The thing about these vegan no knead cinnamon rolls is that a) they are a health food in so far as joy is a requirement for good health, and b) they’re probably the laziest (but still so delicious) version of cinnamon rolls you can make. Other facts! They are ooey-gooey and 100% perfect with coffee. They are ideally consumed on Christmas morning in holiday themed pyjamas.
If you follow me on Instagram, maybe you already know about my obsession with Jim Lahey’s no knead bread (see here, here & here). I started making it about a year ago, always switching up the types of flour a bit and tweaking the baking method. It’s VERY satisfying to pull a cozy hot loaf from the oven with minimal effort. Once I locked down on the bread, I moved on to no knead pizza dough, which was equally satisfying. I was just really living that no knead, slow fermented lifestyle!
Sooner or later, I started thinking about translating that slow ferment to cinnamon rolls. I’ve made cinnamon rolls with straight up pizza dough before and enjoyed them, so I figured this would go off without a hitch. After a couple test rounds I can honestly say: these are so freaking good. You just mix the dough up with a spatula (no mixer yay!) and let it do its thing overnight, roll it out in the morning, fill and make the cute little rolls, one more rise, a quick bake, little glaze, and voila. These aren’t those picture perfect spirals that evoke a certain shopping mall eating experience. These rolls are rustic, home-y, and slightly craggy-edged. No two look alike and that’s all part of the charm for me.
Hope that some of you enjoy these festive little treats. What’s a little more indulgence this time of year, right? Also, pleasure is important all year long, so go forth and enjoy yourself! I’m taking a little holiday break, so this will be my last post of 2018. It’s been a bit of a wonky year creativity-wise for me, and I’ve also just wrestled with what I really want to be putting out and offering to the world. In the last few months, I’ve felt a little extra wind in my sails, taken some key steps for growth, and just realized a greater sense of purpose with this work. I’m excited to see what 2019 brings and as always, I’m ever grateful to you for following along and supporting me. Sending all my love for a peaceful holiday. Talk soon!
VEGAN NO KNEAD CINNAMON ROLLS
Print the recipe here!
SERVES: Makes 12
NOTES: I’ve tried these with light whole wheat flour and light spelt flour, and both turned out a bit bread-y. Still delicious, but not ideal. Good old refined all purpose is the best for true bun-ly goodness. Use substitutes at your own risk! ;)
-I haven’t tried coconut palm or maple sugar in place of brown sugar, but I bet they would work just fine.
-Before you start, you need overnight resting time for the dough, between 12 and 18 hours. Plan ahead!
-Vegan cream cheese frosting purist? Lauren’s got a good one here.
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour + extra for dusting
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon active dry yeast
1 ⅔ cup room temperature water
2 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
pinch of fine sea salt
pinch of vanilla powder (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2-3 tablespoons almond or other plant-based milk
pinch of sea salt
pinch of vanilla powder (optional)
THE NIGHT BEFORE, make the dough: In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, yeast, and water. Using a rubber spatula, stir it all together until you have a shaggy, bump-y, sticky dough. Cover it tightly with Bee’s Wrap or plastic wrap and set the bowl in a warm spot for up to 18 hours. I place mine on the fireplace mantel or on top of the fridge.
THE NEXT DAY, make the filling and form the cinnamon rolls. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla powder, if using. Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
Sprinkle a good amount of flour on your work surface and flour a rolling pin as well. This dough is sticky, so keep some flour on hand. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the dough out onto your floured surface. Shape it into a log of even thickness that’s about 12-14 inches long.
Start rolling out the dough into a rectangle. You want the dough to be an even thickness and about 14 inches wide and 11 inches tall when you’re done.
Brush the entire surface of the dough with the melted vegan butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the top, patting and rubbing it in with your hand a bit.
On the long (14-ish inch) side, start rolling up the entire piece of dough, making a nice cinnamon-swirled log. Then, cut the log into 12 even rolls. I cut off the shaggy ends because I was taking photos, but you can keep them :)
Arrange the cut rolls in the 9×13 baking dish in (4 rolls along the 13 inch side). Cover the baking dish with a clean towel and let the rolls rise in a warm spot for 40 minutes. Again, I like to put mine on the fireplace mantel or on top of my fridge.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Once the no knead cinnamon rolls have risen a second time, uncover them and slide them in the oven. Bake the rolls for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown and one of the middle rolls sounds hollow when you tap it.
Let the rolls cool for at least an hour before glazing.
Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, plant-based milk (start with 2 tablespoons), salt, and vanilla (if using) until completely smooth. Add more milk if you need to.
Drizzle the glaze over the vegan no knead cinnamon rolls. Enjoy within the day of baking!