Cinnamon Rolls & Pastries

For a very special birthday, a fancy dinner, or just for the fun of it, these three recipes will impress your guests and make you wish you could eat them every day!

Here are a few recipes that are perfect for the holiday season. They’re perfect because they’re festive, but also because they do require some preparation time, so lazy days at home are the perfect time to enjoy both the fun of the baking and the fun of the eating!

The first two recipes are very similar, but one is for a loaf of Danish Pastry, and the other is for two dozen cinnamon rolls. There’s no problem with using spelt flour instead of wheat, to make the finished product a little healthier, but don’t use a flour that’s too heavy… whole wheat pastry flour is ideal.*

* For the gluten-free folks among us, Rhian’s Recipes describes her gluten-free cinnamon rolls as perfectly fluffysoft and pillowy. They’re also free from refined sugar.

If you’re planning a family holiday meal, any one of the pastries below will make a perfect dessert. We like to prepare these when we really want to impress people… I can’t count the number of times we’ve heard people say ‘I had no idea vegan food could taste this good’ about these recipes in particular.

For a very special birthday, a fancy dinner, or just for the fun of it, these three recipes will impress your guests and make you wish you could eat them every day!

Cinnamon Rolls
yields 2 dozen

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp. powdered egg replacer
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup dry sweetener
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup oil
1/2-1/3 cup dry sweetener
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup raisins
3-4 Tbsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup rice or soy milk
1/2 cup dry sweetener
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

To make dough with a bread machine, do so according to your machine’s directions, using the dough setting. The water should go in first and the yeast last to keep it dry. When cycle is complete, remove dough and begin here at step 5.

1.  Combine one cup warm water with one teaspoon sweetener. Mix in yeast and let rise in a warm (not hot) place. Yeast will bubble up and activate in about 15 minutes, doubling in size.
2.  In a separate bowl, whisk remaining 1/2 cup water with egg replacer. Mix in oil, sweetener and salt. Add the activated yeast and stir.
3.  Sift the flour into a bowl and mix with cinnamon. Slowly add to the wet mixture, mixing thoroughly. Knead for ten minutes. Knead in more flour if needed to bring to a bread dough texture, not sticky or too dry.
4.  Let stand for an hour in a warm, draft-free place, covered with a clean towel.
5.  Punch down and let stand for half an hour. Punch down once more and cut dough in half. On a floured board, roll into a 16″ x 20″ rectangle.
6.  Mix the filling ingredients, except the oil, in a bowl. Spread oil on the dough and sprinkle half of the filling mixture on top. Roll the dough up tight, from the longest side and cut into one inch pieces. Repeat with second half of the dough.
7.  Lay pieces flat on a baking tray, leaving space in between each roll for rising. Cover and let rise for an hour in a draft-free place.
8.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350° for 25-35 minutes until golden-brown.
9.  In a small pot, mix together glaze ingredients and warm on low heat. Stir until smooth. Drip glaze over the top of warm rolls and serve.

Danish Pastry
yields 2 loaves

2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. dry sweetener
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/3 cup (additional) dry sweetener
1/2 cup maple syrup*
3/4 cup thick soy milk or other non-dairy milk
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp. lemon rind
1/2 cup hot water
4 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour, sifted
4+ Tbsp. oil
1/3 cup dry sweetener (additional)
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins, chopped
1 cup nuts, chopped

1.  In a small bowl, combine the yeast, one tablespoon dry sweetener and the warm water. Let rise until doubled in size, about 15 minutes.
2.  In a large bowl, combine 1/3 cup of sweetener, maple syrup, soy milk, sea salt, oil, lemon rind and the hot water. Mix well. Add the yeast mixture. Gradually add the sifted flour in 4 parts, mixing well each time. Cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes.
3.  Turn dough onto a well-floured board and knead for approximately 10 minutes until satiny smooth, adding flour as needed.
4.  Place in an oiled bowl and oil the top of the dough. Cover and allow to rise for approximately one hour, until doubled in volume. Punch the dough down.
5.  Divide the dough in half; roll out one half on a floured board into a 9″ x 12″ rectangle. Cover with 1–2 tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle with half of the dry sweetener, cinnamon, nutmeg, chopped raisins and nuts.
6.  Roll up, like a jelly roll, starting along the longest side; pinch ends. Place on an oiled cookie sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Allow to rise for approximately one hour, until doubled in size.
7.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 325° for 20–30 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning.

3 Tbsp. maple syrup* or other liquid sweetener
3 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. date sugar or dry sweetener
1/4 cup chopped nuts

8.  Combine liquid sweetener, oil and date sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. When finished, spread the hot glaze over the warm danish.
9.  Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Partially cool and serve.

Fruit Pastry
yields 3 loaves

1 cup maple syrup*
1–2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup oil
1/4 cup organic tofu
1–2 lemon/orange rinds, grated
4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup fruit-sweetened jam or apple sauce, for filling

1.  Rinse and drain tofu. In a blender, blend the first five ingredients.
2.  Sift flour and baking soda together into a bowl and stir.
3.  Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix thoroughly. The batter should not stick. If it is sticky, add a small amount of flour and mix. Chill before rolling out.
4.  Split batter into three equal balls. Place one ball at a time between two pieces of wax paper. Roll out into a rectangle, using a rolling pin, from the center outward.
5.  Place four tablespoons of jam or apple sauce on half the dough and roll up length-wise into a loaf, tucking ends in.
6.  Place all three loaves on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, and spread apart evenly.
7.  Place on the bottom shelf of a pre-heated oven at 350° and bake for 15–20 minutes. Switch to the upper shelf and bake to a golden-brown crisp (about 15 more minutes).
8.  Cut into slices before the loaves are totally cooled. (When they harden they become more difficult to slice.)

* To produce maple syrup, sap has to be collected and boiled down. During the boiling, a drop of lard, shortening or vegetable oil is sometimes added to prevent the sap from foaming up, and this ingredient is not listed on the label. When buying maple syrup, look for the kosher symbol, or call the company to see that they use vegetable-based defoamers.


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