Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Hamburger Buns

Tilth : Creating Fertile Ground for Good Health :

Most people take hamburger buns for granted. I sure did for most of my life. But after going gluten-free and allergen-free (dairy, eggs, and soy), I missed them mightily. I missed buns of all sorts, really–dinner rolls, sandwich rolls, sweet rolls. And even after I learned to make really good bread, I never made buns. For a while I used DeLand Bakery buns—until, after hearing many rumors, I finally tracked down a celiac group and others who ran tests to determine that DeLand’s undoubtedly contained gluten. Ick. (Unfortunately, Sami’s is the same. I suspect the companies are run by affiliated people.) Companies that take advantage of those of us who are gluten-free to make an ill-gained fortune off of us makes me feel ill without me even eating any of their contaminated food.

I went back to eating my hamburgers and sandwiches in homemade sliced bread or store-bought pizza crusts or corn tortillas . . . but not in buns. A few months ago, my husband gave me a hamburger bun pan that I had coveted.  Then my bun-making efforts were put on hold until we moved across the country and got settled.

Last week, I got grass-fed ground beef from a semi-local farm that sells at our farmers’ markets in Santa Monica. As the meat thawed in my fridge, I realized the time had come to create my bread.  I went digging on the internet for non-sweet, gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free bun recipes . . . and I found none that looked anything like what I wanted.  So I backed up and went looking for ones with eggs.  I found several that called for three or more eggs.  Usually, the egg substitution process stops working well after two eggs.  On Book of Yum’s recipe for Adeena’s (three-egg) herbed rolls, however, I found in the comments that Adeena had written she lately had been successfully making the rolls with flax in lieu of eggs.  (Allergen-free survival note: always read the comments after blogged recipes that seem almost right; you never know who’s going to save you trouble!) Then I remembered my copy of The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook contained a dinner roll recipe that might also blow up a bit larger for a hamburger bun.  I combined the recipes, subbing in some of my favorite gluten-free flours for the ones those call for and rearranging the order of operations to the one I think works best for gluten-free, egg-free yeast breads.

The result is buns with a fairly crispy outside, a soft interior, and a flavor that is reminiscent of barely sweet whole wheat buns. In other words, they are fantastic hamburger buns!

This delicious recipe will soon be available in the Audible Edible Guides! Audible Edibles are your way to put in your headphones, get in the kitchen, and learn to cook and bake successfully. Visit for more info.

Tomorrow, I attempt a dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free Ranch dressing! Till then. . . .

Tilth : Creating Fertile Ground for Good Health :


  1. First off, this is such a great challenge! I’m sure you are going to feel more creative and figure out a lot about your baking and cooking through the course of it!

    These buns look phenomenal! I’m sure no one would guess that they are free of gluten, dairy, eggs and soy =D.
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Gluten-Free Pie Crust =-.

    • admin /

      Thanks, Lauren! I appreciate the support. And I do think these buns are actually as good as gluten-y ones. :)

  2. Shirley /

    How exciting…I’m looking forward to this :-) Our GFCF kid cannot tolerate sorghum, gives him a belly ache. Do you use the sorghum in this recipe for texture or flavor…or both? What would you recommend for subbing purposes?

    Thanks for sharing, Sally, you rock!

    • admin /

      Shirley–Sorghum provides a bit of both. If your son can tolerate rice, I would use superfine brown rice flour (from Arrowhead Mills) or put regular brown rice flour in a grinder to grind it more finely. You could also try increasing both the teff and millet by 1/3 cup to replace the sorghum, though teff is much higher in protein than sorghum. If you try it out, please report back how it goes!

  3. Margaret /

    They sound wonderful. Looking forward to a daily dose of Sally writing and a chance to try your recipes. Good luck on your challenge! Sounds like it will be a wonderful, creative activity for you.

    Lots of Love,


  4. Teresa /

    Hi Sally;

    I have been a lurker on Aprovechar for some time now. I’ve been navigating a world free of gluten, casein, egg and sugar for about two years. Aprovechar has been immensely helpful on that journey. I’m excited to follow along on this new adventure.
    I noted that you used coconut milk yogurt in this recipe. I’ve been trying to make a coconut milk yogurt (using my yogurt maker) that is similar in thickness and texture to the commercial variety. So far, I just haven’t found a thickener that works the way I want it to. I’m hoping that one of your 60 recipes will be for coconut milk yogurt!


  5. Carina /

    What a great recipe! My gluten and dairy-intolerant son is really gonna love when I make this! They look so good! And what a great way to use coconut milk yogurt and kefir. We love all the delicious gluten- and dairy-free coconut milk products from So Delicious.

  6. Great idea for a project, Sally! And I love the look of the new site. But why stop at 60–?? Looking forward to more recipes!

    The buns look fabulous–like, exactly like “real” hamburger buns! Wish I could use/consume yeast right now. . . !
    .-= Ricki´s last blog ..Green Day:* French Green Soup with Spinach, Lettuce and Peas =-.

  7. First off, I’m stoked about your project–it sounds awesome! And those buns look amazing. I’m going to have to whip up a batch for some veggie burgers soon.

  8. Sally /

    Thanks, y’all!

    Jes, sounds tasty! Are you familiar with Sunshine burgers? Maybe I should link to those in the post. They are the only gluten-free, soy-free, actually tasty veggie burgers I’ve found (other than homemade).

  9. looks great ! where did you get your hamburger bun pan ?

  10. Sally /

    Rose–I’m not sure where Dan got my particular one, but I’ll add a link to the ones at Amazon in my post right now. :)

  11. Beautiful!!!! These look terrific! I have a freezer full of aduki beans from a healing remedy that I’m intending to make some burgers with…. now I can eat them with buns. :) By the way, do you have a recipe for aduki bean burgers?

  12. Sally /

    Laura, I can add an aduki bean burger to my list of things to create. :)

  13. Laurel /

    These look wonderful! I’m going to have to give them a try. Hey, I’ve even got the hamburger bun pans. The best part is the only thing I’ll have to replace is the apple cider vinegar. For any of you out there who can’t do vinegar, replace it with lemon juice. It works just as well, and there’s so little of it you don’t taste it in the finished product.

  14. GrammyMeg /

    I can’t wait to make these hamburger buns! I sure miss veggie burgers on buns!

  15. Wow!!!!! Sally, these are FANTASTIC!!!! I just made them to go with my first attempt at aduki bean burgers. I think these are better than any gluten buns I’ve ever had. Way to go!

    Just so you know, I used amaranth flour instead of millet flour, and I threw in an extra 1/3 cup of sorghum flour instead of teff flour. I used hazelnut milk for the liquid, and I used brown rice syrup instead of agave or honey. I used plain old tapioca starch, nothing special. Also, I didn’t use the coconut milk or yogurt. I just sprinkled some cornmeal on top of the buns and added some sesame seeds.

    They have the perfect chewiness inside and crispiness on top. What a treat!
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Finally! Gingerbread cookies! =-.

  16. Lori /

    I can’t use flax seed and eggs – do you know what the portion would be using chia seeds?

    Where do you get your Expandex – wanted to try that, but we are in a very rural area. This recipe sounds yummy!!

  17. sally /

    Hi, Lori. I get Expandex from Gifts of Nature:

    I can’t answer definitively about the chia seeds, but I would try using half the amount of ground chia seeds with the same amount of water and seeing how that goes. Make sure you let the chia seeds gel before using them.

  18. These are easy and fabulous. Truly the best AF bread product I’ve made. Taste and texture are wonderful. Thanks! I think I’m going to try and make these into rolls for Thanksgiving :)

  19. Had to add – I warmed them up the next day (20 sec in micro with wet paper towel) and they still tasted fantastic – texture was great. I’m impressed!

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