This week I baked vegan cinnamon rolls. Before I started the project, I envisioned myself exhausted at 2 a.m. with my arms and forehead coated in flour, waiting for dough to rise for the second time before baking. I had never baked with yeast before and was anxious about an I Love Lucy-style dough-monster disaster. Lucky for me, the cinnamon rolls were in the oven by ten, and my apartment smelled like the Keebler elves' tree house. Baking with yeast turned out to be an awesome experience. I watched my first dough ball fluff up to twice its size before punching it to deflation like a prizefighter.
The rolls came out golden brown on the outside and tender and fluffy on the inside, with the mottling of cinnamon and brown sugar along the curves. The only thing I would change about my next batch is to make more filling for a stronger, gooier cinnamon roll.
Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking
- 4 ½ teaspoons of egg replacer powder (the equivalent of 3 eggs)
- 6 tablespoons of water
- 4 ½ to 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 packet or 2 ¼ teaspoons of dry yeast
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/3 cup non-dairy butter
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- non-dairy milk for brushing
- ¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- ½ cup non-dairy butter, softened
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- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 4 tablespoons non-dairy butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- Whip together the egg replacer powder with the water until thick and creamy.
- Combine 2 ¼ cups flour and yeast in a mixing bowl. In a separate container, combine milk, butter, sugar and salt and heat in the microwave for a minute and a half. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture with the mixer on low.
- Add the egg replacer. Then turn the mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes while scraping the sides of the bowl. Replace the mixer's beaters with dough hooks and knead in between 2 ¼ to 2 ¾ cup flour, until the dough is no longer sticky to the touch, smooth and elastic.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for one or two hours. When the dough is twice its original size, punch it down. Place it on a lightly floured surface and let it rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together filling ingredients.
- Roll the dough into a 12-inch square. Brush the filling evenly over the rolled out dough and roll the dough into a log, pinching the seam closed. Carefully slice the log into pieces and arrange them on a greased baking sheet.
- Cover the dough loosely and let the dough rise in a warm place until the rolls are nearly double their size, about an hour. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Brush the dough with milk and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
- While the buns are cooking, prepare the icing by combining the confectioner's sugar, butter, vanilla and milk in a bowl. Let the buns cool for 5 minutes before drizzling.
Makes 8-12 rolls