Double toast and smother this vegan, gluten-free cinnamon swirl bread in butter for a breakfast that tastes like a cinnamon-sugar doughnut without the stigma.
I have been going back and forth on this recipe for months. Originally this recipe was born from a chronic desire to make soft pillowy gluten-free cinnamon scrolls, but I’ll be honest, after double-digit tests the scrolls are on the back burner.
What I did get from my quest for gluten-free cinnamon scrolls is a wonderfully tender, buttery, sweet dough that deserves to see the light of day. So I rolled it up and made a loaf instead. Essentially it’s just one giant cinnamon roll, and this dough is much better suited to bread! The crust is crisp and chewy, and with a lower surface area, the crumb stays super soft, light and fluffy.
I’ve been having thickly cut slices of this gluten-free cinnamon swirl bread, toasted until golden and loaded with vegan butter, I recommend you do the same!
What do you need to know before you make this recipe?
I’ve used four gluten-free flours in combination with psyllium husk and ground flaxseed which are all important for the development of structure and texture in this loaf.
This is also an enriched dough (similar to brioche) which means you’ll need butter, milk and sugar. The dough is pretty sticky and delicate so use plenty of flour and take your time rolling it up into a loaf.
I’ve included all the notes for this gluten-free cinnamon swirl bread recipe at the bottom of the page with the hope of improving your experience here at blue border. If you found this useful, I’d love your support on Instagram, click here to follow.
For the dough
- 50g /1.76oz non-dairy margarine or butter
- 575g /20.28oz non-dairy milk, soy is best
- 50g /1.76oz light muscovado sugar or brown sugar
- 12g /1 Tbsp. quick yeast
- 175g /6.17oz potato starch
- 75g /2.65 tapioca starch
- 100g /3.53oz white rice flour
- 150g /5.29oz brown rice flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- 20g /4 Tbsp. psyllium husk
- 12g/ 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed or ground chia seed
For the filling
- 50g /1.76oz non-dairy margarine
- 50g /1.76oz light muscovado sugar or brown sugar
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- Non-dairy milk for brushing
Add the margarine to a small pot and melt on medium heat. Once the margarine has melted, remove the pot from the heat and add the milk and sugar, whisk to combine. Add the yeast and whisk again. Set aside for 10 minutes. The yeast should be frothy and bubbly (if the yeast has not bubbled, it may be expired and need replacing).
Into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, sift the potato starch, tapioca starch, white rice flour, brown rice flour and salt.
Use a whisk to combine the psyllium husk and ground flaxseed with the yeast and milk mixture. Mix until it has started to thicken slightly.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the yeast/psyllium mixture. Use a wooden spoon (or fit your stand mixer with a dough hook) and mix until well combined, 3mins approx. The dough will be very soft and sticky.
Use wet hands to gather the dough into a ball and cover the bowl with a tea towel. Keep it in a warm place for 30mins or until the dough has doubled in size.
Grease and dust a loaf tin with brown rice flour.
Turn the dough out onto a large piece of floured parchment paper. Roll the dough out into a rectangle approx. 2cm thick and roughly the length of the loaf tin. Gently spread the margarine over the surface of the dough and evenly sprinkle it with sugar and cinnamon.
Use the parchment paper to help you tightly roll up the dough (similar to a swiss roll) and transfer it seam side down into the loaf tin (the dough is very delicate so if you find it easier to transfer the dough to the tin cradled in the parchment, you can bake it in the parchment paper).
Cover the loaf with a tea towel and keep it in a warm place for 30mins – 1hr or until the bread has noticeably risen.
Preheat the oven to 200C/390F.
Brush the top of the loaf with milk and bake for 50mins – 1 hr or until the bottom sounds hollow when you knock it. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.
Gluten-free bread goes stale fast, I recommend slicing what you don’t plan on eating within 48hrs and freezing it.
NOTES: Vegan & Gluten-free Cinnamon Swirl Bread
I appreciate it’s annoying to have to track down five different flours for one recipe but if you’re planning on doing any gluten-free baking mixing your own flours is the key to success.
I’ve added starchy flours at 50%, which gives the bread a super soft texture. The brown rice flour is protein-rich and gives the cinnamon loaf structure and rise, while the white rice flour is a medium flour and a good middle ground between starchy flours and protein-rich flours.
In the UK I order my flours from Shipton Mill. They have an incredible range of gluten-free flours and you can get them all in one go.
If you choose to use a pre-mixed flour or a different combination of flours (in which case I can’t guarantee the recipe will work!) you may need to adjust the water content slightly. If your dough feels at all dry after mixing, add 1 – 2 tablespoons of additional water until you achieve a sticky dough (similar to that of a well-hydrated sourdough dough).
Most of the moisture will be absorbed into the flour once the dough has risen.
Psyllium husk powder
Psyllium husk is a type of dietary fibre. In gluten-free yeasted doughs, psyllium is used as a binder, and in this recipe, it’s an excellent replacement for gluten, eggs and dairy. I see a lot of recipes insist on psyllium husk powder over the psyllium husks, but I haven’t noticed a massive difference in performance when switching between the two.
In this recipe, ground flaxseed is working with psyllium to replicate gluten. Gluten-free bread doughs can tend to lack stretch and hardly ever double in size. The combination of flax and psyllium gives this bread dough enough structure to double in size.
Recipe Questions & Troubleshooting
Why didn’t my dough rise?
If your dough didn’t rise your yeast may be expired and need to be replaced or your dough was too dry after mixing. Gluten-free doughs need a lot of liquid, and if you don’t add enough the dough will struggle to rise (see the note about flour).
Why is the dough so sticky?
This recipe has a high proportion of liquid ingredients which makes a very sticky dough. The flour will continue to absorb moisture during proving (rising), but this dough will still very soft and delicate after it’s risen. If you are struggling to shape the dough, dust generously with brown rice flour and try again.
Do I have to add the psyllium and flaxseed?
Yes, you won’t get the same rise or texture without them. Most gluten-free dough recipes call for eggs, dairy or whey powder. The combination of psyllium and flax means you can make this dough completely allergen friendly.
Is this recipe for gluten-free cinnamon swirl bread allergen-friendly and suitable for coeliacs?
Yes, this recipe is nut-free, egg-free and dairy-free and is suitable for coeliacs. If you’re not working in a gluten-free kitchen and you’re making this recipe for someone with coeliacs disease just make sure there is no cross-contamination with any gluten-containing ingredients.
How do you store this bread?
Gluten-free bread always goes stale fast! As soon as the bread has cooled, I recommend slicing what you don’t plan on eating within 48hrs and freezing it. Store the rest in an airtight container.