I love these cinnamon rolls! I used to make this recipe pregan with eggs, but then when I left the dark side…and I was home for some holiday, Dad requested cinnamon rolls! *Gasp* I hadn’t prepped a vegan cinnamon roll, thus began the mission. I tried already vegan recipes for cinnamon rolls to unsatisfying results, and then one night I had a brief moment of genius. It came to me in a dream, no lie, to use mashed potatoes in place of eggs – I know, who dreams of baking, right? – Well, I awoke that morning and tested it out! It was exactly as I had dreamed of – a super soft and lucious, fluffy cinnamon roll! These C-rolls (worthy of a C-note) have been Dad-tested and Dad-approved, who is known for being quite the cinnamon roll connesseiur. The recipe is adapted, and quite well I must say, from The Bread Bakers Apprentice by Peter Reinhart (excellent bread book, by the way). This recipe make 8-12 large cinnamon rolls, and it can also be halved nicely if you’re baking just for yourself – or have troubles with portion control 😉 Bake on a Saturday afternoon for breakfast Sunday morning, these puppies do take some time to rise and whatnot… so plan accordingly!
6.5 TBSP granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
5.5 TBSP Earth Balance vegan butter, room temperature
1/2 C leftover mashed potatoes
1 tsp lemon extract (or 1 tsp lemon zest)
2 C all-purpose flour (or use all 3.5 C all-purpose and omit the bread flour)
1.5 C bread flour
2 tsp instant yeast
1-1.25 C oat milk
1/2 C cinnamon-sugar for filling
*optional additional fillings: raisins or other dried fruit; walnuts, pecans or other nut
1. Mix the dough. Cream together the sugar, salt, and vegan butter on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or regular beaters if that’s all you got), or mix by hand. Whip in the mashed potatoes and lemon extract until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast, and oat milk. Mix on low speed (or by hand) until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes (or knead by hand for 10-12 minutes; unless you’re freakishly strong like Jo and I – I typically knead about 8 or so minutes otherwise I’m known to overwork the dough. So if you know your kneading tends to be more forceful and aggressive than your average kneader, then reduce the kneading time. You want a dough that springs back when poked, and passes the windowpane test – well-developed gluten: when you stretch a small piece of the dough, does it tear? keep kneading. if it just thins out like a sheer curtain then you’re good!). If you have a dough thermometer, then you want the temp of the dough to be between 77 and 81°F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
2. Let rise. Ferment at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
3. Shape the dough. Mist the counter with spray oil (or sprinkle lightly with flour), and transfer dough to counter. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top of the dough with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. Roll it into a rectangle about 2/3-inch thick and 14X12-inches for larger buns, or 18X9-inches for smaller buns. Don’t roll out the dough to thin, otherwise the finished buns will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8-12 even pieces about 1.75-inches thick for larger buns, or 12-16 pieces about 1.25-inches thick for smaller buns. Line 1 or more sheet pans with baking parchment. Place the buns approximately 1/4-1/2 inch apart so that they aren’t touching but are close enough to one another to rise into each other, if you like softer outsides.
Get the cinnamon-sugar all the way to the edges to ensure maximal coverage within the center of each roll. You’ll lose some in the rolling, but that can be sprinkled on top before baking.
4. Second rising. Proof at room temperature 75-90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size. You can also retard the shaped buns in the fridge for up to 2 days, pulling the pans out to room temperature 3-4 hours before baking the dough to proof.
5. Bake the cinnamon rolls. Preheat the oven to 350°F with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool the buns in the pan for 10 minutes and then streak with glaze while the buns are warm but not too hot. Transfer to cooling rack, and cool another 20 minutes before serving.