Cinnamon rolls – what a beautiful, good-tasting and luxurious sweet treat! These popular rolls are in fact virtually unknown in Italy, as we have a completely different array of sweets in our country. However, as soon as we tasted one of these rolls we immediately realised how important it was to develop a vegan recipe, not only to amuse our taste buds, but most importantly because we know how much many vegans are looking forward to preparing them at home in a healthy and animal-friendly way. Enjoy the recipe and buon appetito!
- To begin with, pour the water into a large bowl, and then add in the vanilla extract, the lemon zest, two spoonfuls of the flour and whisk to properly combine them. Once that’s done, add in the yeast and whisk to properly dissolve it.
- Now, add in another two spoonfuls of the flour, and whisk again. As soon as the ingredients look properly combined, you can add in all the sugar and the salt, and whisk once more.
- All you have to do now is to keep adding the flour in batches and whisk, and, once the whisk is no good for the task any more, swap it for a spatula, throw in all the remaining flour at once, and combine the ingredients together into a rough dough.
- Transfer the rough dough onto a working surface, and knead it by hand for about five minutes to develop the gluten. At the end of the kneading, the dough should be smooth and soft, but not sticky to the touch. If using a stand mixer, you can follow exactly the same procedure.
- Once finished, transfer the ball into a slightly greased bowl, cover it with cling film and place it in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, which should take about two hours.
- For the sugar-cinnamon mixture, simply mix the two ingredients together and set aside for later use.
- For the glaze, place the icing sugar into a bowl, add in the water and stir until you obtain a thick fluid.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, it is ready to be placed back on the working surface dusted with some flour, and rolled down into a rectangular shape, using a rolling pin. We decided to go for a rectangle that is about 20 by 35 centimetres in area and about five mm thick (or 8 by 14 inches in area and ¼ inch thick).
- Once you have obtained the rectangular shape, brush a thin layer of melted coconut oil or vegan butter on top of it, to make sure that the cinnamon mix will stick to it. Also make sure not to brush the top one-centimetre border of the rectangle, which will be needed later on to close the roll.
- Once that’s done, gently spread the cinnamon mixture on the oiled surface, trying to be as consistent as possible.
- You can now roll the dough into the final log, trying once again to be as consistent as possible so that you will get nice and even final rolls.
- To close the log, brush a little water on the clean piece of dough that you didn’t brush with oil before and finish rolling the log to complete the process.
- Now take a nylon beading thread or a fishing wire and use it to cut the log into rolls of equal size. There is no right thickness of the rolls; some people like them thin (about one centimetre or ½ an inch thick) and others like them thick (about three centimetres or one inch thick). While you are cutting the rolls, place them onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, or if you prefer, into muffin cases.
- Once that’s done, cover the tray with another tray, and leave the rolls to rise for another hour, which should be enough for them to double in size once again.
- Twenty minutes before the time has elapsed, preheat the oven to 180°C or 360°F.
- Once the rising time has elapsed, uncover the tray with the rolls, and bake them for twelve minutes in the preheated oven. As usual, to allow for even browning and cooking, remember to rotate the tray halfway through the cooking time.
- Once the time is up, remove the tray from the oven, brush the buns with the glaze, and stick the tray back into the oven for another minute so that the glaze will dry out and crack on top of the buns.
- The water can be substituted with plant-based milk in order to obtain richer rolls. In this case we would recommend soy or almond milk for best results.
- If not using the vanilla extract for some reason, substitute it with the same amount of water, just to prevent ending up with an excessively dry dough.
- For this recipe you can use the zest of any citrus you like, as it makes no difference. However, some of the best zests we’ve tried are orange, lime and Buddha’s hands.
- The salt can be omitted if not desired, but this will make the dough rise much faster, so keep that in mind if you don’t use it.
- If you want to add extra softness into the buns, you can easily add 1 to 2 tablespoons (about 14 to 30 grams) of melted vegan butter into the mixture after you’ve added the yeast.
- You can use any sugar you want for the recipe as they all work. However, to get a proper glaze you MUST use icing sugar.
- For a richer glaze, you can use soymilk instead of water. For a chocolate glaze, substitute ¼ tsp of the sugar with the same amount of cocoa powder.
Preparation Time: 15m
Rising Time: 3h
Cooking Time: 13m
Total Time: 3h 28m
Cooking Temperature: 180°C - 360°F
Storage Times: Keeps for 3 days in the fridge or for 2 months in the freezer.