While doing some “market research” (aka, eating lots of pastries at local bakeries), I discovered that cinnamon rolls were often one of the most popular baked good, and were often sold out! They were given many different names – cinnamon roll, sticky buns, morning buns, sticky cinnamon roll, …, but all referring to the same, delicious, and not-so-nutritious roll of dough, filled with cinnamon, maple syrup, pecans/walnuts, and overall goey deliciousness.
This was the first time that I’ve used yeast in my baking – and boy was I nervous to use it! I cut down the butter, sugar, and added in some wheat flour. I also skipped the icing, since I figured the brown sugar and raisins would make it sweet enough. They also turned out a little more dough-y than expected, and I’m not sure if that’s my doing, or if the vegan-ness made it more doughy. I’ll try another non-vegan recipe and see how they turn out. I also want to try a recipe that doesn’t use yeast, since this process was very time-consuming!
3 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon golden flax meal
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons warm water
2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups wheat flour
white pastry flour for dusting/kneading
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup (71 grams) Regular Vegan Butter or non-hydrogenated stick margarine, melted
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup + 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup Regular Vegan Butter or non-hydrogenated stick margarine, softened
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ cup walnuts chopped
¼ cup raisins
Prepare the dough
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the 3 Tablespoons water and the flax meal. Set aside. I accidentally used warm water, but I think it helped make the mixture more sticky. This is especially useful, since water + flax is used as the egg substitute in vegan baking. It helps make the dough more “poofy.”
- In another small mixing bowl, whisk together the warm water and the yeast. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes so the yeast activates. Make sure to actually use a whisk – it helps!
- Mix all-purpose/white and wheat flour to a medium mixing bowl.
- In another medium mixing bowl add the sugar, Vegan Butter, salt and whisk until well incorporated. I, of course, used my lovely fork again to achieve this. I noticed that vegan butter is a bit softer than real butter, so you can really get away with slightly warming the butter in the microwave for about 10 seconds. (versus dairy butter, when you need to let it sit outside of the fridge for a few hours)
- Add the flax meal mixture from Step 1 and the yeast mixture from Step 2 to the bowl containing the sugar and Vegan Butter mixture. Whisk until well combined. Add these wet ingredients to the bowl containing the flour and stir until the dough comes together into a sticky ball. For my dough, I had to add in a lot more flour (not sure how much), to make the dough be less sticky.
- Heavily dust a clean surface with flour and knead the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes. (the original directions said “lightly dust”, but for mine, I needed to keep adding flour to make it less sticky). I used white pastry flour so that the dough would rise better. The dough should be firm and smooth, not sticky.
- Place the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover and place in a warm place like on top of the stove for 1 hour. After 1 hour has passed, knead the dough for about 30 seconds and let it rest for 10 more minutes. My trick for a “warm place” was to turn the microwave on for 5 minutes (with nothing in the microwave), and then putting the dough inside the warm microwave. Note that every time you open the door, you let heat out, so I made sure not to peek inside, as much as I was tempted to!
Prepare the filling
While waiting for the dough to rise, you can prepare the filling. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, Vegan Butter, maple syrup and cinnamon. Set aside.
Roll up the dough
- Roll the dough into a flat 16 x 20 inch rectangle. Spread the Vegan Butter, sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly on top using a dough scraper or spatula.
- Carefully roll up the dough lengthwise so it’s 16 inches long. Cut it into 1 ½ inch sections with a sharp knife.
- Preheat the oven to 400F (204C).
- Place the rolls close together, cut side up in a 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish. The original directions called for greasing, but I didn’t grease it, and they turned out just fine.
- Make sure the pan you use is mostly filled with cinnamon rolls (all the rolls are touching eachother). This will ensure that the rolls don’t unravel during baking.
- Sprinkle the walnuts and raisins over them.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let the buns rise for one more hour.
Bake until the cinnamon rolls are golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating the dish halfway through the baking duration. I forgot to rotate the dish halfway, but they seemed to turn out fine. You, of course, should do so if you can!
Enjoy – this is a delicious recipe – I certainly did!