Friday, March 21, 2008

Sticky Buns and friends

The other day, as I loaded gooey, soft and ..buttery.. sticky buns on a tray at work, I thought, 'Damn. I wish these were vegan.' I know they're bad for you, and I am trying to be healthy, but I don't even remember the last time I had a sticky bun. What do they even taste like? Why are people so obsessed with them, and why do they get angry at me when we sell out? So many mysteries for such a small(ish) gooey thing.

Well, I decided right then and there to make some vegan ones, and upon googling a bit I discovered no vegan sticky bun recipes. Now, I'm sure there are some somewhere, but they didn't get snagged by google, so they did me no good. I did, however, find a vegan cinnamon bun (which is almost a sticky bun, but without the sticky), and I used it for some guidance. That can be found here. Mostly, however, I just adjusted this recipe. My only qualm-- I might add vanilla extract to the dough next time. Also, I didn't have any corn syrup so I used a bit of molasses. In case you ever wondered, they're not the same. Oops. Now I know.

BTW, you want a rectangular baking pan (9x13) for this.

Vegan Sticky Buns-- Hoorah!
Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 3/4 c. warm water (not hot! that kills the yeast)
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 c. soymilk
  • 2 Tbsp. soy margarine
  • 3 Tbsp. applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour

Filling:
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2-4 Tbsp. canola oil or melted margarine

Topping:
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 Tbsp. soy margarine
  • 3 Tbsp. brown rice syrup OR honey
  • 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup (or 1 tsp. molasses, if you're me)
  • 1 1/2 c. raw pecans

1. Proof the yeast by stirring the maple syrup into the warm water and adding the yeast. Set it in a warm place (my apartment is so cold that I had to sit it on the edge of the stove with the oven on and the door open a little). It should take 5-10 minutes to get all foamy. If it doesn't get foamy, ditch it and try again. In the past I have shrugged and used it anyways, and that wasn't smart of me. Don't be un-smart, like me. Be smart.
2. I don't have a stand mixer, but if you do, use it. Otherwise, combine the yeast mixture with the soymilk, margarine, applesauce, orange zest, salt, and 2 c. all purpose and 1 c. ww pastry flour. Once it starts to get doughy, dump it onto a pile of the last cup of flour and knead it, working all the flour in. This should take somewhere between 5-10 minutes. It will still be a little wet, but it shouldn't stick to your hands or the counter anymore. Roll it into a ball, flour it lightly, and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise for an hour in a warm place.
3. While the dough is rising, you can prepare the filling and the topping. First the filling. It's super easy-- just mix the cinnamon with the brown sugar until it's all combined.
4. For the topping, simply combine all of the ingredients except the pecans in a small saucepan, heat, and stir until combined. Pour into your oiled baking pan and sprinkly pecans all over the top.
5. Cover your work pace with plastic wrap or wax paper, and flour it. Once the dough has doubled in size, dump it onto that surface and roll it out into a rectangle. I sort of eyeballed 12x18". Then, brush the oil or margarine all over it, and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over it all, too. Now for the kind of tough part! Use the wax paper or plastic wrap to roll it up (roll from one of the longer sides, so that there's less to roll and more to cut) coaxing it along but not rolling the actual paper or plastic.
6. Cut it into about 12 pieces and place them side by side on top of the pecans in the baking pan. Now, you have two choices. You can either let it rest an hour, and hope that it rises while it bakes, or you can let it rise overnight. I did the overnight thing, so I don't know what happens with less resing time. Either way, cover the pan with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge until ready to bake.
7. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degree and let the buns settle back to room temperature. Then bake for about 30 minutes-- until golden-- and flip immediately upside down onto a serving plate or baking sheet, or whatever is big enough. And enjoy!

I also want to share what we've been eating lately.

Fettucine Alfredo from this months VT:

VeganYumYum's Crispy Sweet and Sour Tofu:

Also from VeganYumYum, Gobi Matar Masala with Aloo Parathas:
I think that one was a little undercooked-- we were in a hurry. But the parathas were amazing...

Happy cooking!

1 comments:

Happy Herbivore! said...

thanks for visiting my blog and happy herbivore.com!

I follow the advice of Dr. F who wrote "Eat to Live" - he says that if you're extremely active and very thin, you can have 1 tbsp of oil a day but you should try not to. Anyone else should never have oil. Even though I'm active and thin, I avoid oil -- its unhealthy, unnecessary fat. I think food tastes great without it and I'm glad my food has inspired you to use less oil!

p.s. your buns look amazing... I make a whole wheat fat free bun but yours make me drool!