Whole Wheat Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

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Before I start on my usual talks about the recipe, I will say the bread on its own is NOT sweet, and I intended it to be this way, because the filling and glaze is sweet, I don’t see the need to make the bread sweet, plus yeast eats so much sugar I really didn’t want to start pouring in cups of sugar. This won’t be as overly sweet as you probably would be expecting, but enjoy the subtle sweetness, it’s so much healthier!

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Anyway, now that I got that out of the way, I have to say HOORAY I finally made these WORK! Every other time I made it, they turned out way too thin or didn’t rise enough, or was too hard. I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS WORKED OUT!

I have been researching a bit more on how to make this, and it paid off. Also, it helps that I’ve been baking quite a lot of bread or cakes lately.

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So why did I decide to make the bread un-sweet? Because I realised that with yeast, it would take way too much sugar to sweeten it and I really didn’t want to add that much. I find that when you’ve got a bread or something that’s not sweet but add some frosting or a layer that’s sweet, it’s just as good!

Again with the frosting, all the recipes I’ve seen use a lot of powered sugar, but seriously – one teaspoon of pure maple syrup is all that I needed to make it really lovely and sweet. I used coconut milk and coconut milk powder for this, and found the coconut milk powder in the regular grocery store, but it was in a small packet near all the Asian things.

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Whole Wheat Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Bread
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup white grape juice
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (and 1 tablespoon for kneading)
1/4 cup spelt flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon coconut sugar (or other unrefined sugar)
1 tablespoons baking powder
A few sprinkles Himalayan/sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons extra light olive oil

Filling
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon & 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon crushed pecans

Glaze
3 tablespoons coconut/rice milk powder
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

Put the almond milk and white grape juice in a bowl. If it’s cold, heat it in the microwave for about 25-30 seconds until it’s lukewarm. Do not let it become too hot! Add the tablespoon of yeast and stir until the yeast dissolves. You should also see little bubbles.

Combine the 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour and 1/4 cup spelt flour (you can also use only one or the other) in a large bowl, along with the applesauce, coconut sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and olive oil. Give it a good stir until clumps form.

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Use your hands and knead the dough until it’s pretty much solid (should still be a little sticky), add a tablespoon more of whole wheat pastry flour and knead until the dough is no longer sticky, and is silky and smooth. (You may need to add more/less flour, so adjust accordingly)

Heat your oven to the lowest setting.

Once the dough has been kneaded, put it back into the large bowl and cover it with a lid or damp cloth. Turn the oven off, open the door and place the bowl of dough outside on the door, so that it can be in a warm place but not too hot.

Leave it there for a couple of hours to rise.

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Meanwhile, combine the applesauce, cinnamon, coconut sugar, vanilla extract and crushed pecans (try and make them as small as you can with your hands) in a bowl and stir.

Once the dough has risen about half its size, punch it down and add a few sprinkles of flour and knead it until it no longer sticks. Lay it out on a flat surface and make a rectangle out of it, the thickness should be like your pinky. Don’t make it too thin or thick! Flatten both ends so that it’s easier for the dough to stick.

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Spoon the cinnamon mixture on the surface of the rectangle and make sure it evens out. Roll the dough lengthwise so it becomes a long stick that has a swirl shape.

Heat the oven up to the lowest setting again and grease a 9 x 13 inch oven tray with non-stick cooking oil. Use a knife and carefully cut the ends off, then slice the dough into 6 or 7 even rolls and place them on the tray, with the swirly side facing upwards.

(Do this very carefully for all of them, and try make sure they don’t clump together or break.)

Place all the rolls next to each other on the oven tray and cover it with foil or a lid. Turn off the oven. Leave the door open and place it at the same place for about 20 minutes. Now, you should see that the dough has risen again into big plumps.

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). Take the foil or lid off the tray and let it sit for another 10 minutes before putting the rolls in the oven. Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes. If you don’t want a hard top, bake the rolls with foil covered on top.

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To make the Glaze: Add the coconut/rice milk powder, coconut milk, cornstarch and maple syrup. Stir until all the little parts are dissolved. If you find that the syrup is too thick, add another tablespoon of coconut milk.

Once the rolls are done, drizzle the glaze on top and serve.

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Whole Wheat Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Serves: 2
 

Ingredients
Bread
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ⅓ cup white grape juice
  • 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (and 1 tablespoon for kneading)
  • ¼ cup spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (or other unrefined sugar)
  • 1 tablespoons baking powder
  • A few sprinkles Himalayan/sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
Filling
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon & 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon crushed pecans
Glaze
  • 3 tablespoons coconut/rice milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

Instructions
  1. Put the almond milk and white grape juice in a bowl. If it’s cold, heat it in the microwave for about 25-30 seconds until it’s lukewarm. Do not let it become too hot! Add the tablespoon of yeast and stir until the yeast dissolves. You should also see little bubbles.
  2. Combine the 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour and ¼ cup spelt flour (you can also use only one or the other) in a large bowl, along with the applesauce, coconut sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and olive oil. Give it a good stir until clumps form.
  3. Use your hands and knead the dough until it’s pretty much solid (should still be a little sticky), add a tablespoon more of whole wheat pastry flour and knead until the dough is no longer sticky, and is silky and smooth. (You may need to add more/less flour, so adjust accordingly)
  4. Heat your oven to the lowest setting.
  5. Once the dough has been kneaded, put it back into the large bowl and cover it with a lid or damp cloth. Turn the oven off, open the door and place the bowl of dough outside on the door, so that it can be in a warm place but not too hot.
  6. Leave it there for a couple of hours to rise.
  7. Meanwhile, combine the applesauce, cinnamon, coconut sugar, vanilla extract and crushed pecans (try and make them as small as you can with your hands) in a bowl and stir.
  8. Once the dough has risen about half its size, punch it down and add a few sprinkles of flour and knead it until it no longer sticks. Lay it out on a flat surface and make a rectangle out of it, the thickness should be like your pinky. Don’t make it too thin or thick! Flatten both ends so that it’s easier for the dough to stick.
  9. Spoon the cinnamon mixture on the surface of the rectangle and make sure it evens out. Roll the dough lengthwise so it becomes a long stick that has a swirl shape.
  10. Heat the oven up to the lowest setting again and grease a 9 x 13 inch oven tray with non-stick cooking oil. Use a knife and carefully cut the ends off, then slice the dough into 6 or 7 even rolls and place them on the tray, with the swirly side facing upwards.
  11. (Do this very carefully for all of them, and try make sure they don’t clump together or break.)
  12. Place all the rolls next to each other on the oven tray and cover it with foil or a lid. Turn off the oven. Leave the door open and place it at the same place for about 20 minutes. Now, you should see that the dough has risen again into big plumps.
  13. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). Take the foil or lid off the tray and let it sit for another 10 minutes before putting the rolls in the oven. Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes. If you don’t want a hard top, bake the rolls with foil covered on top.
  14. To make the Glaze: Add the coconut/rice milk powder, coconut milk, cornstarch and maple syrup. Stir until all the little parts are dissolved. If you find that the syrup is too thick, add another tablespoon of coconut milk.
  15. Once the rolls are done, drizzle the glaze on top and serve.

 

3 comments

  1. thisbrokecollegegirl

    This recipe looks delicious, and I have almost every ingredient already!
    Can Stevia (the raw type) be used instead of coconut sugar or is the sugar needed to feed the yeast? Also, what is a possible substitution for the white grape juice or juice in general (I don’t drink juice, and wanted to know if something like applesauce, which has natural sugar even when unsweetened, would work). Thanks!

    • Susanna

      I don’t think stevia has the same effect as regular sugar, from what I’ve read around.
      I think applesauce may work, though I’ve never tried, but because it’s much thicker, I can’t guarantee the results. But if you do test it, let me know if it works :D

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