Recipe: Vegan cinnammmmmm rolls

Travelling and the sweet exchange of culture. From ideas and music to FOOD!

Take one enthusiastic Culinarian Brit and throw her in a melting pot of Italians, Mexicans, Americans, Canadians, El Salvadorians, Brazilains and Australians (to name but a few) and you get some awesome collaborations in the kitchen. My internet connection has been a bit jungle, I probably could have saved up a great recipe bank to pepper the web with once getting back online. I was just having too much fun in the dirt!

They’re not cinnamon flavour but it is with great pride that I reveal my baby red Russian Kale, flanked by radish leaves. All grown from seed by yours truly in the abundantly fertile soil of Sattvaland this winter. Whilst I won’t get to massage their beautiful leaves into a delicious raw kale salad, grateful for their high nutrient values, I am happy for the days I spent watching them grow and for knowing they will be bringing some quality nutrients and palate enjoyment to somebody equally grateful for their contribution to the great cycle of things in the next couple of months.  

Back to the cinnamon rolls! I have been getting my bread baking skills on and thank Alexandria immensel for showing me how to adapt a standard bread recipe into vegan naughty treats, cinnamon rolls. I spent 4.5 months travelling around Canada and the USA searching for a vegan cinnamon roll, never thinking it could be so easy to make myself!

Ingredients:

Makes 8-10 rolls

3.5 cups of organic flour (can be a a mix – 1.5 whole wheat to 2 white or 1 white to 2.5 whole wheat, but must always be organic if you’re buying in north Americas where the wheat is terrible, more on this another time)

2 tsps salt

2.5 tsp dry yeast (to activate)

1 cup tepid water

2 tblsp coconut oil

1/4 cup sugar

2 tblsps cinnamon powder

Instructions:

(The top four ingredients are a basic bread recipe that this adds cinnamon, sugar and coconut oil to the second rise. Use these too four ingredients, plus the coconut oil and follow the same recipe to make a small bread load. Instead the second rise is a very light folding into the desired bread shape and leave to rise for 20 minutes in the pan you plan to bake it in. For a slightly different recipe using grand instead of cups see Pina’s bread workshop at Sattvaland, captured by Michael)

Begin by activating your yeast. I have wasted good flour in the past on yeast that didn’t activate, so better to activate the yeast by pouring the dry yeast into a ramekin with a pinch of sugar and about 50ml of tepid water. Leave somewhere warm to activate until bubbles start to form on the surface.

Measure 3.5 cups of flour in any combination desired. Pure whole wheat will make the rolls quite dense and a different kind of delicious to those bought in store. A little white flour helps to lighten the weight of the dough and make the rolls a bit fluffier.

Add the activated yeast to the flour, add the rest of the water and begin to fold the dough. Yeast doesn’t like salt much, so it’s recommended to keep the salt to one side of the flour mix or add it a little later on in the process. Adding it directly to the flour before adding the yeast isn’t such a good idea.

Keep folding the dough with your wooden spoon until most of the flour is incorporated, adding more water if you need to do the dough isn’t too dry but also not too wet (the salt should have been added by now), put the spoon down and get your clean and dry hands dirty!

Use your hand to knead the dough in the bowl, incorporating all the residual flour and then bring it out onto a lightly floured surface where the real kneading begins!

Using the heel of the hand knead the dough, folding it in half, turning it a quarter, fold in half, turn a quarter etc until the dough is springy. Test by turning the dough over an sticking the knuckle of your bent index finger in, the indentation should spring back up. If it doesn’t, more kneading for you!

Lightly flour the base of the bowl so the dough doesn’t stick too much whilst it is rising. Cover the dough bowl with a cloth and leave in a warm place to rise for two hours or overnight.

Second Rise:

Your dough should have doubled in size during its first rise. Gently scoop the risen dough out of the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Use the finger tips to gently spread the dough out, without pushing too much of the air out and drizzle 1 tbsp of coconut oil across the dough, sprinkle 1/2 the sugar and 1 tbsp of cinnamon powder.

Fold the dough over in half, turn and fold, turn and fold, turn and fold. About 4 – 6 times until the additions have incorporated and you have a nice dough to roll out.  We’re trying to get one side longer than the other and about 5 mm thick.  Thicker dough will make thicker cinnamon rolls, but there will be less of them! Do what works for you, play around with it!

Spread the last tbsp of coconut oil across the dough, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon and sugar and then roll it up, using the longest edge. Slice into 1 inch (or thicker for less fatter rolls) rolls. I like to put mine in an 8 inch (ish) round baking tray so the sides of each roll mush together.

Bake for 25 minutes on 350 degrees F (175 C) and take out before they’re too crispy.

Serve drizzled with a cinnamon sugar/maple syrup syrup.

Adjust the sugaring to your taste. Personally I would reduce the sugar in the cinnamon rolls and use the sugar in the syrup to sweeten, or have the rolls sweeter and no sugar syrup, they do have a sweet tooth in America!

Play around with the flavours, make a christmas spice flavoured version with clove, ginger, orange zest. Let me know what you come up with!

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