Thursday, January 17, 2013

Soy Free Cinnamon Rolls

 I have been making and enjoying these cinnamon rolls for a couple years.  They come from the cookbook Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  That book is amazing!  I work as a Private Chef in the mornings for a family that lives in Queens.  Everyday I have to make some form of a "baked good", whether that is pancakes, waffles, muffins,coffeecake, etc.  I keep the Vegan Brunch book at the family's house - that's how serious I am about it.  And I really regret that sometimes because then I want to make something at home and don't have the recipes. But the good thing about it being there is that I have a legitimate excuse to eventually make all of the recipes in the book.  That is goal.  I literally have at least 100 cookbooks - all of them either vegan, vegetarian or gluten free, except of course my professional pastry and cookery books from culinary school back in Michigan - I would love to look over them at some point and try to veganize some of the recipes - especially croissants.  I also have this thing where after I prepare the recipe, I will write down -in the cookbook itself- the results, my opinion, any modifications I have made or that I should make the next time around.  I always do it. And why not, after making hundreds of them - it's impossible to remember all the recipes I have made.

Anyway, I have been making the cinnamon rolls since I got the book and pretty much loved them since I first tried them.  Then I became a little picky and changed a couple things, making it even better and yummier!  So below is the recipe from Vegan Brunch, modified to be made soy-free and even tastier (in my opinion) than the original.  I don't think the recipe holds very well the next day - it tends to dry out a bit, so I like to separate the prepared rolls (unbaked, and before they've proofed) into batches, bake like 6 or so of them, keep 6 more in a container, then freeze the rest of them.  To freeze them, I place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, spaced well apart so they are not touching, and freeze them until they are solid - overnight is usually good.  Then I will transfer them to a deli container with a tight fitting lid, label them, and take them out whenever I am craving that deliciousness.  You can either de-frost them overnight in the refrigerator, or place them on top of the oven, allowing it to thaw and proof at the same time. 

Soy Free Cinnamon Rolls:


Yields: 12 Cinnamon Rolls

2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
1/2 cup filtered lukewarm water
3/4 cup rice milk
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 1/2 - 4 cups unbleached flour

1/4 cup sucanat
1/4 cup organic sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans

To roll
1/3 cup soy free Earth Balance

1 cup organic powdered sugar, sifted
1-2 tablespoons rice milk

1.  Place yeast, 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar and lukewarm water in a medium mioxing bowl.  Whisk together and allow to sit for 5 minutes, or until the top becomes frothy and bubbly.  If nothing happens, this may mean that your yeast is dead.  Throw out and try again with a new yeast. 
2.  Into this mixture, add the oil, rice milk, remaining sugar, sea salt and cinnamon.  Whisk to combine.
3.  Add 2 cups of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon.  Add more flour by the 1/2 cupful until the dough is too thick to continue being mixed by hand.
4. Add the remainig flour on a clean countertop.  Place the dough on top of the flour, sprinkling the top with additional flour.  Using the palms of your hands, knead the dough until most of the flour is incorporated and the dough is no longer sticky.  Keep in mind, however, that this is not bread dough - so don't knead too much or the end result will be too tough.
5.  Place in a clean bowl with 1 tablespoon of oil.  Roll the dough around in the oil and cover the bowl either with a clean towel or plastic wrap.  Place in a warm place and allow to double in size, about 45-60 minutes.
6.  In the meantime, prepare the filling.  Mix together both of the sugars, the cinnamon and chopped pecans.  Set aside until ready to use. 
7.  Punch down the dough so that it deflates.  Sprinkle your work surface with a small amount of flour and place the dough in the center.  Roll out dough to approximately 12" x18", trying to keep it as rectangular as possible. 
8.  Rub the earth balance over the suface of the dough, keeping about 2 inches on the very top free of the earth balance.  Sprinkle the filling evenly over the entire surface of the dough. 
9.  Start rolling from the bottom of the dough, working slowly and trying to keep the roll as tightly together as possible. 
10.  Oil a large baking tray and set aside.  Cut off the very two ends of the roll and set aside.  Cut as acurately as possible:  cut the log in half, then each half in half again, then each quarter into thirds.  Carefully pick up the pieces and place them on the tray, leaving lots of room between each roll.  Do not throw out those little ends you set aside - place them on the tray as well - you can eat those yourself, while you present the others for company! :)
11.  Cover the tray with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.
12.  While the rolls are rising again, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
13.  Bake the rolls for 18-20 minutes, or until the top bounces back lightly when touched and the roll is golden in color.
14.  While the rolls are baking, prepare the icing by whisking all of the ingredients together.
15.  Allow the rolls to cool for at least 10 minutes before icing them, or all of the icing will melt off.

An idea to think about is not baking them all at once.  When I make these, since it is only the Hubby and I, I do not bake them all at once.  I am a Cinnamon Roll a couple times a year kind of girl, and will only ever eat one at most when I bake these.  What I usually do, unless I am having company or prepaing a brunch, is keep 4 of the rolls out to bake, and place the other rolls on a sheet tray lined with waxed paper, pop it into the freezer for about 4 hours, then transfer the rolls to a sturday bag or container.  That way I can easily and quickly have them whenever the mood strikes, since I have already prepared them most of the way.  I'll just take them out of the freezer, the night before, placing them in the refrigerator.  They will thaw out all of the way and may even start rising inside.  You can then take them out in the morning, preheat the oven, and let them keep rising for about 20 minutes.  Bake them, and viola!  Cinnamon Rolls in the A.M. without all the work!


- Koko

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