This is another low-sodium recipe I have attempted for my sodium-restricted father-in-law. He LOVES cinnamon buns, so I wanted to create some that were more heart-healthy for him, and I think I succeeded my first try (which is very unusual for me!)
These do not contain any oil, butter, salt, baking soda, baking powder or refined sugar. I used strictly maple syrup and cinnamon to sweeten. These are not overly sweet but have lots of flavor!
Maple Syrup Cinnamon Rolls:
3 cups unbleached white flour, white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp quick-rise yeast
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup nonfat milk
1 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tbsp maple or vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
Preheat your oven to the lowest setting for 5 minutes then shut off.
Mix together the flour, yeast and cinnamon in an oven-safe bowl and make a well in the center.
Mix together the milk, applesauce, syrup and extract. Microwave for 45 seconds, until lukewarm.
Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until most of the flour is incorporated.
Turn the dough out onto parchment paper that has been sprinkled with flour and knead the dough until it all comes together in a ball.
Place the dough back into the oven-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in warmed oven for 30 minutes.
Turn dough back onto parchment paper that has been sprinkled with flour and roll out/shape the dough (I used my hands) until you have an approximately 16" x 10" rectangle.
Drizzle the maple syrup over the dough (try to leave about a 1" strip all around with no syrup, otherwise when you roll it up the edges may not stick).
Roll the doll (starting with the long end) and pinch together the edges to seal.
Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 15 cinnamon buns and place the buns into a 9 x 11-inch pan that has been prepared with nonstick spray.
Place plastic wrap over the top and let them rise (in the still-warm oven) for another 30 minutes. They should have grown taller and filled in the gaps between the rolls like this:
Remove pan from oven and preheat to 325 F (place the rack in the middle position of oven).
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until rolls are golden. Remove from pan and drizzle with glaze if desired.
Glaze (optional, but highly recommended!):
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Whisk all together in a small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat, turn down to low and boil gently until slightly thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool slightly before brushing over cinnamon rolls.
Cinnamon Rolls without Glaze:
Cinnamon Rolls with Glaze:
Note: If you want your cinnamon buns to stay fresher, longer, you can sub a heart-healthy oil such as rice bran, canola or light olive for the applesauce...but I'm willing to bet these won't last that long! :)