Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Even with the thousands of recipes in several great vegan cookbooks and e-recipe books I’ve acquired in the past few years, I still can’t help myself from trawling recipe websites for more recipe ideas. However, once I’ve printed a recipe out, I’ve got a monkey on my back until I’ve made it.

Recently, when I organized my printouts, tellingly I found the desserts category was the thickest, although my bread recipes are growing rapidly after I discovered a trove of sourdough, no-knead, and automatic bread machine recipes available on the VeganFeastKitchen site.

While Bryanna Clark Grogan goes to incredible lengths to make vegan recipes taste as good as traditional ones (and they d0), I try to make them a little less decadent, using as much whole wheat flour as possible, reducing sugar, oils and salt, too.

However, I’m learning that bread recipes are not as easy to tweak as normal cooking, and actually purchased unbleached white flour for the first time in years to see whether I can get any closer to Bryanna’s original creation before I start playing around.

Take this recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls, for example:

  • I used only 1 cup unbleached white flour, and the other 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour.
  • I used 1 tablespoon of sugar in the dough, rather than the 1/4 cup recommended.
  • Used only 1/2 tablespoon of salt, too.

Sure, they’re not as soft, sweet, or oily, as commercially available cinnamon buns. But they look inviting enough, don’t they? I find the less sugar, salt, and oil you use, the less you will crave those ingredients. Don’t be afraid to cut out added sugar and oils all together, especially when a recipe contains nuts and dried fruits, as in this case–pecans and cranberries.

This recipe could be considered bread, dessert, or breakfast by some, depending on how or when you make them. Of course, they taste best right out of the oven, but they’re not bad after the icing’s had some time to soak into the pastry, either. I made 16 rolls from the recipe, and froze them in groups of four rolls each prior to baking.

All you have to do is defrost them and let them rise before baking a fresh batch, while filling your house with that crowd-pleasing, irresistible cinnamon bun aroma.

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