Friday, 1 June 2012

Mini Cinnamon Rolls

I know, I know. I have got to get back on the Indian food. I made a huge Indian dinner this weekend for some friends, (cashew) malai kofta, theplas, red dal and coriander chutney, and I got so busy cooking that I didn't have time to take pictures. Also, my camera stinks. My husband has a better camera (a much better camera), but his macro lens is in India, and wide-angle lenses are just no good for food photography. Anyway, I want to share my coriander chutney recipe in particular because anyone whose ever had it has loved it, my mother in-law included, and her green chutney is legendary.

Another thing adding to my busy-ness is a faculty institute I've helped to moderate over the last few days. It's been fun and I've learned a lot, but I've also been crazy busy (and grades from spring semester were due yesterday). I did make a great sarson (mustard greens) sabzi with greens from my garden on Wednesday--but again, no pictures. One thing I noticed about that was that it was waayyy better the second day. I have one last batch of greens to harvest, so I'm going to make it again (and blog about it), and maybe I'll figure out why the sabzi was so much better on day 2.

Anyway, the faculty institute. There is a tradition of bringing food to share at my campus for this event. I went straight from our graduation to Vons to pick up ingredients for my definitely-not-vegan chocolate chip cookies that I had been asked/told to bring for the institute the next morning. Total hit. As one of my colleagues said, "Really, all of the other ingredients in this cookie are just a vehicle for the butter." Bingo.

My parents also came up for the long weekend and bought us (among other things) a huge flat of yummy-but-so-ripe-they-had-to-be-eaten-immediately strawberries. Some of them went into the strawberry basil sorbet (recipe from my brother) at our dinner party. Mega-hit. Others of them went straight to the tummy, and many of them ended up in the gigantic carafe of strawberry lemonade my husband made. Even after all of that, Monday morning we still had a large basket of strawberries left. I decided, "What the heck? I love baking, I have an audience in the faculty at the institute, I will make my grandma's legendary coffee cake (also so not vegan), and instead of cinnamon and sugar baked in layers, I'll do strawberries."

That went amazingly well. But no pictures.

The next day I was spent, so I brought flowers from the garden.

But the next day I made a vegan almond and banana layercake which was truly inspiring and deserved pictures, but didn't get any. I will make it again. It was beautiful. Low sugar, whole wheat flour, just amazing. My own recipe...but no pictures. Must make it again...after I get the better camera, that is.

So last night I made mini cinnamon rolls, vegan, whole wheat mini cinammon rolls. My husband says making them mini interferes with the fluffy texture he loves, but I was feeding five dozen people. Sacrifices must be made. I started with my favorite roll recipe, doubled and slightly modified to include more sugar:

4 cups of whole wheat flour plus about 1 extra cup for kneading
4 packets of yeast
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
two cups of warm almond milk (I microwave it for a minute)
2 T warm water
2/3rds cup of canola oil (I use olive for dinner rolls, but canola for this kind of baking)

Mix the dry ingredients except the extra cup of flour and pour the wet ingredients on top, then with an electric mixer blend everything together.

Then, using the extra cup of flour, knead the dough for about eight minutes and let it rise for at least an hour.

Okay, divide the dough into four parts, and then take one of the parts and roll it long and fairly absolute widest, six inches.

You are going to spread a mixture of softened vegan spread (like Earth Balance), sugar and cinnamon on it. Try 1/3 cup spread, 3/4 cups sugar, and 1 1/2 T of cinnamon:

Then you are going to roll it up from the top to to the bottom so you have a very long, narrow tube, cut little sections (about 3/4rts of an inch thick) and place them very close together in a 9x13).

You'll repeat this process with the other three sections of dough. This should fill one 9x13 and one 9x9.

They will come out of the oven (preheated to 350) after about fifteen minutes (they don't take long), looking like this:

I like to put glaze on them, so I use about three tablespoons of earth balance, two teaspoons of almond milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and a ton of powdered sugar. (I never measure, but it would be upwards of a cup and a half.)

So yummy!

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