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Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon_roll

Last week I was on a project at work where I had to research cinnamon rolls. After viewing millions of photos of these delicious buns, I just had to make them this weekend. Also, it was my first wedding anniversary and I wanted to make my husband something special. Anyway. So I found me a good looking cinnamon roll recipe, but I had to change it to be vegan. The good news? It turned out. Fantastically. These puff up big and chewy like traditional cinnamon rolls and taste rich, decadent and simply delicious. They are not by any means low-fat or healthy. But, they are tasty and easy to make (though quite time consuming – expect the entire process from start to finish to take around 3 or 3.5 hours).

Ingredients:

1-1/2 packages (about 3-1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain soy milk (hazelnut milk would be a wonderful substitution)
4 to 5 cups sifted flour
melted Earth Balance “butter”
brown sugar
cinnamon
(optional) toasted hazelnuts, chopped finely
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
soy milk (2 to 4 tablespoons)

Method:

1.Add the warm water to the yeast and soak 10 minutes.

2. Mix the flax seed with water, whisk vigourously for 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture gets thick like egg whites. Set aside.

3. Warm the soy milk; pour over the shortening. Add sugar and salt and cool to tepid. Add the dissolved yeast and flax seed mixture. Add 3-4 cups flour, one at a time, beating after each addition. Dough should be soft and elastic yet firm enough to handle. Avoid too much flour

4. Knead on floured board until elastic and smooth. Place dough into well oiled bowl. Cover with a kitchen cloth, and let rise for 1-1/2 hours.

5. Press dough down and divide in half. Roll half of the dough out into a long rectangle. Baste generously with melted “butter”. Layer a generous amount of brown sugar. Sprinkle on cinnamon as desired, and sprinkle on the hazelnuts, if you wish.

6. Make slices lengthwise, about 1″ thick or so. Roll up into a coil (in jelly roll fashion). Place rolls in an 8 or 9 inch round greased cake pan, with one slice in the middle and other slices around it. Press rolls down to even out and fill pan. Cover with a kitchen cloth, and let rise for 1 hour.

7. In a medium bowl, sift sugar, and add “butter” and vanilla. A nice alternative to vanilla would be lemon extract or almond extract! Stir in the soy milk, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is a thick, barely-able-to-stir consistency.

8. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until the tops just start to brown. Remove immediately from pan by inverting onto a plate and then tip over onto another plate to right the rolls.

9. Spread icing over warm rolls as soon as they are placed on a plate to let the frosting melt and run into the rolls.