August 3, 2014

Gluten Free Brioche Rolls

The time has come. We are finally at the last recipe. Every cookie has been baked, every tart assembled, and every croissant devoured. As last recipes go, this one is a cake walk, pardon the pun. Is it ironic that this is a gluten-free recipe, since we've used so much flour during this project?

Instead of flour, we are using Cup4Cup, the gluten-free blend made by Thomas Keller, and developed by Lena Kwak of the French Laundry.  It does just as its name suggests, substitutes for wheat flour cup for cup. They've already created the perfect blend of flours and starches to mimic the effects of wheat flour in most baked goods. If you didn't know it was gluten-free, you'd never guess. 

These rolls are great for any dinner, be it Sunday night with your family, a dinner party with friends, or for the holidays too. They're light and fluffy and buttery, perfect for accompanying any meal. You can easily whip up a batch one day and freeze them for later, then pop them in the oven just before you need them. All in all, a great ending to a great chapter, and a great book.


I've been familiar with Cup4Cup flour for a while, and am glad that it's become more widely available. It's an easy substitute for wheat flour, although the experienced baker will know that the texture of the finished product is different. The texture while mixing is different too, and unless you know what to look for, it might seem weird. Fortunately the recipe describes what it's supposed to look like. 

I'm not sure why this is called a brioche roll, other than the inclusion of butter and eggs. The texture isn't like brioche at all. It was a lot like a cake batter while mixing, and not at all like bread dough. Although there's a lot of waiting time, it's not a difficult recipe. 

I had enough batter for 13 muffins, so I baked an extra just for me. I left them in the oven about 2 minutes longer to get them nice and golden. After cooling a bit, I had to dig into one. They baked up big and fluffy, but with a craggy texture that I've come to realize is characteristic of the flour blend. When I've used it for cupcakes before, it doesn't have that smooth rounded top. Same thing here. Either way, I dug into one roll and smeared some salted butter on it. 

The flavor is subtle, buttery but not really tasting like anything else. These rolls are meant to be eaten with a flavorful meal, with maybe a stew or something with gravy that the roll can soak up. They'd also be good with honey butter, a touch of sweetness to counteract the salt on top. My husband ate some with butter and jam. Yum!

I'll admit, this recipe felt a bit anti-climactic after all that we've made so far. It's one of the simpler recipes in the book, and after countless pounds of flour, it's a bit weird not to use any in the end. Now that the breads are done, I'll have to figure out what to do with my chains and river rocks.

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