Since becoming gluten/milk/potato free, baked goods have become a nightmare for me. Lots of people can have most GF baked goods, but I can’t, because most of them have potato in them! It’s the worst damn allergy, outside of a garlic allergy, if you ask me. I always joke (but totally serious) that if I could take away any of my allergies, it would be potato. My food world would open up tremendously! Alas, I cannot cheat with potato, even a tiny bit. I get VERY ill now, with burning sensations all through digestion. So, I’ve set out to make homemade baked goods that are the best possible replications of ye ol’ times. Up until six months ago, I had never made cinnamon rolls. It always seemed so intimidating. What if I kill the yeast? I had never used yeast and it seemed easier to just avoid it. For Christmas though, I had wanted to create a tradition with the kids and set to making pumpkin cinnamon rolls. They were a HIT, but it felt as if I had miles to go trying to replicate a Cinnabon-type experience.
So I want to share with you the recipe I have come up with, through trial and error. When it comes to GF cooking, the type of flours available are merely limited by your imagination. I currently own eight different kinds, but my absolutely favorite is Namaste Foods. They’re affordable, plus NO potato starch or any of the major allergens present in their ingredients. I discovered them when I photographed clients at Disney last year! Turns out, Disney loves them too! If it’s good enough for Mickey Mouse, it’s good enough for me!
One piece of advice I got from a friend, who was teaching me how to make pie, is to never bake angry. Baking is a science, but it’s also a heart-based task. I’m always telling the kids to treat their food kindly, for it nourishes your meat suit. Baked goods know when you’re pissed, so make sure to take a deep breath, huff some of that delicious yeast smell and enjoy the process. I’ve added some photos so you know what things should relatively look like.
- 1 1/2 Cups of Namaste Flour
- 1/4 Cup of Mochiko flour
- 1/2 Cup of Tapioca Flour
- 1/3 Cup of Sugar
- 1 Cup of Almond Milk (you can use real milk, but why?)
- 2tbsp of Baking Powder
- Some salt (I don’t measure. Salt brings out flavors, so don’t be nervous but also, don’t be overly-excited)
- One Egg
- 1/4 Cup melted butta
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- A packet of yeast
- 1/4 cup of melted butta’
- 2 tbsp Cinnamon
- 1/3 cup suga’
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon milk (or water)
- First, prep the melted butter. I cannot tell you how many times I do this last minute and have to wait for it to chill. If it’s too hot, it’ll kill the yeast.
- Prep the yeast. Take that cup of milk and heat it to around 105. Nothing more than 110 and nothing less than 95. You have to activate those little sugar munchers called yeast. Once it is the right temp (I use a thermometer to double check temp), add the sugar and yeast. Give it a quick stir and leave it for eight minutes. No longer!
- Take all of the dry ingredients and mix them together first. This allows everything to evenly mixed, before adding liquids, which can create uneven clumps. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a mouth full of baking powder!
- When the yeast is ready (it’ll get thick and floofy), add it into the dry mix, plus the butter, egg and vanilla. Mix that shit up!
- Let it rise, covered and near warmth. I normally just turn the oven on and put the bowl by the heat exhaust, slowly turning it for the next hour to allow even warmth.
- Set the oven to 350. Then, when the concoction has grown into a growth, it’s time to caress it with a little oil on your hands. You could roll it out, but why? Few things are more satisfying than man-handling some dough. Just stay gentle. Pretend it’s a first date, not the third! If you go at it too hard, the dough will get shy and loose all of its air pockets. LOL I usually use my wrist to gently roll it out over a floured surface. You can also use tapioca starch to roll it out as well. I like to use tapioca starch, because it makes the dough deliciously soft to spread out.
- When it is rolled out to approximately 10×13, then take the filling and spread it out. I use a little brush to coat it evenly.
- Then slowly tuck the dough into itself by gently pulling up the bottom of the parchment paper. Keep going until the dough is in a log.
- Take a string (you can also cut it with an oiled knife) and gently lift the dough log and put the string at approximately 2.5 inches down. Pull the string up, cross it and then pull it. It should slide right through the dough, creating a little cinnamon bun. Put it in the greased pan. Keep going until they’re all gone. Should give you 8-12.
- Let the dough rise by the heat for 30 more mins, covered by a towel. Then put it in the oven for 23-25 minutes (23 is probably enough).
- Make the icing. Now, I don’t have a mixer, I’ve never had the counter space for one. So I mix everything by hand, hence the teeny clumps of sugar in the icing. I also throw cinnamon in it, so it isn’t white. You should let the rolls sit, but I don’t. I immediately gorge, because this shit is a lot of work and I’ve earned it!
- There are plenty of other flour mixes you can use. I always buy a flour with Xantham gum in it. I do have some, just in case, but if you use a mix of raw flours, like almond or white rice, don’t forget a gum!
- Using a machine mixer is probably the most efficient, but if you don’t have one either, just mix the dough in wide strong circles, mimicking a machine.
- Don’t make these when anyone is around or you’ll have to share them.
Let me know what you do in the comments! I’m curious!