Saturday, 25 August 2012

Cinnamon Buns

Gluten Free Cinnamon Buns
I had all but given up on cinnamon buns. After so many disastrous batches, I was starting to think I would never again have the luxury of biting into a warm, soft, sticky cinnamon bun again. Last week when my cousin Lucy asked if I had a good GF cinnamon bun recipe, I had to tell her: sadly, no. But, it gave me the motivation to give it another try... and I'm glad I did! These turned out great and the dough was actually fairly easy to work with for being gluten free.

I looked up a couple different gluten free cinnamon bun recipes online and basically made a new recipe using similar ingredients. It helps to make smaller rather than larger buns. They are easier to work with that way, and you can eat more than one without feeling too guilty :) This recipe has a lot of steps to follow, but they really aren't that hard. The rolling out just takes a little patience. Oh, and so does the baking part... when you can smell them but can't eat them yet because they're laced with bubbling lava sugar!

I will definitely be making these again and I hope you all enjoy them as much as we did (yes, even the gluten eating husband was a fan). Thanks for the reminder Lucy! These are for you <3

bakes at: 350
makes 8 small cinnamon buns - recipe can be easily doubled

1 1/2 tsp Yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 cup Warm Milk

1 1/4 cup All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend (see Flour Blends page)
1/4 cup Tapioca Starch
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Guar Gum (or 1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum)
1/2 tsp Baking Powder

3 Tbsp Oil
1 Egg
1/2 tsp Vinegar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 Tbsp Butter or Margarine (at room temp)
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon

Base Sauce:
3 Tbsp Melted Butter or Margarine
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
(mix together, microwave until bubbling (about 20 seconds) and pour into greased square baking dish)


In a small bowl, combine yeast, sugar and warm milk. Set aside to proof for 5-10 minutes.
Using a stand mixer or by hand, mix dry ingredients (first 5 ingredients) in large bowl.
Mix remaining 4 wet ingredients separately.
Turn mixer back on, add wet ingredients and yeast mixture to dry ingredients. Let mix for 3 minutes (or mix well by hand)

Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap out on the counter. Lightly oil the top side. Prepare another piece of plastic wrap (same size) by oiling one side (this side will be face down on top of the dough)
While your hands are still a bit oily, pick up the dough and form it into a rectangle shape.
Lay dough on the oiled plastic wrap and cover with the second piece of plastic.
With a rolling pin, roll out the dough, repositioning the plastic as needed, until it's a rectangle about 8"x12" in size.
Remove top plastic wrap.
(If you double this recipe you will want to roll out the dough in two batches)

make a small rectangle with your hands and place between oiled plastic wrap

roll out with rolling pin until the dough is roughly 8"x12"

Prepare filling by combining the 1/3 cup brown sugar, 2 T soft margarine and 1 T cinnamon.
Spread it over the surface of the dough, leaving a little bit of space on one long side with no filling so that you can seal it after you roll it up.
Start rolling up the dough at the long side that has the filling spread to the edge. Pull the plastic wrap in the direction you want to roll the dough to help it along.
Pinch the edge to seal in the filling and keep the buns from unrolling.

spread filling over dough, leaving space on one long edge for sealing

roll dough into a log, pulling up the plastic to help it along

lightly pinch the edge to seal it and keep it from unrolling

With a knife, make shallow dents on the cinnamon log to separate it into 8 pieces. This makes it easier to cut equal size buns.
Take a piece of dental floss or thread and position it under the cinnamon log. Cris-cross the string to cut the 8 individual cinnamon buns. (If you try to cut it with a knife it will just squish it)

make marks where you want to cut then use floss to cut without crushing the dough

Prepare a square baking dish by oiling and pouring in the base sauce (see ingredient list for directions)
Place cinnamon buns in the dish, close together but not touching.
Let rise in warm, draft free place for 30 mins (they should grow much larger)
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are light brown.
Let cool 5 minutes in the dish then invert on a plate.

pour the base sauce in oiled dish and place cinnamon buns with space to rise
let rise for 30 mins
bake 20-25 mins or until they start to brown. Let cool 5 minutes.
after cooling 5 mins, turn the dish over on a plate. they may or may not stick to each other... mine didn't
Let cool another 5-10 mins so you don't burn yourself.
Serve warm!
Left overs can be kept at room temperature and microwaved up to 2 days. They can also be frozen and reheated in the microwave (but be careful, they will be hot!)

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Gluten-Free Grocery Guide Review

A while ago I received the 5th edition of Triumph Dining's "The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide" in the mail to review. The book is made specifically for American shoppers, but I found that it had some useful tips for all gluten free shoppers.

The first section of the book had good advice on how to shop gluten free in general, including what to avoid (eg. bulk bins and deli counters) and what items might be safer to buy. It also discusses some of the US food labelling laws, which are good to know for Americans, but not as helpful for Canadians.

The remainder of the book is basically a list of specific products that are gluten free (with most of the brands being American). The problem I see here is that companies often alter the ingredients they put in their products, and although this book is updated quite often, there is just no alternative for reading the ingredient label while shopping.

I think it would be better to put out an online list of gluten free products that is updated frequently, instead of printing a large book every so often. It would be cheaper to produce, and could still produce income if there was a charge for subscribing to the website. It would also be more accurate, and they could branch out to include gluten free guides for other countries.

All in all I think the first part of the book has valuable information and would be especially helpful for beginner Celiacs, but I think that simply providing a list of current gluten free products in a book is not the most practical method of presenting the information.

Book can be purchased as this website:

Thanks Triumph Dining for providing this book for me to review. All opinions are my own.