Monday, October 24, 2022

No Knead, Easy Cinnamon Twists

Cinnamon Twists, Easy, No Knead & Vegan
These Cinnamon Twists are both delicious and pretty - and they're quick and easy to make. They're
great for a special breakfast, snack, or holiday meal.

They're also vegan and very low in fat for those on special diets, or observing the Orthodox fasting seasons.

But, people who are NOT on special diets won't think they're eating diet food!

They start with an easy, no knead dough. If you can make brownies from a box, you can make this bread! This is a dough that can be made a day or two ahead, so that when you want to bake it it, all you have to do is shape and bake.

Then, when you're ready to enjoy your Cinnamon Twists, simply roll out the dough, top, fold, cut, twist, and bake. 

Here's how you make the dough:

Easy, No Knead, Vegan Soft & Fluffy Dough **** (Scroll Down for Smaller Batch)
This recipe makes about 4 pounds of dough
Measure into a 6 quart container*, in this order
3 Cups Warm Water (baby bath water temperature. If in doubt, make it too cool rather than too warm)
5 1/4 Cups Unbleached, All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Tapioca Starch (you can substitute more flour, if you cannot find tapioca starch)
1 Cup Potato Flakes (yes, that's right, the stuff people use to make Instant Mashed Potatoes)
1/2 Cup Sugar (or your favorite sweetener that measures like sugar)
1 Tablespoon Yeast
1 Tablespoon Salt
Stir well with a spoon till no patches of dry Flour remain.

The dough should look like this right after you stir it.

Cover loosely with lid (don't fasten so securely that it cannot "breathe")
Leave it on the counter for 2 to 5 hours.
Now, put it in the fridge till you're ready to use it - or use it right away

The dough should look like this after it has sat out on the counter for 2 to 5 hours.

Note - do not "Punch Down" this kind of dough. 

When you're ready to bake the bread, remove it from the refrigerator and dust it VERY WELL with Flour. This is a moist, sticky dough, so don't be afraid to use lots of Flour!

Line your pan(s) with parchment paper, or oil them.

Take one pound of dough (1/4 of the large batch or 1/2 of the small batch) 

(NOTE: if you want larger twists, this exact method can be used with a 2# ball of dough - half a large batch. I've made them both ways, and both sizes turn out very well)

First, Flour the work surface


I simply "cut" the dough in fourths with the side of my hand,

and gently lift out one portion

I gently shape the dough into a smooth ball (watch here for more details Gluten Cloaking)

 And roll out in a rectangle that is approximately 11"x15". I prefer to use a perfectly cylindrical empty olive jar for a rolling pin. If you prefer a rolling pin, that's fine, too!

If the dough is too springy to roll out, let it rest for 5 or 10 minutes

Flip it over and flour it now and then, so it doesn't stick to surfaces

The target size matches my glass cutting board

I simply roll the dough to the same size as my glass cutting board that I roll it out on. While I'm rolling it out, I flip it over and dust it with flour any time I suspect its getting sticky.

Spread the Dough with Apple Sauce and sprinkle VERY generously with a mixture of Cinnamon & Sugar ***** (I use 1 Part Cinnamon to 4 Parts Sugar - you can use artificial sweetener for part of the sugar if you like). I have also tried both Buttery Spread instead of Apple Sauce - that works too, if you prefer, but I like to avoid the excess oil.

 Fold the dough in half, cut in strips, and twist to shape, like so:

I use about 1/4 c applesauce - half a little lunch container

Drop the applesauce on the dough

Spread it out like Pizza Sauce - but all the way to the edges

Sprinkle VERY generously with Cinnamon-Sugar -till it looks dry on top. If your family likes nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips - now is the time to add those things, too!

After topping, fold dough in half - just like it was a piece of paper!

Cut dough in strips approx 1" wide - a pizza cutter makes this job easy

Pick up each strip, and twist it. Stretch it out a little as you twist, to make it the length you want.

Place the twists on a parchment paper lined pan to rise and bake

Don't worry if each twist doesn't look perfect! I find that beginning bakers are often intimidated by a desire to shape items perfectly. When diners are presented with an entire tray of baked goods, they seldom critique the shapes, they just enjoy them : )

Leave to rise for 10 to 60 minutes. If you're in a hurry, you can bake them as soon as the oven preheats and get a quite tasty Twist! But if you wait a little longer, you'll be rewarded with a little more fluffy goodness : )

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake in the middle of the oven, without steam for 35-40 minutes. I've also baked these at 400, and removed them when golden brown - about 22 to 30 minutes. It's nice to be able to choose your temperature, according to what else is baking that day.

Upon removing from the oven, you may brush with a buttery spread and sprinkle with additional cinnamon sugar, if you desire.

Easy Cinnamon Twist


Enjoy! They probably won't last long . . . .

Easy, No Knead, Vegan Cinnamon Twists

But they freeze well in a zippered freezer bag, if you'd like to keep them on hand for breakfasts. I add a paper towel to the freezer bag when freezing, to prevent condensation/sogginess.

Here's the same recipe for a 1/2 batch of dough, if you to make a smaller quantity:

Small Batch Easy, No Knead Vegan Crescent Rolls
 (Makes about 18 rolls)
Follow above directions, but use these amounts
I prepare a batch this size in an 8 Cup Container - the one in the above pictures.
Be sure to add in this order:

1 1/2 Cups Warm Water
2 1/2 Cups + 2 Tablespoons Unbleached, All Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons Tapioca Starch (you can substitute Cornstarch, if you like)
1/2 Cup Potato Flakes
1/4 Cup Sugar *****
1/2 Tablespoon Yeast
1/2 Tablespoon Salt

Stir well, then follow above directions - the same as for a large batch.

* For my 6 Quart Container, I use a new plastic shoe box from the Dollar Store.
** This dough CAN be used the day it is made - but it is a tad easier to shape after it is refrigerated. It is lightest and fluffiest when used within a day or two of when you make it, but I have used it several days later  - a week or more - and still had very good results.
*** If you bake two large pans of rolls at the same time, put one loaf on the middle rack, and one on the bottom rack. Then, set a timer to switch their positions half-way through baking, so that they brown evenly both on the top and on the bottom.
***** I have tested this recipe with a Sucralose Measures-like-Sugar (Splenda or Apriva) and it works well. So if you watch your sugars, feel free to substitute. It works best if you mix it 1/2 & 1/2 with real sugar (provides a better texture) but if you need to use 100% artificial sweetener for health reasons, it can be done with pretty good results.


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