Fluffy Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 7 rolls. Takes 2 hours.
Here is my recipe for a delicious tin of gluten free cinnamon rolls, which in all honesty, took me so long to get right. I was absolutely not happy until they were large, fluffy and had good defined swirls. I found my salvation in trying an enriched dough with butter - similar to a brioche!
The gluten free cinnamon roll paradox
The problem that occurs with making gluten free cinnamon rolls is that they often come out rock hard - why is this? Simply because to make the dough solid enough to roll, you have to add more gluten free flour. But when you do this, it makes the dough extremely dry, and in some cases- rock hard! In gluten containing cinnamon rolls this doesn't happy because working the``` dough develops gluten structures which holds the dough together without needing to add an excess of flour.
So the question was, how can you make a fluffy gluten free cinnamon roll that isn't hard enough to be used as a weapon? There were two things I did to combat this. The first is resting the dough in the fridge, this hardens the butter within the dough and makes it much easier to work with. The second thing is using sweet rice flour, which is a very light flour made from rice, so you get a bigger volume for less weight than standard gluten free flour (which is pretty heavy and often the reason why breads don't work very well if you don't use other flours alongside it). If you haven't used sweet rice flour before, check out an explanation of it below!
Glutinous Rice Flour/Sweet Rice Flour
Yes, you read that right! Glutinous rice flour is the special ingredient that make these doughnut extra soft and delicious. But don't worry, glutinous does not mean that it contains gluten. While it comes from the same latin meaning (glue) it does not refer to the protein. Glutinous means like glue in texture; sticky, and that is exactly what this flour is like. It's actually the same flour that they use to make mochi in japan. Using a bit of this in the mixture gives a lovely lightness to the cinnamon rolls, and even helps them last a little bit longer. Please note, glutinous rice flour and normal rice flour are not the same thing! They come from different types of rice. Glutinous rice flour is also called sweet rice flour!
I N G R E D I E N T S
80ml warm milk (should not be hot to the touch)
2 tsp dry active yeast
3 Tbsp sugar
180 grams gluten free flour
60 grams sweet rice flour
1 tsp psyllium husk
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
Pinch of salt
3 eggs (room temperature)
90 grams softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
40 grams butter
1 mixed egg (for the wash)
100 grams icing sugar
A couple drops of vanilla essence
M E T H O D
In a small bowl, combine the milk, yeast, and sugar and let it sit for 10 minutes to bloom. You will know your yeast is alive if it creates a foamy layer over the milk.
In a large bowl, mix together the gluten free flour, sweet rice flour, psyllium husk, xanthan gum and a pinch of salt.
By hand, crumble the butter into the flour mixture until it has a crumbly texture.
Using a dough hook, or paddle extension on your hand beater, beat in one egg at a time until they are all incorporated into the dough. If you don't have an electric beater for this, you can do it by hand, with just a bit of hard work!
Lastly, pour in the yeast mixture and beat into the dough.
Cover the dough and let it chill in the fridge for 90 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius/350° Fahrenheit on bake, line a round cake tin with baking paper.
Once the dough has chilled, dust a flat surface with flour, and roll out the dough to roughly 30 cm in length and 20 cm in width.
In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave until runny, and then mix in the brown sugar and cinnamon. This will be out cinnamon paste.
Spread the cinnamon paste evenly across the rolled out dough, making sure to get right to the edges.
Starting with the bottom edge, gently roll the dough tightly into a log.
With a floured knife, cut the dough into 7 even cinnamon rolls. You may want to discard the ends if they are a little uneven before dividing it up.
Place the cinnamon rolls into the round baking tin, as shown in the photo's above. If they are not as circular as you would like them to be, gentle reshape them in the tin.
Brush the egg wash over the top of the cinnamon scrolls and then bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until they have risen and are lovely golden brown on the top.
Once baked, remove from the oven and let it cool for 25 minutes.
To ice, whisk the icing sugar, vanilla essence, and a tablespoon of water until it's smooth and runny.
Spoon over the still slightly warm cinnamon rolls, and serve immediately.
If not eating immediately, store in a sealed container for up to 2 days and pop them in the oven for 10 minutes to reheat before eating - this softens them up nicely!