Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls are the ultimate cinnamon rolls. Very reminiscent of the gooey, deluxe wonders from Cinnabon. Making these on Christmas Eve and baking them on Christmas morning has become a tradition around here.

DOUGH:
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ (1 packet) teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons warm water
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup Earth Balance butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt

FILLING:
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup Earth Balance butter, melted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

In a small bowl, mix the 3 tablespoons water with the flaxseed meal. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and yeast.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the water, sugar, melted butter, and salt, until well incorporated.

Add the flax mixture to the wet. Mix. Add the wet to the dry. Stir to roughly combine.

Knead on a clean, floured surface for about 8 minutes. The dough should be smooth and firm, but not sticky. Place the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl, and let rise in a warm place for one hour, then knead the dough for 30 seconds and let it rest for 10 minutes more.

Mix together the brown sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a bowl.

Roll the dough out into a 16 x 20 inch rectangle. Be patient, Chelsea, this takes a little time.

Brush the rectangle with all the melted butter, except for one of the long edges so it will be able to seal shut. On that edge, leave a small .5-1 inch border. Distribute the brown sugar mixture, again, avoid that edge. Try to get it even. Pat and press down the brown sugar mixture into the dough so it becomes totally saturated by the butter.

Starting with the border-less long edge, roll it up! Work slowly, moving your hands together and apart, or fingers from the middle to the outer edges of the roll as you go. At the end, seal the roll by making tiny pinches & twists of the dough to combine the edge into the roll. Sometimes having wet fingers can help this.

With a sharp knife, and small sawing motions, cut the big roll into 10 or 12 small rolls, depending on how big/how many you want. If you’re making these to impress a snobby crowd, you may want to chop off the imperfect ends.

Butter up a 9×13’’ baking dish and put the rolls in. Cover with plastic wrap. Now, you have two options for this final rise!

If you are making these a day in advance for the next morning, you’re a smarty! They are more delicious if you just pop them into the oven in a clean kitchen. Use the overnight rise method. If you are impatient and want to eat these bad boys the same day, fine. Use the same day rise method.

Overnight rise method: Put the rolls in the pan, covered in plastic wrap, in the fridge overnight. The next morning, put the rolls in the oven (turned off). Fill a pie dish with boiling water and put it on a rack a few slots beneath the rolls. Let the over get all steamy with the door shut for 15 minutes. If the rolls are nice and puffy at this point, you’re all set to bake them. Otherwise, leave them in for the first couple of minutes as the over preheats to 375*F. Bake rolls for 10 minutes uncovered, then ten more minutes covered in aluminum foil, then uncover and monitor closely as you bake for up to five more minutes (25 minutes total, or a bit less.) Don’t wait for them to brown, you want them ooey gooey!

Same day rise method: let the rolls rise for one hour in a warm place, then bake at 375*F. Bake rolls for 10 minutes uncovered, then ten more minutes covered in aluminum foil, then uncover and monitor closely as you bake for up to five more minutes (25 minutes total, or a bit less.) Don’t wait for them to brown, you want them ooey gooey!

For cream cheese frosting, cream together 2 parts vegan cream cheese at room temp, with 1 part Earth Balance butter at room temp. Then, add in 1 part powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Spread it on liberally!

Credit: Matty’s Sticky Cinnamon Rolls from veganbaking.net / rolling technique and rise method from Alton Brown’s Good Eats

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