I have been craving cinnamon rolls for ages. So these aren’t the same cinnamon rolls you get at restaurants. This is a healthier, nearly vegan, version that tastes amazing and keeps away all guilty feelings.
I started with my favorite dinner roll recipe which is Coconut Milk Pudding Rolls. The rolls are simple and not very sweet. Using this recipe gave me the idea to skip the frosting and keep the “pudding”.
Since I made this up as I went, I didn’t start with a picture of my ingredients but I did think to take this picture. This is important because if your yeast doesn’t look like this after you add it to the water, you don’t have active yeast. The two biggest culprits of bad yeast is water that is too hot and old yeast.
To start you want to put a package or a tablespoon of yeast into a cup of warm water. I put my water in the microwave on the beverage setting. Sometimes it comes out way too hot. The perfect temperature is one where you can stick your finger in it and have it be comfortable for a very long time. The water should be warmer than your skin but not so hot you can’t “swim” in it.
While the yeast is prepping, you need to mix 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, and 1/4 cup soft tofu. Add in the yeast and knead (in the bowl) in 1 3/4 cups flour. I used a whole white wheat flour.
You want a soft dough that is not sticky when you finish.
Let the dough rest with a wet rag over the top (attached with a rubber band so it doesn’t sink onto the dough).
Let rise until doubled. I was impatient so I can’t say this is exactly double.
Remove from bowl and set on flour dusted surface. Here I did use all purpose white flour to keep the dough from getting too heavy. Knead in a little flour as necessary to make the dough not be sticky.
Roll out in the shape of a large rectangle.
Here I drizzled on some olive oil because it was easier than getting into the coconut oil but it was only about a tablespoon. I sprinkled on some leftover cinnamon sugar from a doughnut project. I used Saigon cinnamon which has a red hot flavor that is not spicey but different. Feel free to use whatever you like but be aware that the higher the quality of the cinnamon the more flavor you get with less.
Roll, carefully because this is a really soft dough, into a log and cut into 24 pieces.
These don’t make huge rolls but they were perfect size for everyone. While we ate a handful while they were hot, there were times when just one was all we needed.
I let these rest for another rising.
Cover with the pudding of 1 can coconut milk, 3/4 sugar, and 1 tablespoon flour.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Now I was impatient and could have let them rise for longer the second time but, even with the abridged rise, these were tender and had just enough sweetness to them. The whole grain made me feel satisfied and didn’t even phase my family. These were gone in three days (that’s with saving some for breakfasts). The pudding keeps them soft.
My boys loved them straight out of the pan. I prefer a little butter on top, especially when they are hot. Serve with some homemade hot chocolate and you have a “sinfully” wonderful breakfast.
Vegan-ish Cinnamon Rolls
1 package or 1 tablespoon yeast
3 1/4 cup + 1 tb flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup soft tofu (or 1 “egg” of choice)
13 ½ oz can coconut milk
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon (or to taste)
Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water. Stir in 1 ½ cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, melted butter and egg. Stir in 1 ½ cups flour and knead into soft dough adding flour as needed. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Punch down and turn out onto floured surface. Knead until the dough is not sticky, adding flour as necessary. Roll into large rectangle. Brush on oil. Sprinkle on cinnamon and sugar (mix together for easier coverage). Use hands to smooth the filling. Roll into log and cut into 24 pieces. Set in pan and let rise until doubled.
Whisk together coconut milk, remaining sugar and 1 tb flour until smooth, set aside. Preheat oven to 350. Pour coconut milk over rolls and bake about 25 minutes.