DIY fat-free cinnamon rolls

IMG_0636Last fall I shared my recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls, a Friday breakfast treat I make for the kids but rarely eat myself.

They’ve come to prefer a simple white icing over the rich caramel version I started out with, which is handy because there’s no fat in it — just milk and powdered sugar. Since I recently started keeping an eye on fat grams, I decided to tinker with other fat sources in this recipe — and discovered I could eliminate almost all of it without ruining the rolls.

Step 1: Instead of using oil in the dough, I subbed in applesauce.

Step 2: Instead of spreading the dough with butter and cinnamon-sugar before I roll it up, I use fat-free cream cheese.

In last week’s test, there was very little difference in taste or texture.

Here’s the revised recipe:

Basic bread dough

2 T bulk yeast

2 T salt

¼ cup sugar

2 cups warm water

2 cups warm milk

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup whole wheat flour

6-8 cups white flour (or more if dough is still too sticky)

  1. Mix yeast, salt, sugar, whole wheat flour and warmed liquids and let soak for 15 minutes or so. Then begin adding the white flour, a cup at a time, until mixture begins to form a dough that isn’t too sticky to work with your hands.
  2.  Knead dough, then let rise for an hour or so if possible and knead again before baking. (This sounds complicated, but it’s not. Dough is pretty forgiving; I sometimes put this in the fridge for a couple of days before using, while other times I bake it up almost immediately after making it. It’s never awful, and always WAY better than store-bought bread.)

Assembling the cinnamon rolls

  1. Roll out ¼ the bread dough. Spread with fat-free cream cheese and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  2. Roll up dough and cut into 12 sections, placing each circle-side up in greased baking dish. Spread the top of each roll with cream cheese and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  3. Bake for around 20 minutes or to your desired degree of golden brown.
  4. If you like, top warm rolls with the following recipe for simple white icing

Simple white icing

2 cups powdered sugar

3 T. skim milk

Using a fork, whisk the milk into the powdered sugar. Batch will reduce to just a bit less than a cup. Which means that there’s around 55 calories per tablespoon.

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