I really enjoy it when my friends send me recipes. My friend Kate came across this recipe for gluten-free (and vegan) cinnamon rolls. I really enjoyed the bagels that I made from a recipe from Fork and Beans, so I was happy to try it for Bread Week 17. I am very happy that I did. The cinnamon rolls were excellent!
Gluten-Free, Vegan Cinnamon Rolls (adapted from Fork and Beans)
3/4 cup soy or other milk
1/2 cup water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp ground chia seeds
2 tbsp ground pysllium husks
4 tbsp vegan butter, melted (I ran short; this was half vegan butter, half oil)
1 tbsp vinegar
3 cups gluten-free flour; or the next 4 ingredients:
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup arrowroot powder (I ran short, and substituted a little potato starch and cornstarch for the remainder)
1/2 cup potato starch
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
a dash of vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar (I would skip this next time, though)
2 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp vegan butter, melted
Icing (this is half what the original recipe calls for)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp water or soy milk
1 tsp vanilla
The original recipe begins by heating the milk and water to 100F and adding the yeast, then waiting 10 minutes to proof it. I’m not sure why this didn’t work well for me. Since my yeast was cold since I store it in the fridge, what I did was: Heat water to 110F. Dissolve yeast into water, and add a pinch of sugar. Wait 10 minutes to let yeast proof. Heat the milk as well, then set aside. Combine chia seeds, psyllium husks, butter, and vinegar; set aside to let the seeds absorb the moisture and thicken.
In a large bowl, combine flours and starches, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add water and yeast, milk, thickened seed mixture, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Once mixture mostly comes together, use your hands to knead the dough. Once the dough is cohesive, roll it out on a piece of parchment. (Don’t skip the parchment! It will help you to roll up the rolls later.)
Combine the brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and melted butter. Sprinkle on top of dough. Use the parchment to help roll up the dough short-wise. Cut into 8 rolls. Place cut-side down in a pan; I used an 8×11 inch pan, but you could probably squeeze it into an 8×8-inch pan; I think a 9-inch square would be ideal.
Place in a warm place (like a briefly preheated oven) to rise for about an hour. Recipe says that the rolls should rise; mine didn’t rise much, if at all. Bake at 375F for about 18 minutes, until edges are firm.
Mix together icing, adjusting the sugar or water as necessary. You want thick icing, since it will melt when you put it on warm rolls. Eat warm, but honestly, they’re good at room temperature, too.
Once I got past proofing the yeast, I had no problem making this recipe. The dough came together quickly and was easy to handle. It was a little more difficult to roll up than normal cinnamon rolls, since the dough was stiffer. The dough didn’t rise; I wonder if that’s because I proofed my yeast and it rose so much before I assembled the dough. I added a little vanilla to enrich the dough.
The cinnamon rolls smelled great as they baked. They were surprisingly good. The rolls were moist and tender. The texture wasn’t light and fluffy and bready like usual cinnamon rolls are, since gluten creates that structure. Since the rolls didn’t rise much, they were a little more dense than I expected, but that wasn’t a bad thing. Rather, the rolls were sandy, more like a soft shortbread texture. I found the cinnamon rolls to be very sweet; I would omit the granulated sugar from the filling next time. I was glad that I halved the frosting, as that was the perfect amount for my taste. The overall flavor of the cinnamon rolls was great.
If you want the chewy, pull-apart texture of a cinnamon roll, this might not be the perfect recipe for you. But if you want an otherwise delicious and satisfying cinnamon roll that’s vegan and gluten-free, then you should definitely try this recipe.