinegar would give the same results? I’ve seen some recipes that have used lemon juice as well, I assume it is the acidity of it that adds something to the texture of the bread. Good question, now you have me thinking…

      • Elaine August 10, 2012 at 11:08 am #

        Someone told me that it was because apple cider vinegar was “healthier” than white vinegar. Not a good enough reason for me to use it if it means my son won’t eat the finished product ~ in my humble opionion! LOL

        • Jeanine August 10, 2012 at 11:22 am #

          lol, I don’t think a teaspoon distributed through a whole loaf will make anyone healthier. If white vinegar works for you, go for it! :)

          • Kathryn August 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

            I think the vinegar issue is because regular vinegar is made from wheat grain. Supposedly the gluten protein is destroyed in the distillation process (therefore it’s gluten free) but people probably opt for the cider vinegar just to be on the safe side. I find rice vinegar works well too.

          • Jeanine August 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

            I think you may be right, Kathryn! Vinegar is one of those ‘debatable’ items, and only in the last few years have they said a definite “YES” to it being safe. Thanks for the input, I appreciate it!

  2. Joanna August 10, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    Can you provide the dimensions of your pot pie pans? I have been struggling with hamburger buns and trying to figure out what kind of pans would provide enough structure — pot pie pans! Brilliant! I bought english muffin tins and the sides just weren’t high enough to give the necessary structure. I’ve been making dinner rolls in muffin tins but would love to be able to have a hamburger bun success. Thx!!

    • Jeanine August 10, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      The tins I used are 4 3/8″ x 1 3/16″, they are labeled as “extra-deep pie plates”. PERFECT size for hamburger buns. I’ve tried english muffin rings as well, and they didn’t work for me. This works perfectly though, gives you a nice wide bun, that isn’t too high, since a thick bun isn’t what you want when you’re having burgers or sandwiches.

  3. Sandy August 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    They actually didn’t crumble while you ate them?? For real?

    • Jeanine August 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      for real! The only mess I made while eating them was BESIDE the bun, from the sloppy joes falling out. I’ve baked them again since, and the whole family (not gluten-free) loved them to!

  4. Marilyn August 30, 2012 at 2:35 am #

    These look wonderful! Is there anything I can substitute for the flax seeds? Thanks for posting this recipe.

    • Jeanine August 30, 2012 at 7:08 am #

      You could try using another 1/4 cup of sorghum flour, but I think that will change the texture of the buns. If you do try to substitute, let us know how it went!

      • Marilyn August 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

        Hey Jeanine – thanks for the quick response! I’m going to try 1/4 cup of almond meal in place of the flax & see what happens. Flax just tears my stomach up for some reason. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  5. Tamar September 1, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    Just wondered if anyone has tried using empty tins such as the large size tuna cans to make buns. With the bottoms on and straight sides, set them on a cookie sheet, seems it should work????

    • Jeanine September 2, 2012 at 7:37 am #

      Yes, Tamar! It does work! :) An older friend of mine, who has been GF WAY longer than I, used to use tuna tins when baked herself buns. They work great! Just be sure to wash well before using. 😉

      • Kate February 28, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

        I don’t have those old pot pie tins anymore, so I’m going to use the Jumbo Muffin Pans

  6. Annette September 11, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    Hi Jeanine: Early on in this journey, I really missed having hamburgers so tried using my bread recipe in small ramekins and baked them for 15 minutes. They were really nice, but fell apart while trying to eat them with a meat paddy. I look forward to trying your recipe. It has been a long hot summer, missing having a hamburger or hot dog with the grandkids.

    • Jeanine September 12, 2012 at 7:08 am #

      Good luck, Annette! Another thing is to make sure that your bun isn’t too thick, because then it has at tendency to fall apart more easily when eating it as a burger too. :)

  7. Terri Davila October 1, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Yesterday was football Sunday at my house so we made burgers. I made your gf buns & thank goodness I made 3 batches, enough to freeze, but the buns never made it to the freezer. My non gf friends chose your buns over the gluten full buns hands down! My son was impressed since the buns did not crumble nor were they hard. These were soft, but sturdy enough to hold lots of man-folk toppings, & boy did they pile it on. My son is happy & to me that’s all that matters. Thanks so much!

    • Jeanine October 1, 2012 at 11:28 am #

      Woohoo!! TOUCHDOWN!! :) So happy to hear that, Terri! And that’s hilarious that the gluten-eaters were picking the GF buns over the regular. How awesome is that?!? :) Thanks so much for sharing!!

  8. Kasey October 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    Where can you find the extra deep pie tins”4 3/8″ x 1 3/16″?
    Very excited for these.. :)

    • Jeanine October 2, 2012 at 7:07 am #

      I found mine at the dollar store, you can very often find them at the grocery store too. They are the size of pot pies. :)

  9. Carol Leitz November 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    WOW! These are awesome. I only made a single recipe as you never know about GF recipes, but I will double it in the future. They refrigerate and freeze well. Toasted or not, you can’t lose. Thank you for posting this recipe and giving us hope of having something that not only tastes, but also feels like bread. I’ve already passed this on. :-)

    • Jeanine November 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

      Awesome! Glad to hear that, Carol! And thank you for passing it along, I appreciate it. :)

  10. Darlene December 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    did i do something wrong as mine did not rise??????

    • Jeanine December 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

      Is your yeast fresh or have you had it for a long time? Did you have the buns in a warm, draft-free place to rise? Those are the only trouble shooting things I can think of off hand. I’ve made these numerous times. By making 6 buns, they are fairly thin, perfect for putting something like sloppy joes or a hamburger on. If you want the buns to be thicker, you can make 4 instead of 6.

      • Darlene December 12, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

        Thank you for your help…l have had the yeast for a few months and is quick rising.anyway after 1.5 hrs it did rise ….they were greatand thin but l like a thin bun…this is the first hamburger in 1yr.Pot pie tins were alittle bigger l think… your site..

  11. Sherry Webb January 7, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    I can hardly wait to get off work….rush over to the dollar store for pot pie tins, to the bulk store for some more brown flour rice…rush home and bake up these buns. When they are done and cooled to just warm, I am going to put some real butter on one…sit down and eat it. If they are as good as they look I just may cry and then tomorrow I am going to have a GIANT cheeseburger and if anyone gets between me and my plate I may bite them.

  12. Katy January 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Can you make smaller rolls with a muffin tin?

    • Jeanine January 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      I’m sure you can, you just may need to adjust the baking time slightly. :)

  13. Jools January 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    These were on my to-do-list for quite some time and today I had a day off from work and finally found the time to make them. Making the dough was a breeze, I spent more time converting the quantities of the ingredients into the metric system and cycling through my town in a vain effort to find the right pie tins! I ended up lining some ramekins (thanks @Annette for this clever idea) with cupcakeliners just adjusted the time a bit. And I put a baking dish with some hot water right below the tray with the buns. I learned this trick once from a French chef, makes a lot of baked things more moist and the crusts crispier. They looked a bit like bready muffins when I got them out of the oven, but that didn’t spoil the fun at all. Because o joy, o joy, o joy these were GOOD!!!
    In our family of 5 we all eat GF (although it’s just my daughter who is the Celiac), except for bread. My husband who was at work while I baked them, couldn’t believe that they were:
    A. glutenfree
    B. this good
    C. homemade
    He concluded: ‘You probably picked up a recipe again from this Canadian woman’s website, didn’t you?’
    They were moist, not crumbly at all, had a very good texture and no peculiar taste whatsoever. And the best thing: they really absorbed the juices of the meat very well. And that does not happen often with GF bread. The only thing that worries me now the most: where do I find the time to make all these gorgeous things? My family, friends and neighbours are requesting more and more cinnamonbuns, monkey bread, pancakes, sugar- and swirlcookies (none of them are Celiacs). Best not to let them try these buns, otherwise I probably have to give up my job and start fulltime baking!
    I do apologize, this comment turned out way too long. I am not trying to take over your blog, it’s just that I am super enthousiastic, I learn a lot from baking your recipes. Loads of thanks Jeanine!

    • Jeanine January 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

      haha, that is wonderful!! Love it, thanks so much for the long response, Jools, gives me something to read. 😉 Haha, that Canadian woman’s website – 😀

  14. Stephanie January 15, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    If I don’t have tapioca starch, can I use something else? I have everything else. I’m new at this GF baking so don’t know quite yet what I can substitute.

    • Jeanine January 15, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

      Stephanie, you could use cornstarch in place, it’s only 2 Tbsp, it should still work quite well. :) Welcome to the GF journey!

  15. Stephanie January 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Thanks so much!! I’m excited to try these today. You are super fast at replying as well!!!

  16. Stephanie January 15, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    Just wanted to say these are amazing. It wast first time GF baking and these were great. I didn’t have the proper tins so I used a muffin tin & baked for 22 min. Excellent !

    • Jeanine January 15, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

      Ah, that’s awesome!! Muffin tins work fine, just not for hamburgers (unless you’re making sliders? Hmmm….) :)

  17. Tina Stalter March 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    What I found that worked effectively for the tins were the 2 cup clear glass pyrex dishes. I had them anyway to make the 5 minute recipes from Roben Ryberg’s book.

    • Jeanine March 6, 2013 at 8:02 am #

      You have more measuring cups than I do then, Tina. :) Glad to hear they worked well though!

  18. patricia March 10, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    This page was very helpful to me. I never knew you could replace tapioca starch with corn starch . I will try this. Thank you for the information.

  19. Andrea K. March 25, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    I made these yesterday, and they were wonderful! I had no flax seed on hand so I used ground almonds instead, as a previous commenter suggested, and it worked great. Thanks for another super recipe!

  20. Steph September 20, 2013 at 12:14 am #

    Thank you so much for this recipe! My husband was diagnosed with celiac disease 3 years ago and I used to bake buns for him and so that is something that he has really missed. I have tried other recipes but nothing has come close. These buns were soft and didn’t fall apart and smelt amazing while baking!! Thank you!!

    • Jeanine Friesen September 20, 2013 at 7:18 am #

      Awesome! Glad to hear that, Steph! i really like them too, makes eating things like sandwiches, burgers, or pulled meats that much more enjoyable. :)

  21. Jill October 5, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    Couldn’t have been more easy! Used my muffin tins and cooked for 20 minutes. Will look for the deep dish pot pie tins as I can’t wait to have sloppy-joes as well. Loving this website! I’ve been cooking up a storm all weekend from this site. I’ll be back often! Thanks Jeanine

    • Jeanine Friesen October 9, 2013 at 10:49 am #

      Jill, that makes me smile! So glad to hear you’re having a good time in the kitchen! I’ve been craving sloppy joes again lately too, I think it’s time to make them soon.

  22. Brenda Benson December 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Thanks for the delicious bun recipe. It’s the best recipe that I’ve found and very easy. The buns are very soft and tasty. This recipe makes 6 nice size buns. I did use 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast instead of the 1 tsp instant yeast (which was listed in the recipe). They turned out great.

    I actually think these buns could be formed & baked on a cookie sheet with great results.

    This recipe resembles the “Canyon Bakehouse Buns”, which is a favorite of mine that I purchase at the local health food store.


    • Jeanine Friesen December 8, 2013 at 11:34 am #

      You’re welcome, Brenda! If you do decide to try baking them on a baking sheet, let me know how it works! I think I actually prefer these buns over bread. :)

  23. Jenny February 22, 2014 at 1:56 am #

    I really want to make these today but don’t have sorgum flour or flaxseed….. do i dare try it with anything else?

    • Jeanine Friesen February 22, 2014 at 7:42 am #

      I think you should go shopping, Jenny! At least for the ground flaxseed (or make your own), you could sub the sorghum with millet or oat flour without a problem.

  24. Alice Theofan June 29, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    Hi Jeannine,
    Even though your Wonderful Bread Recipe works perfectly for the buns that make ever week, I am still going to try these for the Pulled Pork Sandwiches on Canada day! I don’t think the recipe looks too different from the bread except for the Sorghum flour I think. Should I make them on the day that I need them or are they just as tasty if they are day old? I know for sure that if its a recipe that you post its going to be good either way. Thanks.

  25. Anna August 2, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

    I tried this recipe for the first time tonight. I always try to stick to the recipe exactly as it is written (at least the first time I make it), so I can understand how the recipe is meant to turn out by it’s creator. I was BLOWN AWAY! This recipe is hands down the best gluten free bun recipe I have found to date. They were VERY light (so much so that I was shocked), SUPER fluffy, Had an AWESOME and PERFECT bread texture and flavor, They are TOTALLY DELICIOUS! It’s like eating a really good whole wheat / whole grain bread. This is how bread is supposed to be. Not heavy, crumbly, dry, or gummy at all. I will admit that I didn’t find any pot pie tins. So, I cooked my buns in over-sized egg rings that I purchased at Cash & Cary for the specific purpose of making man sized gluten free hamburger buns. It worked perfectly. So, instead of 6 buns I ended up with 3 large hamburger buns. The perfect size for a manly burger. My family (both gluten and non-gluten eaters), thanks you so much for sharing this recipe. Have a blessed day.

  26. Laurence March 23, 2015 at 7:51 am #

    Hi Jeanine, thank you for sharing this recipe with us – So many people who tried them are so enthousiastic that I decided to give them a go this week.

    I don’t have sorghum flour, so how could I substitute it? You said millet or oat, but there is gluten in them, isn’t it? (well not 100% sure for millet, but I prefer to avoid both of them anyway). Any other suggestions? I have brown rice flour, tapioca flour, buckwheat flour, potatoe starch, corn starch, quinoa flour and quinoa flakes in my cupboards. Does one of them work well for this recipe?

    Also I don’t have a tin for buns, so what could I used instead to bake them properly (without having to go shopping for any special tins, if possible!!!!)?

    Thanks a lot for your help!!
    Laurence x

    • Jeanine March 25, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

      Hi Laurence! Millet flour is gluten-free, and as long as you buy certified gluten-free, or pure oat flour, it is gluten-free as well. You could try using additional rice flour, and maybe the buckwheat flour, but I’m not sure what that might do to the taste. If you don’t have the tins, you can use a muffin tin, they just won’t be very big then.

  27. Shelley May 4, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

    HI there,

    They sound delicious. Do you think they could be made without eggs? I’ve heard I could use oil/flax to mimic an egg, but I haven’t actually tried it yet. Just wondering if anyone on your blog has. Thanks for sharing. I’m really struggling with no gluten, no tapioca and no egg yolks. I can switch the tapioca for potato starch, but otherwise I am stuck. Any suggestions?


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  2. Gluten-free Buns | Nutrition & Recipes | S... - June 26, 2014

    […] We always ate whole wheat bread before going gluten-free, and the taste and texture are similar to what I remember. So, after 4 years of having to eat Sloppy Joes without a bun (blech), I got to top my bun with the messy, beefy mixture, some ketchup and mustard. And let me tell you; it was grand.  […]

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