September 30, 2007

Cinnamon Rolls - Gluten & Dairy Free

A Daring Baker's Challenge

The Daring Baker's have graciously allowed me to join their ranks. The idea behind the Daring Baker's is that we all make the same recipe, without any changes in order to challenge ourselves as bakers. There are certain exceptions to not making any changes though and the one that applies to me is needing to make changes in the ingredient list for a medical condition, allergies or intolerances, etc.

Many people who can't eat gluten have other health issues as well, such as allergies, other food intolerances, diabetes, thyroid problems, and more. As for me, I do fall into the category of having other health issues, such as an intolerance to dairy and soy, a mild intolerance to nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers) and a new challenge in reactive hypoglycemia. For my first Daring Baker's challenge, I needed to make a few changes in the recipe, first I used agave syrup in the dough to reduce the sugar content, I used lite coconut milk instead of cow's milk, I used 2 packages of active dry yeast (gluten free), guar gum as a binder and I used a combination of gluten free flours.

This month's recipe challenge was for Cinnamon Rolls or Sticky Buns which comes from Peter Reinhart's book The Bread Baker's Apprentice. It is considered to be a classic on bread baking and was named a cookbook of the year in 2002 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the James Beard Foundation. Peter is a baking instructor for Johnson & Wales University and was a co-founder of Brother Juniper's Bakery in Sonoma, California. He has a new cookbook that came out in August called, Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor.

Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns find their origins in our ancient past beginning with the Egyptians, the Greeks and Romans, continuing into Medieval Europe and present day America. Modern day cousins to these ancient breads can be found in coffee cakes and galettes or with doughnuts and fritters. According to Dr. Ronald Wirtz from the American Institute of Baking, believes that cinnamon rolls owe some of their history to the English Chelsea Bun and German Schnecken.

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Hebrews and Romans all knew and prized cinnamon which was considered fit for a royal gift. Where cinnamon came from was a mystery to the western medieval world, as it was brought to Egypt by Arab caravans. From there it was purchased by Venetian merchants who held a spice monopoly in Europe. When the trade routes were disrupted by the rise of other powers in the Mediterranean, many Europeans began the search for other ways to obtain spices. By the end of the fifteenth century Portuguese traders found Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and began a monopoly on the production of cinnamon that lasted one hundred years. By 2005, most of the world's cinnamon now comes from Indonesia. In the United States most of the cinnamon you purchase in a grocery store is actually cassia, a cousin of cinnamon.

Cinnamon rolls and cinnamon are part of our shared food history. When you make this recipe, you think of nothing other than their warm spicey goodness that is infinitely satisfying.


4 1/2 Tb Agave Syrup
1 Tsp salt
5 1/2 Tb vegetable shortening
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp grated lemon zest of 1 lemon
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp guar gum
2 packages gluten free active dry yeast
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 lite coconut milk

Cinnamon Filling

1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 Tb granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)

Fondant Glaze

4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon or orange extract
6 Tb to 1/2 cup warm lite coconut milk

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the vegetable shortening, agave syrup and salt. Pour in the beaten egg and the lemon zest. Stir until the mixture is smooth.

2. Slowly add the gluten free flours, guar gum, yeast and coconut milk. Stir until the the dough forms a ball. Then cover and allow it to sit at room temperature for approximately 2 hours.

3. Lay out a large piece of parchment paper on the counter. Pour out the dough into the center of the paper. Place another piece of parchment paper over the top of the dough. Using a rolling pin roll out the dough until it is in a rectangle (about 12 x 14 inches) that is 2/3rds of an inch thick. Don't roll the dough too thin or the rolls will break apart while they are resting and they will be a bit tough and chewy.

4. Slowly peel the top piece of parchment paper off the dough. Then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar recipe over the the rolled dough. Lift a long edge of parchment paper and ease over the edge of the dough until it begins to make a curl. Then slowly continue easing up the parchment paper until you have a long roll. Slowly peel back the parchment paper and using a sharp knife cut the dough with the seam side down into 12 to 16 pieces. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the rolls on the paper so that they are close, but not touching.

5. Allow the cinnamon rolls to rise for about 45 to 60 minutes or until it appears as though they won't rise anymore.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20 to 30 minutes. Allow the rolls to cool for at least 10 minutes before glazing them so that the fondant doesn't melt off the rolls.

7. Fondant Glaze: Sift the powdered sugar into a large bowl. Add the extract and slowly add 6 Tbs to 1/2 cup of warm lite coconut milk. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the fondant is a thick smooth paste.

8. Using a spoon scoop out the fondant and slowly drizzle it over the cinnamon rolls.

What did my family think of the cinnamon rolls? All of us enjoyed the flavor of the rolls. The flavor of the fondant wasn't a hit with my kids. They would have preferred it to be flavored with vanilla. My husband said the next time I make these rolls, he'd prefer just a little drizzle of fondant. I agreed with him and decided that I'd make much less fondant the next time. In the end, could I eat the cinnamon rolls? I couldn't eat too much of the ones I had put fondant on, there was still too much sugar. However, I could eat a lot more of the ones without the icing.


Peabody said... truly was a challenge for you! Way to make them gluten and dairy free!

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Well..they look beautiful!!

I like simple glazes as well, or like you, none at all.


slush said...

There was a ton of fondant! My kids did not complain, but next time I will halve the recipe. Well done! They look fantastic!

Anne said...

Wow - good job! Talk about an extra challenge to make them gluten and dairy free - I'm impressed!

*fanny* said...

Wow I really admire your ability to take such a dairy and gluten packed recipe and turn it into a gluten and dairy free.
Now, this is what I call a good baker!

Your buns simply look delicious.

Jes said...

Yay for gluten free!!!

anita said...

Wow, I'm impressed with your success in making them gluten and dairy free - way to go! They look delicious!

Anonymous said...

They look great :)

breadchick said...

Great job on your first challenge with us! And great adaption for gluten free. I'm bookmarking this one for a client who is gluten free!! Welcome to our little clan!!

creampuff said...

I tip my hat to you for taking this recipe and making it a gluten-free success. Well done!

creampuff said...

I tip my hat to you for taking this recipe and making it a gluten-free success. Well done!

Belinda said...

Gosh, your efforts to make these gluten free really paid off, judging from the photos...they look delicious!! You did a terrific job with conjuring up a workable version, I'm majorly impressed. :-)

Jenny said...

I admire the limitations you had with the recipe, and they still look great. I have some agave syrup in my cupboard but I get scared away too easily. Also enjoyed the food history!!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

First, the buns look perfect!
I didn't like the fondant at all but I loved the lemon in everything.
Fun reading on the spices and bun history.
I'm so happy you joined and can show us the challenge and success of gluten free! (even dairy)!! Hooray!

Brilynn said...

I'm so impressed with your ability to adapt the recipe, nice job!

the pastry princess said...

wow am i impressed! this was truly a challenge, and you made some delectable looking buns!! you are a most daring baker

Anne said...

beautiful post and lovely buns! well done :)

Dolores said...

Thank you for the history lesson! Congratulations on what looks like a gluten and dairy free success!

Pille said...

What a helpful post for all those on gluten-free diet! Great job!

Esther said...

I'm also gluten free and this month is my first try at daring bakers too.
Your buns look like they rose better than mine and I think next time I'll mix my own flours rather than using a premade mix. Plus add some more gum for binding but I took the easy option from lack of brain power this time. They taste nice though.

Ilva said...

I think it's brilliant that we have gf Daring Bakers! I'm happy you joined and I think the result is so good!

Carrie said...

Well they turned out lovely! That looks absolutely delicious!!! Thank you for sharing!!

Deborah said...

Wow - I admire you for all of the changes you have to make, but still make the recipe work!!

Annemarie said...

Nice little bite of history with our buns. Yours look great, and very impressed with the addaptations you made.

Marce said...

Great adaptation and i loved the background on the recipe!

Lis said...

Way to go!! I'm so impressed with how you adapted the recipe to suit your health issues - very, very good!

I'm glad everyone liked them, but I'm especially glad you got to enjoy a few for yourself. =)


Tartelette said...

Wow! Great post! I really appreciate it as I have to bake for Celiacs from time to time and I am still working on the best flours combos, if such thing is possible. Hats off to you for completing the challenge with all your constraints.

marias23 said...

Thank you for sharing with us the history of cinnamon (bunz), it's very fascinating indeed. Great job accomodating the recipe to your needs! Beautiful!

MerryHeart said...

Sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing. We call my 4-yr-old the Cinnamonster so he will go wild over this.

Aoife said...

Thanks for all the great food history! I'm so impressed that you managed to adapt this to your diet -- that really is stepping up to the challenge!

Julie said...

Amazing job with the substitutions! That really is a daunting challenge. I took my Classical Desserts and Commercial Baking classes with a friend who was allergic to gluten, dairy, and wheat. And I was in the first stages of a low-carb diet, meaning no carbs at all. We made a perfect pair. ;)

I also love the history of cinnamon! A lot of people glaze over that (no bun pun intended), but it really is fascinating. It brings new meaning, or perhaps revisits the old meaning, of the spice of life!

Wonderful post! Thanks for putting the time in aside from the required bun making.

Sheltie Girl said...

Thank you for all the nice comments about my first Daring Baker's Challenge. The cinnamon rolls were wonderful to make and better yet to eat.

Sheltie Girl

Baking Soda said...

Impressive! With all the limitations you still took the challenge and made them. Kudos!
Thanks for all the additional information, great job.

Andrea said...

You had quite a challenge in front of you, but you did quite well! I will follow your instructions if I get a chance to make these for my sister, who has celiac disease.