I know that some of you are afraid of using and proofing yeast and tend to avoid it but today I am going to hold your hand through this. Here’s my logic: If you are afraid of yeast then you can’t make today’s incredibly awesome recipe…and believe me when I say that this is the BEST gluten-free vegan cinnamon roll you will taste. Deep breath. (Side note: I know some of you can’t consume yeast so I got your back too–use this recipe instead)
There really is no big trick to yeast. Like most things, once you try it your fears will immediately wear off and you’ll become a yeast pro. I’m actually writing a more detailed post discussing this issue but in the meantime, I’ve got your hand, friend. Here, take a look at these to motivate you:
Feeling better? Good.
So when you are heating your water and nondairy milk to “proof” your yeast in this recipe (which is just a baker’s fancy way of saying “making sure your yeast is still good”), simply place it in the microwave for about 25 seconds. You want this to be lukewarm so if you’d like, you can always stop the time at any point and check to make sure it isn’t getting too hot. All you have to do is stick your (clean) finger in the middle of the microwave-safe measuring cup and make sure the liquid is lightly warmed. That’s it. No need for thermometers (but if it makes you feel better, use one to measure your liquid to 100*F/38*C). Take your yeast, in this case it is 2 1/4 teaspoons’ (7 g) worth, whisk it around with a fork until nicely mixed in there and walk away.
No seriously. Walk away and watch “The Wendy Williams Show,” doodle, paint your nails, go on a brisk walk, or learn how to juggle. Just for 10 minutes though. When you return you will find that your yeast will have frothed up like a beer poured out of a tap. Mmmmmm beer. That’s it! You have just ensured that your yeast is “active” and you are good to go! If it doesn’t froth up then your yeast is either bad (check the expiration date) or your liquid was too hot/cold. Rinse, repeat and try again. No fears, you have cinnamon rolls to make missy!
- 3/4 c./180 ml nondairy milk (I like to use soy milk in my baking, use whatever you like though)
- 1/2 c./120 ml water
- 2 1/4 tsp./7 g dry active yeast
- 2 Tbsp./14 g ground chia seeds (I used white, feel free to use black)
- 2 Tbsp./14 g ground psyllium husk (or use more chia seeds OR flaxseed meal)
- 4 Tbsp./56 g vegan butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp./15 ml apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 3 c./496 g Cara's All-Purpose Flour Blend (see below)
- 2 Tbsp./30 g. granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 c./110 g brown sugar
- 1/4 c./50 g granulated sugar
- 2 tsp./7.5 g cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 Tbsp./28 g vegan butter, melted
- 2 c./320 g powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp./14 g coconut oil (or omit)
- 1 Tbsp./15 ml hot water
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Warm up your nondairy milk and water together until lukewarm or at 100*F/38*C. Whisk in your yeast and allow to froth up for 10 minutes.
- Add the chia seeds, pysllium, butter and vinegar. Whisk together and set aside so it can thicken a little.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Dump the wet ingredients into the middle of the flour mix and stir with a wooden spoon. Your dough will begin to look scrappy. That is A-Okay. When this begins to happen, ditch the wooden spoon and start kneading the dough in the bowl with your hands. That's right, you heard me correctly. Get those hands dirty! Play with the dough until it gets manageable and somewhat smooth. See the pictures below as to what the dough will look like.
- Roll out on your counter under a piece of parchment paper. This dough shouldn't be too sticky where you have to use another piece of paper to roll out. Roll into a large rectangle--not too thin however, thicker than 1/4"/3 mm though.
- Combine the sugar filling in a small bowl and dump on top of the dough.
- Tightly roll the dough up (use the parchment paper to guide you if you need).Trim the edges and slice in half. Then slice those halves in half until you have eight pieces.
- Grease a pan of choice and place the rolls inside, cut-side up. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm, non-drafty space in your kitchen. These should rise enough to be touching each other in the pan now. They will not, however, double in size.
- Preheat your oven to 375*F/190*C.
- Bake for 18 minutes or until the edges have firmed up. Place the pan on a wire rack to briefly cool down.
- Whisk together the icing--you want this thick so if it's runny, use more sugar (or if it's too thick to mix, add a teaspoon of hot water at a time). Pour over the cinnamon rolls.
- Best if eaten warm and straight out of the oven.
- Store in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for 3 days.
Here is the flour blend I have created that I love, love, love to use. I think it gives the best results in baked goods:
If you want to you use your own blend or mix up the flours, feel free to do so–always understand that your results might be different and the weight conversion will be different. Nothing is guaranteed in this crazy world of gluten-free vegan baking. Need help with substitutions? Check out this: Guide to Gluten-Free Flours.
I also thought it would be humorous to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the process of what happens when I take photos of the food I share here. While you are seeing this:
This is what is actually happening:
Oh the trickery of food blogging…
Happy Baking, friends!