The moment I perfected my brioche recipe last week, my head started spinning with so many ideas of other breads and desserts that could use it as a base and so here I present you my latest creation: proper gluten free cinnamon rolls that are so incredibly soft. 😛
I shared a couple of recipes for easy cinnamon buns in the past, but never a proper yeast risen one like this that truly reminded me of the real thing. 😀 One thing to keep in mind guys is that I’m just a random gluten free girl sharing my experiments as I go along. Looking back now, I knew nothing at all when I started my blog compared to what I know now. So if you see that I’ve made the same thing a few times on my blog, always pick the one most up to date. 😉
But if you can’t be bothered to put in this much effort (or don’t have these ingredients) and want an easy version, feel free to try my QUICK YOGHURT BASED RECIPE.
NOTES // TIPS:
Use bread flour / strong flour
This type of flour blend is higher in protein and ideal for baking bread. I used Freee Foods (Doves Farm) as this is what’s available to me here in the UK (and it’s fantastic!). If you don’t have access to a gluten free strong flour blend where you live, have a look online for recipes that teach how to make it yourself from scratch. It’s well worth it. Otherwise you can try using an all purpose flour blend, but the texture won’t be as good. Also, different flour blends require different amounts of liquid which can affect the consistency of the dough and make it harder to handle.
Don’t skip the tapioca starch
It has a uniquely elastic texture that is essential in this recipe. I know people hate having to source a bunch of ‘exotic’ flours, but believe me you won’t regret it! It’s the secret to great gluten free baked goods! You sometimes can find it in supermarkets here in the UK, but your best bet is Asian/Chinese shops which always stock it. Otherwise you can also order it online from sites like Sous Chef UK.
How to bake them
You can place them all together in the same pan (here I used a springform cake tin) or bake them individually in a muffin tray.
Add more sugar if you have a sweet tooth 😉
I generally don’t like desserts to be too overly sweet so these are quite tamed in that respect (compared to a lot of cinnamon rolls out there). So feel free to add a bit more sugar if you’d like.
This is a small batch / multiply the recipe as needed! 🙂
Just a disclaimer: this recipe yields about 6 small gluten free cinnamon rolls (as shown in the pictures made in the muffin tray). The batch made in the springform cake tin was part of a bigger batch!
- 65g whole milk
- 15g sugar (granulated or caster)
- ½ tsp dry active yeast (I used Allinson)
- 85g gluten free bread flour blend (I used Freee Foods/Doves Farm)
- 15g tapioca starch/flour (also known as cassava)
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp baking powder (I use Dr. Oetker)
- 1 egg (50g)
- 25g butter (add ¼ tsp salt if using unsalted)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 40g sugar (ideally brown sugar, but granulated sugar will work too)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 30g butter
- Olive oil (second round of proofing)
- Milk or beaten egg (before baking)
- Plain cream cheese
- Granulated sugar (to taste)
BAKING TIME: 20 to 25 mins
* This is a relatively small batch, feel free to multiply the recipe as needed.
* Reheat leftovers in the microwave to soften them up again
ACTIVATE YOUR YEAST:
- Mix the milk and sugar together and warm it up in the microwave (in 10 seconds increments) or in a pan on low heat on a hob. Dip your finger in to check the temperature, ideally it should be somewhere between lukewarm and hot (if it’s boiling hot or too cold, the yeast won’t work). You can also use a food thermometer and aim for about 40C (104F).
- Then stir in the yeast and let it sit in a warm place for a few minutes, until it dissolves and becomes frothy. Note: don’t skip the sugar. This is what the yeast reacts with to bubble up and this is what lets you know that the yeast is working. If nothing happens, it means that your yeast may be too old or the milk isn’t warm enough.
On a nice warm sunny day, I like to place the bowl on a window sill directly in the sun. But on cold winter days, you can place it near a heater/radiator or switch on your oven to the lowest setting and place your bowl on or near the opened door.
PREPARE YOUR DOUGH:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread flour, tapioca, xanthan gum and baking powder together (as well as some salt if using unsalted butter).
- Then add all of your wet ingredients: the butter (melted in the microwave first, in 10 second increments), the frothy yeast mixture, vanilla and the egg and mix with a spatula until smooth.
LET YOUR DOUGH REST / FIRST ROUND OF PROOFING:
- Wrap the bowl with cling film and place it back in a warm place for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the yeast act and the dough to rise. Note: don’t skip this step as it’s essential for the recipe to work.
REFRIGERATE THE DOUGH:
- Place the dough in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) to rest some more. This will also help make it more solid and easier to handle.
MAKE YOUR CINNAMON ROLLS:
- Lay a sheet of baking paper on your work surface and sprinkle a generous amount of extra bread flour all over (to prevent sticking while flattening and rolling).
- Tip your dough onto it and sprinkle some more flour on top.
- Then carefully flatten it with your hands in a rectangular shape (until it’s about 0.5 to 1 cm thick), sprinkling extra flour if necessary (on any bits that are too sticky).
- Run a spatula underneath, on and off throughout this process, to make sure it’s not sticking to the baking paper and push some extra flour under if necessary.
- Prepare the cinnamon butter (soften the butter in the microwave and mix with the sugar and cinnamon) and spread it (or crumble it) evenly on top, leaving some spaces around the edges. Note: the first batch (in the cake tin) was made with dark muscovado and the second batch (in the muffin tin) was made using granulated sugar.
- Roll the dough, using the baking paper to help you. Sprinkle some extra flour on your rolled dough if there are sticky bits lacking flour and/or brush off any excess with your fingers.
- Slice your cinnamon rolls and either place them side by side in a oven dish (or as individual portions in a muffin tray) greased with butter or cooking spray. Tip: wipe the knife clean in between each slice to make the process less messy and be careful as you transfer them into the oven dish or muffin tray. It’s quite a sticky dough, which is unfortunately necessary to have a good texture. 😛
LET THEM REST AGAIN / SECOND ROUND OF PROOFING:
- Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil in a small pot and carefully brush a thin coating on top of your cinnamon rolls.
- Cover the dish with a damp cloth (make sure it’s resting on the cinnamon rolls) and let them sit in a warm place for another 45 minutes to an hour.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 180C (356F). Note: what I do on a cold day is place the tray/oven dish on a chair near the pre-heating oven.
BAKE YOUR GLUTEN FREE CINNAMON ROLLS:
- Brush a bit of milk or or a thin layer of beaten egg all over your cinnamon rolls.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until they have reached a nice golden brown colour.
- Take them out of the oven and let them cool down for 10 minutes or so in the dish, then take them out and let them cool some more upside down (to avoid the bottom getting soggy).
- Add any icing or frosting of your choice. Here I used a simple mixture of plain cream cheese and sugar. Note: I recommend only adding icing/frosting to the cinnamon buns you’re about to eat. That way you can re-heat the leftovers in the microwave later on to soften them up again. 🙂
Hope you enjoy them! 🙂