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Cast Iron Cinnamon Buns

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Is there anything better than a warm cinnamon bun on a cozy Sunday morning? They really do remind me of my grandma! She didn’t make them often, but when she did, the whole family would make they way over to visit. I think it’s the smell of the active yeast that reminds me of her baking days the most. I added it to this recipe for that very reason. To be honest, I’m not sure if it really helps the dough much in terms of rising in this recipe, but I add it for the smell and taste. If you are sensitive to yeast, you can definitely leave it out - they will still be super delicious!

Making these rolls in a cast iron pan gives them such a rustic feel. The sugars caramelize with the butter, making the bottoms deliciously glazed and sticky when you pull them from bottom of the pan. Alternatively, you can also make these in an oven-safe baking dish.  I do bake these at a high temperature for the first 12 minutes, so if your oven runs hot, consider turning down the temperature a touch and keep an eye on them, making sure the sugars don’t burn!

I did use GF all purpose flour for this recipe, and the reason for that is because I wanted my family to be able to enjoy and create these as well. I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about it before, but most members of my family have very serious nut allergies and I like to try to accommodate in any way I can. Lastly, the glaze is really quite simple. It adds a subtle maple flavour and the coconut butter hardens a bit like regular icing when it cools. A cream cheese icing would also be delicious if that is your thing!

Enjoy!

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Cast Iron Cinnamon Buns

Makes 9 rolls

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 heaping tablespoons room-temperature butter or ghee
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch salt

For the dough:

  • 1 cup warmed coconut milk (not hot, just lukewarm)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1 ½ tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or ghee + more to brush the tops of the cinnamon rolls
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons gluten free 1-1 baking flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt

For the glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

 

Method:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the filling. Incorporate the ingredients (I use my fingers for this part) to form a crumbly mixture and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm coconut milk with the yeast, coconut sugar, and melted butter. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it sit for 8-10 minutes to activate the yeast.
  3. Add the egg and gently mix to combine. Add 2 cups of the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pinch of salt. Mix together, forming a soft dough. Using the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour, place the dough on a lightly floured flat surface. Knead until smooth, adding more flour if the dough is sticking to your fingers.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425℉. If your oven runs hot, consider reducing the temperature a touch so the sugars don't burn. Set the oven rack to the middle position. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, approximately 16-inch by 12–inch. It doesn’t have to be perfect!  Evenly sprinkle the crumbly filling mixture on surface of the dough rectangle.  Starting at one long side, roll the dough tightly from one end to the other, forming a log shape.  When you reach the end, press the seam to seal.
  5. Using a sharp knife, cut into 9 pieces. Place one piece in the centre of a prepared 9 or 12 inch cast iron skillet (make sure it is lightly greased OR use parchment paper for less mess), then continue to place the remaining pieces around it in a circle shape, keep it rustic, doesn't have to be perfect! It's okay if they are all touching. Alternatively, you can bake them in a oven-safe baking dish. Brush the tops with a touch more melted butter. 
  6. Bake for 12 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350℉ and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes. The tops should be slightly golden, and sugars caramelized and sticky at the bottom, but not burnt! 
  7. Mix the ingredients for the filling, and drizzle ontop of the cinnamon buns and serve warm.

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