Soft Sourdough Buns (GF/V)

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These Soft Sourdough Buns (GF/V) are the perfect gluten-free, vegan and nut-free vehicle for a yummy sandwich or burger! The homemade buns, with natural yeast, are fun to make—get your kids to help!

The dough for the buns is the same as the 7-Inch Sourdough Boule. The only difference is once the dough is mixed, leave it in the bowl to rise for a couple of hours. Then shape the buns, rise a second time, bake, cool (4 to 6 hours) and enjoy!

Make sure to watch the step-by-step recipe video (also below). I demonstrate how to make the buns, a free-form boule or even a loaf with the same gluten-free sourdough recipe.

Step-by-Step Recipe Video

What To Expect

Baking Schedule For Soft Sourdough Buns (GF/V):

  • (Evening Day 1) Remove the starter from the refrigerator and feed it (set aside overnight).
  • (Morning Day 2) Feed the starter again and wait until it’s active (2-4 hours).
  • (Starter is Ready) Mix your bun ingredients and rise the dough in the bowl (2 hours).
  • Shape buns and rise for a few more hours (2-3 hours)
  • Bake (approx. 40 minutes)
  • Cool (2-4 hours), slice and enjoy!

One could also start the process in the morning, but it might mean only baking later in the afternoon/evening. 

If a starter was already out at room temperature, is active and ready to use, go ahead and mix the bread ingredients, rise and bake all in the same day. 

Ingredients for the gluten-free sourdough bread recipe.
Ingredients for gluten-free sourdough bread recipe (bake a few buns, a boule or loaf).

Ingredients to Make Gluten-Free Sourdough Buns

Please note that I don’t bake with xanthan gum. I develop all my bread recipes to have as few ingredients as possible, without food additives.

Brown Rice Sourdough Starter – The star ingredient of this recipe! Once you have an established natural wild yeast sourdough starter, make sure to feed it a couple of times before mixing some in a bread recipe.

Psyllium Husk – When not using xanthan gum, adding psyllium husk (whole or powder) to a gluten-free bread recipe is perfect. When combined with water, the nutritious fibre turns into a gel, which helps stick everything together. Psyllium is a binder (glue) for gluten-free bread recipes.

Maple Syrup – A little pure natural sweetness will keep the yeast happy in a bread recipe.

Olive Oil – Adding extra virgin olive oil to a gluten-free bread recipe creates a tender, soft crumb, and it also helps to crisp up the crust.

Water – A clean water source (preferably not tap water) is essential when making good bread. Also, the water temperature helps the yeast activity in the dough. Mixing in room temperature water (70-85°F) works best with sourdough bread recipes.

Potato Starch (not potato flour) – This starch is what truly changes the texture and flavour of a gluten-free bread recipe. You can try other starches, but there’s something special about potato starch. It creates the best mouthfeel in gluten-free bread recipes.

Tapioca Starch – This starchy ingredient is also great to lighten gluten-free bread recipes. As an alternative, arrowroot starch is a good sub. Tapioca starch is sometimes labelled tapioca flour. 

Light Buckwheat Flour – Buckwheat is an excellent flour for gluten-free baking. If you don’t have access to lighter-coloured and mild-tasting buckwheat flour, consider grinding/milling buckwheat groats into a fine flour. 

GF Oat Flour – Gluten-free certified oat flour is a beautiful flour to combine with other baking ingredients. It, too, will transform the bread recipe and give it an incredible flavour. If you can’t find GF oat flour, you can mill GF oats into fresh flour!

Brown Rice Flour – A good source of fine brown rice flour is ideal for GF bread baking. If you have access to organic brown rice flour, give it a try! It’s even better!

Sea Salt – I often have grey sea salt on hand. Before adding sea salt to a recipe, taste yours. Some brands are way saltier than others. For that reason, you might need to adjust the overall amount of salt you add to the dough mixture. Adding salt to your dough is almost necessary. Your bread will taste bland if you don’t.

The Soft Sourdough Buns (GF/V) have the best texture. Perfect sandwich or burger vehicle!

Recipe Tools

  • Large Mixing Bowl (or Stand Mixer bowl)
  • Large Bowl
  • Sifter/Sieve/Strainer
  • Kitchen Scale
  • Silicone Spatula
  • Dough Scraper (Large Knife)
  • Baking Sheet
  • Unbleached Parchment Paper
  • Wire Rack

How To Make Soft Sourdough Buns (GF/V)

Before starting, watch the step-by-step recipe video!

Step 1 

The evening before baking, refresh (feed) your GF sourdough starter. 

Schedule Example: Remove the starter jar from the fridge around dinnertime and wait a few hours. I keep about 1 cup of starter in the jar when I refrigerate it between bakes. Feed the starter before bedtime. It doesn’t have to be precise. Add a few heaping spoonfuls of brown rice flour with enough water to stir. 

First thing in the morning, take a portion of the starter and feed it again to get it even livelier. Do so by combining approximately 1/2 cup active starter 133g with 70g brown rice flour and 62g water (mix & cover) and wait until it gets bubbly/active again—usually a few hours. Or feed the starter a second time, right in the same jar, using the previous measurements as a guide. The goal is to create enough bubbly sourdough starter for the recipe (265g/1 cup). TIP: Feeding the starter more, right in the same jar is often faster.

Step 2

Combine the room temperature water (about 70-85°F), whole psyllium husk, maple syrup, and olive oil in a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer bowl) and whisk well. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 3

To a separate bowl, combine, sift and mix all the remaining dry ingredients including the sea salt.

Steps to make Soft Sourdough Buns (GF/V). Top with seeds before baking (optional).

Step 4

Add the dry ingredients from Step 3 and the sourdough starter to the large mixing bowl with the psyllium gel. Mix with a spoon, hand(s), or stand mixer until the dough is well combined. If it’s too dry, add one or two additional tablespoons of water if necessary.

The final dough texture should feel smooth, not dry and possibly sticky. If the dough sticks to your fingers, if mixing by hand, that’s ok! Scrape them down and wash them once done.

Wet your hands with water, or grease them with olive oil, and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Return to the mixing bowl or place in a new clean bowl and let the dough rise, covered for 2 hours.

Step 5

Transfer the dough to a clean work surface dusted with brown rice flour. Divide the dough with a dough scraper or large knife into 6 to 8 equal portions. With your hands, shape each piece into a smoother ball. Tuck in bumps to make the dough more uniform.

Place each dough ball onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently press down on each dough ball to create a flatter shape. Brush each with olive oil now or before baking (optional). Cover with plastic wrap and tea towel and rise for 2 to 3 hours.

Watch the video tutorial for detailed instructions.

Step 6

One hour before baking the buns, preheat the oven to 425°F. Position the oven rack in the center. If you have a baking stone, preheat it at the same time. 

Step 7

Add seeds to each top (optional). Bake buns for about 30 minutes, then flip them over and bake for 5 to 10 minutes. If baking 8 smaller buns, the total baking time could be a little less. 

Step 8

Once ready, cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling (2 to 4 hours). Slice and enjoy fresh or toasted!

The Soft Sourdough Buns (GF/V) are easy to prepare and bake!

Baking Tip To Make Buns 

Experimenting with steam is something to consider. To try it, you’ll need to place another rack lower than the middle one with the buns.

On the lower one, use a second baking sheet or baking dish (as a water tray) and pour water into it or add a few ice cubes just after you transfer the buns to the oven.

Doing so will create steam in the first few minutes of baking to encourage the buns to poof up and rise.

If using a preheated baking stone, place it right under the baking sheet. It’s optional, but the extra heat can help when baking gluten-free bread.

And, if your oven came with a water tray for steam baking, give it a go!

Baking setup to make Soft Sourdough Buns (GF/V) when baking with steam and a baking stone.
The sourdough buns on the right got a brushing of olive oil. They got a little darker and golden.

Similar Recipes To Try

A beautifully scored boule of gluten-free sourdough bread.
Do you want to make a free-form sourdough boule? Visit the 7-Inch Sourdough Boule recipe post for instructions.
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A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet makes the best gluten-free sourdough toast!
Soft gluten-free vegan sourdough buns cooling on a wire rack.
A great tip is to let your gluten-free buns cool completely before slicing them!

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Soft gluten-free vegan sourdough buns cooling on a wire rack.

Soft Sourdough Buns (GF/V)

  • Author: Chantal | Fresh is Real
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 70 minutes (+4-5 hrs rise time)
  • Yield: 6 to 8 buns 1x
  • Category: Bread, Sourdough
  • Method: Oven-Baked, Fermentation
  • Cuisine: Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free, Allergen-Friendly
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These Soft Sourdough Buns are fun to make! The ingredients are free of wheat/gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts, corn and legumes! You will need wild natural yeast to make this recipe, also known as a gluten-free sourdough starter.

Baking Tools: Large Mixing Bowl (or Stand Mixer bowl), Large BowlSifter/Sieve/StrainerKitchen ScaleSilicone Spatula, Dough Scraper/Large Knife, Baking SheetUnbleached Parchment PaperWire Rack.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 265g active brown rice sourdough starter (1 cup); see instructions
  • 330g/ml room temp water (70-85°F) (plus 12 extra tbsps if necessary)
  • 20g whole psyllium husk (4 tbsps)
  • 20g/ml pure maple syrup (1.5 tbsps)
  • 20g/ml olive oil (1.5 tbsps)
  • 80g light buckwheat flour (1/2 cup)
  • 80g GF oat flour (scant 1 cup)
  • 80g potato starch (1/2 cup)
  • 60g tapioca starch (1/2 cup)
  • 40g brown rice flour 1/4 cup)
  • 810g sea salt (1/21 tbsp)

Instructions

Before starting, watch the step-by-step recipe video!

Step 1 
The evening before baking, refresh (feed) your GF sourdough starter

  • Schedule Example: Remove the starter jar from the fridge around dinnertime and wait a few hours. I keep about 1 cup of starter in the jar when I refrigerate it between bakes. Feed the starter before bedtime. It doesn’t have to be precise. Add a few heaping spoonfuls of brown rice flour with enough water to stir. 
  • First thing in the morning, take a portion of the starter and feed it again to get it even livelier. Do so by combining approximately 1/2 cup active starter 133g with 70g brown rice flour and 62g water (mix & cover) and wait until it gets bubbly/active again—usually a few hours. Or feed the starter a second time, right in the same jar, using the previous measurements as a guide. The goal is to create enough bubbly sourdough starter for the recipe (265g/1 cup). TIP: Feeding the starter more, right in the same jar is often faster.

Step 2
Combine the room temperature water (about 70-85°F), whole psyllium husk, maple syrup, and olive oil in a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer bowl) and whisk well. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 3
In a separate bowl, combine, sift and mix all the remaining dry ingredients including the sea salt.

Step 4
Add the dry ingredients from Step 3 and the sourdough starter to the large mixing bowl with the psyllium gel. Mix with a spoon, hand(s), or stand mixer until the dough is well combined. If it’s too dry, add one or two additional tablespoons of water if necessary.

The final dough texture should feel smooth, not dry and possibly sticky. If the dough sticks to your fingers, if mixing by hand, that’s ok! Scrape them down and wash them once done.

Wet your hands with water, or grease them with olive oil, and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Return to the mixing bowl or place in a new clean bowl and let the dough rise, covered for 2 hours.

Step 5
Transfer the dough to a clean work surface dusted with brown rice flour. Divide the dough into 6 to 8 equal portions with a knife or dough scraper. With your hands, shape each piece into a smoother ball. Tuck in any bumps to make the dough more uniform.

Place each dough ball onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently press down on each dough ball to create a flatter shape. Brush each with olive oil now or before baking (optional). Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and rise for 2 to 3 hours.

Need Help? Watch the video tutorial for step-by-step instructions.

Step 6
One hour before baking the buns, preheat the oven to 425°F. Position the oven rack in the center. If you have a baking stone, preheat it at the same time. 

Step 7
Add seeds to each top (optional). Bake buns for about 30 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes (total 40 minutes). If baking 8 smaller buns, the total baking time could be a little less. If after 40 minutes, your buns still feel too squishy, bake them for a little longer.

Step 8
Once ready, cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling (2 to 4 hours). Slice and enjoy fresh or toasted!

Notes

Salt Tip: If weighing your ingredients 8-10g of sea salt is great. If measuring, start with 1/2 tablespoon. Adjust next time you make more. Each brand of sea salt can taste different, some are saltier. It’s best to add a smaller amount for your first batch.
Storing Tips: The buns will keep on the counter in a sealed bag or container for a couple of days or in the fridge for 5 to 7 days. Or freeze sliced buns for 1 to 2 months.
Prefer to Measure? You can use the measurements included but I suggest weighing the ingredients it’s more precise. A kitchen scale is helpful. 
Need a Substitute?
Please note that I haven’t tested all these alternatives. Also, keep in mind that if you make a few substitutions I can’t promise the outcome will be the same as the original recipe.
– Do you have a gluten-free sorghum flour starter? Try it!
– Use 20 grams of psyllium powder in place of 20 grams of the whole husk.
– Switch the maple syrup with coconut palm sugar.
– Oil-Free? Try homemade hemp milk or plant-based milk.
– Don’t have light buckwheat flour, use sorghum flour.
– Oat-Free?  Swap the oat flour for sorghum flour.
– Don’t have tapioca starch? Use arrowroot starch.
– Rice-Free? Try this Simple Sorghum Sourdough.
GF Oat-Flour: If you want to use oat flour but only have quick or large oats, mill them in a small blender or spice grinder. It creates the freshest flour!
Want to Bake a Boule or A Bread Pan Loaf instead of Buns? Watch this video to help you!
Important Toasting Tip: A cast iron pan/griddle makes the best toast!  Low temperature, slow toasting (a few minutes each side) will create the ultimate toasted vehicle for the toppings of your choice! Perfect for sandwiches or burgers! 

Keywords: Gluten-Free Sourdough Buns, Vegan Buns, Buckwheat Buns, Gluten-Free Vegan Buns, Egg-Free Buns Recipe, Homemade Gluten-Free Buns, Wild Yeast Buns, Gluten-Free Sourdough Rolls

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ALLERGEN NOTE

Make sure the ingredients you purchase are prepared in a facility free from the top allergens YOU AVOID. Gluten-free products should be certified GF and clearly labelled. Consult your medical professional with your dietary questions.

Even certified gluten-free ingredients such as GF oats, corn, seeds, etc., can create health problems for individuals following a GF diet. Always consult a medical professional if unsure about ingredients for your needs.