Last year I had the pleasure of tasting a gourmet cinnamon roll at Cinnaholic and I was absolutely blown away by it! Ever since then I've been craving a cinnabun as perfect in taste and texture as that particular roll. Now if it were up to me, every time I craved a cinnabun, I'd just teleport right on over to Cinnaholic and stuff my face to my heart's content. Heck, I'd even be happy to be their employee just so I could be constantly enveloped in the smell of cinnamon rolls baking. And that says a lot because if you know me, you'd know I'm not into 'work'. But let's face it, it's going to be at least another year before I perfect my teleportation powers and Berkley is too far away from Bangalore to risk it. Imagine if I apparate in some remote island in the middle of the Indian Ocean where no one's heard of cinnamon rolls?? *shudders*
So my only option has been to bake and bake with the aim to arrive at the recipe for an amazing cinnabun. Something to keep my happy until the next time I'm able to experience a heavenly Cinnaholic cinnamon roll once more.
I first took a non vegan clover leaf rolls recipe and then tweaked it and tweaked it some more to not only veganize it and make it healthy with whole wheat in the mix but to also get the perfect, fluffy texture. Then when those rolls turned out great, I finally decided to take the leap and adapt that recipe into one for cinnabuns. And FINALLY, these delicious Vegan Whole Wheat Cinnabuns came into being. :)
Baking bread takes a bit of effort and a LOT of patience. But both these things pay off ten fold when your house is filled by the smell of bread baking and your mouth delighted with the amazing taste of artisan bread which you had the satisfaction of making with your own two hands.
So plan in advance, assign a day to make an event out of it and enjoy the process!
Vegan Whole Wheat Cinnabuns
1 1/4 C soymilk
1/2 C agave nectar or maple syrup or sugar syrup
4 T olive oil
2 t active dry yeast
1/4 t sugar
1 1/2 T raw flax seed powder
1 t salt
1 C All Purpose Flour
3-4 C Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 C or more Cinnamon powder
Heat the soymilk until lukewarm (test the temperature with your knuckle). Pour into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the agave nectar, oil and yeast. Sprinkle the sugar on top. Leave for 15 minutes for the yeast to dissolve. It should be all bubbly and frothy by the end of this time.
Add the salt, 2 T of the cinnamon powder and flax seed powder and beat a little. Slowly whisk in the 1 C all purpose flour and 2 1/2 cups of the whole wheat flour a little at a time while continuing to beat it as much as possible. Once the dough gets too thick to beat, add just a little more flour and mix with your palms to obtain a rough dough.
Form this dough into a ball and transfer it onto a flat, floured surface (I use my cleaned granite counter top). Knead well for about 10 mins at least (add a little more whole wheat flour while kneading if the dough is sticky but make sure it doesn't get too dry) until it reaches a smooth, elastic consistency.
An effective way to knead is to press the dough away from you with the base of your palms, then fold the dough over towards you and then it press again.
Form the kneaded dough into a ball. Grease the mixing bowl with a little bit of oil. Place the dough ball into the bowl and twirl it around until it's coated with the oil. Cover with a clean plastic grocery bag and let it sit in a sunny spot for about 2 hours. It should rise and double in volume by the end of this time.
Punch down the dough and give it a quick knead for a few seconds. Roll it out into a large rectangle about 1 centimeter (a little less than 1/2 inch) thick and place it with the long side towards you. Lightly coat this rectangle with a very thin layer of agave nectar and sprinkle generously with cinnamon powder. starting from your side, gently roll up the dough to form a long, log shape. Cut this log into 1 inch slices and place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper about 1 inch apart. Cover again with the plastic bag and let them sit for 1 1/2 hours to double in volume.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Bake the rolls for about 35 minutes. Enjoy the smell of cinnabuns wafting through your home.
Cool slightly on the baking sheet. Transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm and be transported to another dimension.