I’ve heard about “Gluten Free”, I’ve seen gluten free products but I have never tasted them – that’s until a couple of weeks ago when I took on the challenge to bake gluten free cinnamon rolls. I say “Challenge” because I’ve heard some of my not so gluten tolerating friends comment about their breads and desserts and it sounded like gluten free breads and desserts are not the cats meow. Since I really only know how my own gluten free product(s) taste I think I will go on a little excursion this Saturday and buy a couple gluten free breads and sweets so that I can compare my products to the pro’s.
I was told though by my friends 16 year old gluten intolerant daughter that she would pay $4 for one of my cinnamon rolls (well they are cinnamon knots, not really rolls). I thought if a teenager would part with her hard earned money for one of my little treats, that I must have done well trying to get some taste and “fluffiness” into the dough.
This recipe is dedicated to Nicole, so that she can make her own gluten free cinnamon knots and not have to pay $4 to satisfy her gluten free sweet tooth! And don’t forget – yeast dough’s need time – lots of time!
Ingredients (makes about 6 knots and a tiny twisted cinnamon braid):
- 2 cups gluten free flour (I used the King Arthur brand but hear Bob’ Mill is also good). If the ingredients don’t list Xantum Gum, add one package.
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 packet or 2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup warm whole milk
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
- 6 tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 a stick butter at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. water
- 1/2 tbsp. honey
- 1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. milk
Making the dough
- Place the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.
- Add the yolks and milk and mix, using the hook attachment on medium-low speed until a shaggy dough forms, approx. 1 minute
- Add the butter, increase the speed to medium high and mix until the dough is smooth, about 3 minutes
- Coat a large bowl with oil. Form the dough into a ball, place in the bowl, and turn to coat in the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until dough doubled in size, about 2 hours. You need lots of patience to get gluten free dough to rise.
Making the Knots
- Roll dough onto a gluten free floured surface into a rectangle, approximately 1/2 inch thick (maybe 15 x 8), don’t roll it too thin. I can roll almost perfect rectangles with non gluten free dough’s but since this type of dough is a little bit finicky and not so elastic, roll a rectangle as good as you can and then cut off the fringes with a pizza roller. I made it a nice rectangle and had lots of left over dough that I used to turn into a twisted little cinnamon braid (see photos).
- Spread dough with softened butter
- Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mixture over the top and roll it into the dough with a rolling pin so that it doesn’t fall out when you fold over the dough. If you pat it in, it will stick on your hands, so try to just roll once or twice over the dough, you don’t want to completely incorporate it, you just want to avoid that the sugar/cinnamon mixture falls off
- Gently fold dough into half width wise.
- Cut dough into 1 inch strips along the length side.
- Twist each strip and tie a knot, folding the “left over tie” under the knot (meaning, hide it under the bottom). The dough is not very forgiving, so work somewhat careful and quick so that the dough doesn’t start to rip or break on you. If it does roll it back together and add more softened butter.
- Place knots onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap loosely and allow to rise for another 30 – 60 minutes until the knots look puffed up.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 10 minutes.
- While knots are baking prepare clear glaze and stir together sugar, water and honey. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Brush glaze on top of warm knots.
- Prepare drizzle by stirring together confectioner’s sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle over the slightly cooled knots. I transfered the confectioner’s sugar mixture into a small Ziploc bag and cut of the tip and then made little zig zag lines all over the knot. Serve warm.