12 September 2013

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls with Browned Butter Icing


With autumn on the way, can cinnamon rolls be far behind? If you're not gluten-free, make my regular Cinnamon Rolls. But if you are, try this recipe I developed at the request of a friend who just went gluten-free several months ago and who was really missing the ooey-gooey, pecan- and raisin-filled cinnamon rolls of his youth.

If you're one who doesn't "do" yeast doughs, you might like to try gluten-free yeast doughs. They are usually more like batters and require no kneading. And now that so many people are going gluten-free, it's good to have a few gluten-free recipes in our repertoire.

Rolling up the soft, gluten-free dough is a bit trickier than rolling up regular dough. I found the greased parchment paper technique at King Arthur Flour. And transferring the slices to the pan is different as well, but I came up with a way; just follow the directions and all will be well. 

I've never found a store-bought blend that was completely satisfactory, so I've experimented with all sorts of combinations of individual gluten-free starches and flours. You'll find my favorite below Number 1. Do leave a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts on cinnamon rolls, gluten-free baking or comfort food in general. 

PS If you are serious about baking, please invest in a scale. The OXO Good Grips 11-Pound Digital Scale has turned out to be THE best kitchen item I have acquired all year! I use it nearly every day for one thing or another. You can set it for grams or pounds/ounces, which is a very handy feature.     

Cinnamon Rolls

(Makes 12)

The Dough

2 2/3 packed cup gluten-free blend* (13.5 ounces)
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant (rapid rise) yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup warm milk
2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


The Filling

2/3 cup dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened completely

1/3 cup currants
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
1 teaspoon gluten-free blend

The Icing

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 In large bowl, whisk together gluten-free blend,* xanthan gum, sugar, yeast and salt. Add the softened butter, milk, eggs, vinegar and vanilla extract; mix until thoroughly combined. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. Cover and let rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until puffy.


*Gluten-Free Blend: I use Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flours and starches. If you use a different brand, the package sizes might be different, in which case you would need to use a scale to duplicate this formula. 

In large bowl, whisk together until thoroughly combined: a 24-ounce package potato starch, a 22-ounce package sorghum flour and a 20-ounce package tapioca flour.

I don't include xanthan gum in the blend because different types of baked goods require different amounts of xanthan gum. Pour into air-tight container and store in refrigerator or freezer, depending upon how often you use it.

2 Meanwhile, make the filling. In small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter. In another small bowl, stir together the currants and nuts with a teaspoon of gluten-free blend, separating any currants that are clumped together.

3 Lightly grease a 16-inch length of parchment paper. When the dough has risen, turn it out onto the parchment paper and press it out to a 16x8-inch rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the currants and pecans evenly over the filling.

4 Starting with the long edge of the parchment nearest you, roll away from you; the dough should release from the paper as you roll. Using dental floss or serrated knife, trim away the ragged ends and cut roll into 12 slices. Place rolls in a well-greased muffin pan. Let rise, uncovered, for 45 minutes to an hour, until puffy.


Note: If your dough comes out especially soft, as mine did with this batch, the slices will be impossible to pick up and place in the muffin cups neatly. Not to worry. Just use a narrow spatula or pie server to lift a slice and transfer it to a muffin cup any old way. Trust me, it will be fine. My dough this time was very soft and I just slopped the dough in, and they came out fine.

5 During last 15 minutes of that time, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

6 While the rolls are baking, make the icing. In small saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; whisk in powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract.


7 Turn rolls out onto cooling rack; place close together. Spoon glaze over warm rolls.


Here is a photo of the OXO Good Grips 11-Pound Digital Scale:


As you can see, the bowl I was using registered 2 pounds 2 1/8 ounces. You just press the "zero" button to zero-out the scale before adding ingredients. That's called taring. A great feature for jam-making as well. The digital display pulls out so you can read it even if you set something large on the platform.

22 comments:

Amy at love made my home said...

These look lovely Jean, you are so clever with your baking. We don't seem to have the same availability of different sorts of flours (tapioca etc) here in England, but I am going to investigate more and see what I can find. I often have to use a GF packet mix, but you have inspired me to try and resolve this! Thank you.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Amy, thank you so much! Another GF flour I want to try (perhaps the only one I haven't!) is millet flour. Can you get that one?

yummychunklet said...

The browned butter icing sounds sinful and delicious!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, yummychunklet! Yes, it's amazing what a difference in flavor the browning makes.

Angie Schneider said...

These cinnamon buns look so inviting, esp. with that browned butter icing, Jean.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Angie, thank you. I'm a huge fan of browned butter.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Cinnamon rolls are a temptation almost too great to bear whether gluten-free or glutton enabled. Love ‘em. When served hot, another great, great vehicle for butter. Haven’t had any since they disappeared from Old Country Buffet’s menu. I like them under-baked and doughy. Have placed them in my imaginary cookbook called Forbidden Foods, but if I ever lift the ban on breads, that one comes up first! Thanks for another exquisite mnemonic cue to childhood days of fearless eating.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Ooh, I agree, Sully - must be served hot! And though they have butter in the dough, butter in the filling, butter in the icing, there's always room for another schmear of butter!

Joanne Young said...

Jean, this seems like a terrific recipe! Especially since they are GF.:)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Joanne! I hope they turn out well for you.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Jean--you evil woman--the gluten-free cinnamon rolls do look sinfully delicious.

My siblings have always fought over who could make the best Cinnamon rolls for Christmas. This year, of course, so many are trying to go gluten-free.

I had to send all the contenders your recipe.

I have a series of recipes I'd love to see you do--homemade fermented vegetables. Work your magic. Lightarted Sue

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Sue, thanks! :D Evil, indeed. Homemade fermented vegetables. Hmm ... That's something I'm going to have to really be in the mood for ... So do remind me again if you don't see I've tackled it.

LANA said...

Mmmmm,,,, never had brown butter icing before, but sounds like something I may try the next time I make muffins!

Brooks said...

Jean, you bet cinnamon rolls are not far behind and your browned butter icing seals the deal! I haven't joined GF forces as I'm still mastering conventional baking. This post might turn that around. Lovely work my friend.

Sippity Sup said...

Even if you're not serious about baking invest in a good scale! GREG

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Lana, you are going to LOVE it! You won't want any other kind of icing!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Brooks! "Still mastering" -- you are too modest!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Greg, that's right! I use it for sooo many things, as I'm sure you do.

Charles said...

I can't believe those are gluten free... they look terrific! As for scales... ha, I'd never be without one. I could never get by using those "cup" things!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Charles! They don't taste GF either!

Life is just simpler with a good scale, right?

Jenn S said...

I could eat a cinnamon roll a day.. okay, maybe two :) Love the brown butter icing on these... sounds decadent!!!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Jenn! Could go for one right now!

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