Blackbird Bakery's Classic Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Getting this dough's consistency right had me tearing my hair out when I wasn't bouncing beady-eyed, vulcanized cinnamon rolls off the kitchen wall. The missing link turned out to be resting the dough overnight in the fridge. This chilly time-out lets the yeast develop in slow motion, keeps the air bubbles small, and gives the finished rolls the ideal soft-but-stretchy cinnamon-roll texture. If you'd like to serve these hot for breakfast or brunch, make the dough the night before. They're also extra-good if you can find and use Vietnamese (Saigon) cinnamon.

"The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free" by Karen Morgan. Copyright Stewart, Tabori & Chang 2014. Provided courtesy of Karen Morgan. All rights reserved.
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YIELD: 9
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ingredients

FOR THE ROLLS:
  • 2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup (225 ml) whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup (130 g) sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups (364 g) Biscuit Blend (page 13), plus more for rolling
  • 1/3 cup (42 g) potato starch
TO ASSEMBLE:
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
FOR THE GLAZE:
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (150 g) confectioners' sugar
recipe tools

Directions

Makes 9 perfectly spiraled 2 1/2- to 3-inch (6- to 7.5-cm) beauties

Make the rolls: In a small saucepan, warm the milk to bath temperature and set it aside to cool slightly. (The ideal temperature to activate the yeast is 92 degrees F / 33 degrees C.)

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and beat in the sugar until dissolved.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a food processor fitted with the S-blade, combine the Biscuit Blend, potato starch, meringue powder, and yeast. Mix on low or pulse until they are well blended. Add the salt and mix just until combined.

With the stand mixer on the lowest setting, add one-third of the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, followed by one-third of the milk mixture. Repeat until both mixtures have been incorporated and the dough is well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix on high for 2 minutes more. The dough should be thick enough that a finger pressed into the surface leaves an indentation that stays.

With the mixer on medium speed, add the butter a few cubes at a time and mix until you can no longer see any clumps and the dough is smooth. Very lightly grease a large bowl with butter. Form the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough overnight.

Assemble the rolls: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a glass bowl with 1 tablespoon of the butter. In a small bowl, whisk the sugars and cinnamon together and set them aside. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons (55 g) butter; remove it from the heat but keep it warm.

Dust your work surface with Biscuit Blend. Turn out the dough, cold from the fridge, and knead until it is smooth, about ten turns. Shape the dough into a rectangle or oblong and roll it out to 14 by 16 inches (35.5 by 40.5 cm). Using a pastry brush, spread the melted butter over the dough, leaving a 1/4-inch (6-mm) border from the edge of the dough, until it is glossy. Avoid leaving any dry spots. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the cinnamon-sugar.

Starting at a long edge, roll the dough rectangle into a tight cylinder, turning the edge a bit at a time. If the dough sticks to your work surface, use a bench scraper to free it and dust the surface with just a bit more Biscuit Blend. Transfer the dough cylinder to a tray or cutting board and freeze it for 15 minutes.

Cut a 12-inch (30.5-cm) strand of unflavored dental floss or fine white thread and use it to cut the dough into thirds, then cut each third into thirds again so you have 9 rolls.

Set the cut rolls in 3 rows of 3 in the prepared pan, leaving 1/4 inch (6 mm) between each.

Bake the rolls for 30 minutes. They are done when they have tripled in size and are golden brown, with cinnamon-sugar bubbling up from the spirals at the top and the bottom.

Make the glaze: Cut the butter into the confectioners' sugar by kneading it into the sugar with your fingertips. When you can no longer see any lumps of butter, whisk in the milk and vanilla. If the glaze is still quite thick, whisk in 1 tablespoon of water, then more if needed. Drizzle over the cinnamon rolls immediately.

Let the cinnamon rolls cool for at least 15 minutes before you chomp into one; the sugar is molten-lava hot.

The cinnamon rolls will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They freeze well for up to 3 months, double wrapped to prevent freezer burn.

Variation: Sticky Buns
Double the quantity of cinnamon-sugar, reserving half and using the remainder to fill the rolls. Melt an additional 1/4 cup (55 g) salted butter and pour it into the pan. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar over the butter followed by 1 cup (100 g) chopped pecans before arranging the rolls in the pan. Bake as directed above.

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