Saturday, May 7, 2011

Chewy, Gooey, Mall-inspired, Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

Last month, we made vanilla bean cream cheese frosting.  I had extra in my fridge, which allowed me to frost a dozen gluten free carrot cupcakes (we like the Namaste brand of spice cake, which is light and airy, moist and tender - the modification for carrot cake is on the side of the package).   But, I digress...

So, with this excess cheesecakey frosting beckoning me from deep inside the refrigerator, I began to think about what else I could use it on.  Cupcakes, check.  Hot cross buns, check.   Ahhh... cinnamon rolls!

For the last four years of being gluten-free, I rarely get a complaint from my kids.  (Well, about food anyway).  However, my 9 year old has become virtually obsessed with gluten free cinnamon rolls.  Maybe it's the alluring smell as you walk through the mall.  Maybe it's her faint memory of canned cinnamon rolls popping open in the kitchen.  But, apparently they've made an impact on this little girl and I have been trying to get the recipe right for years.  Too dry.  Not gooey.  Too sweet.  I've seen it all.  We even spent $7.49 for four Udi's Gluten Free cinnamon rolls on her birthday.  (Sorry, Udi's, this one was a disappointment.  More like a cinnamon muffin.)

I think I can safely say that this recipe was a success.  The husband declared it, "better than gluten cinnamon rolls!  No one would know!"  *insert applause*


I'm still not an expert at the whole cutting thing.  And they are sticky - oh are they sticky - so count on some extra time to work slowly when they're raw.  But, the end result is absolutely, positively worth it.




Dough:
3 Cups Pamela's Gluten Free Bread Flour  (or gluten free flour blend of your choice)
3 eggs 
1 Cup buttermilk, warmed to 105-115°F 
1 packet dry yeast 
1 TBSP sugar
1 packet unflavored gelatin (or vegetarian equivalent) dissolved in 1/4 cup of cold water
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Filling


  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance (or butter), softened



Combine gelatin and 1/4 cup water, set aside.  

Mix warmed buttermilk, a tablespoon of sugar, and the yeast.  Stir and set aside until foamy.

In a stand mixer, combine flour, eggs, gelatin mixture, and the yeast.  Add the apple cider vinegar and mix until the dough comes together.  Now let the machine run for about two minutes.  It won't make it tough, since the dough does not contain gluten.  While this is "kneading" mix together the filling (cinnamon, sugar, butter) and set aside.

Prep your surface.  For gluten-free baking, I always use a silpat, even for rolling out dough.  Sprinkle the surface with a thin layer of gluten free flour, then dust your rolling pin well.  Scrap the dough out into a blob right in the middle of your silpat.  (Could you use parchment?  Maybe.  I would say freezer paper would work better - which is what you see in that image above).  But DO NOT heat freezer paper - EVER.  It's wax and it will smoke up your kitchen.  (Don't ask)

Okay, dough blob in the middle of a floured silpat?  Got it.  Now dust that with flour.  (Not too much but enough that your rolling pin won't stick to it.  It is EXTREMELY sticky!) 

Slowly, gently, work on rolling it out.  You might want to stretch it to the length of your silpat first.  Then work on the width.  Add another sprinkling of flour if you need to.  (Did I mention it was sticky?)

Now that you have it close to a rectangle, you can trim off the edges that hang over.  I made a mess, I'll admit.  But the kitchen shears gave me a perfect rectangle (you can always save those little bits and pieces to make another odd roll later).

Spread the butter/cinnamon mixture around the entire surface.  This isn't an exact science and I had some clumpy spots, but it all melts into a gooey sauce anyway.  So, just do your best.

Now, working from the furthest side, carefully peel back the dough from the silpat about an inch.  Fold it onto itself, rolling toward you.  Once it has one section completely away from the silpat, you can lift the silpat and lift it slightly, easing the dough off its surface.  You shouldn't have to touch the dough a lot - it will pull off the silpat pretty easily.  (You can nudge it once in a while if you get a sticky spot).  

If you've made a sponge cake or Bûche de Noël you've seen this process.  

Once you have rolled it all in a log, pinch the loose edge so that it seals a bit, then get out some dental floss.  I like cinnamon but plain is just fine, too.  Cut about an 18" piece.  These are your scissors.

image from BHG.com

See how she is nestling the floss about an inch and a half from the edge, then wrapping it around?  Continue to pull in a swift motion and voila!  A perfectly cut cinnamon roll.  

Now, in a 9X13, lay your cinnamon rolls swirly side up.  Cover with saran wrap and let rise until doubled.  Humidity and room temperature play a big role in this, so I'm going to say 3-5 hours.

Preheat oven to 375° once the rolls have risen and filled in the space between.  Bake for 28-32 minutes (just check them once in a while in case your oven runs different from mine).  





(Cook's Note: Adding a small casserole filled halfway with hot water to the oven will help add moisture and a soft, chewy texture.  I place this on the bottom rack, then the pan of cinnamon rolls on the top rack near the middle of the oven).  

To serve, I cut a large piece of freezer paper and laid it out on my counter shiny side up.  Invert the cinnamon rolls right away, so that the butter and brown sugar pours back over the top and soaks in.  While still warm, drizzle with cream cheese frosting.  

Try to have leftovers... I dare you!





32 comments:

  1. Any idea how to make this dairy free and still delish? And what about a substitute for brown sugar? My daughter is fructose intolerant and allergic to dairy. Thanks!

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    1. I made vegan cinnamon rolls (free of milk)
      You can check out my recipe if you want. And if you need something free of fructose I would recommend stevia or natural birch sap (xylitol) be careful though, because both can be extremely processed.
      Www.FragileAsARoseHealth.blogspot.com

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    2. Put 1 cup of almond milk plus one and one half tea spoon of white wine vinegar in a bowl and microwave for 25 seconds. It should be sort of chunky on the top from where it has 'soured' the milk. That is the substitute for for buttermilk, which I always use instead of actual buttermilk. I cook for my lactose and gluten free brother, so I understand the difficulties.

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  2. Vicki, we're actually in the process of renovating everything to be dairy-free (and soy-free, wherever possible). Let me fix the way this page is set up since my text has a vanishing cloak these days, and I'll write back.

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  3. Okay, it looks like the chief issue with dairy in this recipe would be in the cream cheese frosting. For that, I would just substitute a vegan cream cheese product (we like the one by Tofutti that comes in a tub). I recently made it into a bagel spread by adding powdered sugar, cinnamon, and a little fresh nutmeg and the kids went wild.

    For the buttermilk, I would add a tablespoon of lemon juice (ideally) or vinegar (in a pinch) to a cup of non-dairy "milk" of your choosing.

    I have to admit, I'm pretty limited on my knowledge of fructose allergies. Can she tolerate things like dates? I would bet some finely chopped dates with lots of cinnamon would be delicious inside. :)

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  4. Could you tell me how big the rectangle should be and how many pieces that you cut it into?

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  5. Found you from pinterest! I am going to make these this weekend. My GF daughter is so excited!

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  6. Do you happen to know how much gelatin is in a packet? Ours is bulk, and I'm not sure how much to measure out. These look yummy!

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    1. A little less than a tablespoon, Rachel. So keep your spoon level, then push some off the edge and you should be fine =)

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  7. Making these right now,
    your blog is fabulous!

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  8. Do you have a printer friendly version...or am I not seeing the link? These sound wonderful...always looking for something new for my daughter...thank you!

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  9. Any suggestion for making these without eggs? I'm allergic. Thanks!

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  10. Hi, Jenny! I haven't tried them yet with flax eggs, but I bet it would work!

    Prairiecactus - I don't have a printable version yet, but that's on my to do list for the new year! You're not the first to ask, so I apologize! :)

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  11. I'm so excited to try these! Do you think I could make them at night and let them rise on the counter til morning? I am not up for that much work first thing...and I definitely don't want to wait 3-5 hours after my coffee ;)

    Thanks!

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  12. The link is not showing up for the recipe on my computer. Could someone email me the recipe directly at Stefben77@gmail.com? I'm really hoping to make these Christmas morning! Thanks!

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  13. I want to make these for Christmas morning and like Malissa Kelly, I was wondering if they could be made ahead???? Thanks!

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  14. I pinned this dish a while ago and just came back to make it today and it didn't work out for me. The dough was just way too wet. I even added 1.5 more cups of flour into the mix and it was still too soft to roll so it came out more like a dry-crumb cake than cinnamon rolls. This is the first attempt at baking g-f I've done so it is likely I missed something, but there just seems to be too much liquid for the amount of flour in the recipe.

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    1. I've had this recipe printed forever and just finally tried it. I followed the recipe, using Pamela's GF Baking Mix flour, and it was WAY to runny and wet. I added about a cup more hoping it would become more dough like. Tried rolling it out and it was a disaster, even with a lot of flour dusting, sticking to everything and didn't come off the greased and then heavily floured parchment paper surface I used. Had to toss the whole thing in the trash! So sad! Wonder what happened!?

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  15. A friend sent me the link for your recipe. I'm soooo excited to try it....but I only see two pictures on the page, no recipe or anything....

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  16. Very odd. I left a comment and the recipe appeared. YAY!!!!

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  17. I can"t see the recipe.can anyone help.

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  18. Any idea if you can let this rise on the counter overnight and bkae in the am? Wanted to prep these tonight to go wtih our smoothies in the am. No way can my kiddos wait until to have these and they look too good not to make

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    1. I have prepped them ahead, cover, refrigerate, then baked in the morning and they were good :)

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  19. I hope to try these soon! Now if only I could see the actual recipe!?

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  20. Let's see the recipe by posting a comment.

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  21. Just FYI, it seems that your post text is white... which means it's invisible on the white page. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jenna. I just changed it - hopefully that works now :)

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