Cinnamon Rolls

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We had lunch at the Mother Earth Sanctuary Cafe in Florida on our last trip. They had some terrific veggie burgers but my son fell in love with their cinnamon rolls. So, of course, I had to figure out how to make them. They look so intimidating but they are actually not so hard. You make a dough, roll it up and cut it into rolls. I found a recipe from the famous Chicago Diner and played with it to make it work for me. Making these little rolls is not difficult, it is just a little time consuming.

We like these pretty much right out of the oven so we make them when we have people over!

Notes: Use an electric mixer to knead the dough and a 9×9 brownie pan – it is perfect to smoosh 12 rolls together!

Starter
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 teaspoon vegan cane sugar

Dough
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
6 tablespoons vegan cane sugar
3/4 to 1 cup plant milk (I used homemade cashew)
1/4 cup sunflower oil + extra for brushing
1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling
3/4 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Make the starter by whisking together the yeast, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 cup warm water in the bowl of your electric mixer. Cover and let the yeast activate, about 10 minutes, until the yeast looks foamy.

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Add the flour, sugar, oil and salt. Start with 1/2 cup milk. Knead with a dough hook on the lowest speed until combined. The dough will look crumbly and dry. Add another 1/4 cup of milk so the dough is wet and sloshy. If it is still not wet, add the remaining 1/4 cup milk.

Mix for 2 minutes on low and then increase the speed to medium. Knead until the dough pulls away from the bowl, another 3 or so minutes. Cover and set aside. It will double in size in about 2 hours.

Mix the cinnamon and sugar together for the filling and set aside.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface into a rectangle so the dough is not too thick. I don’t have an exact size here, but it was obvious to me so hopefully it will be obvious to you!

Use a pastry brush and brush with a light coating of oil. Sprinkle the cinnamon filling, leaving an inch bare at one of the long ends.

Roll the dough in a cylinder tightly onto itself and press at the end to seal. Cut into 12 pieces about 1 1/2″ to 2″. I usually discard the ends.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

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Transfer the pieces into the brownie pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof in a warm place until doubled in size, about 15 minutes.

Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes, or longer until the tops are browned. Let cool just a bit and then gently use a spatula and a knife to get the rolls out. Enjoy!

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