Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Vegan Pumpkin-Walnut Sticky Buns

tuning out the (orange) noise...
Pumpkin-Walnut Sticky Buns.
Ending my seasonal pumpkin boycott.

We all suffer from pumpkin fatigue this time of year. You can't take half a step without running into something that has no business being pumpkin flavored.
I mean, pumpkin candy canes? Seriously??? That's just gross.
This annual pumpkin over-stimulation (not as dirty as it sounds...) reaches it's peak right around the week before halloween and doesn't let up until the thanksving leftovers are gone. So, as a result, I'm on a passive pumpkin boycott from October to December. I usually make one holiday pie of the pumpkin variety and that's it.
But the thing is, I ACTUALLY LIKE PUMPKIN.
So this year I'm tuning out the (orange) noise.
This year I'm making/eating pumpkin things.
Not because everyone else is, but in spite of it.
So there.
And it all starts with sticky buns...

Risen dough, turned out onto a prepared work surface.

Recipe notes
This is a slight modification of my original sticky bun recipe. Which is, in turn, a variation of this soft pretzel recipe.
Keep on evolving, folks! 
If using fresh pumpkin more power to 'ya but the moisture content is a bit higher, so you might need to add a little extra flour to keep the dough from getting too sticky. 
If whole wheat floats your boat, sub out 1c of  all purpose for 1c whole wheat flour.
The recipe calls for a stand mixer, but with more elbow grease it can be done by hand. 
You can find hand mixing instructions in the 
original soft pretzel recipe.  

Topped and ready to be rolled and sliced.

Swirly goodness.

Sticky Buns
(makes 7-9 large rolls)

For the dough:
4c all purpose flour
1/4c pumpkin puree 
1 1/4c warm water
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1/3c  + 1 tsp organic sugar
1/2tsp sea salt
1Tbsp olive oil

extra oil for greasing the bowl

For the sticky bun filling:
1/4c room temp vegan butter
1/3c packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/3c raw walnut pieces
1tsp ground nutmeg (optional)

extra butter for greasing baking dish and topping pre baked rolls

Measure 1 1/4c warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Sprinkle in the yeast and 1tsp of the organic sugar and whisk to combine.
Proof yeast mixture for 10 minutes or until frothy.
Add flour, remaining 1/3c of sugar, sea salt, pumpkin puree and olive oil to the bowl.
Mix at low to medium low speed for approximately 8-10 minutes.

You may need to stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the dough 
off of the hook or the sides of the bowl.

Time for the oven.

The dough should be smooth, elastic, not sticky and  pull away easily from the bowl.
If  too dry, add water a few drops at a time.
If too wet, add extra flour a pinch at a time.
Once dough is mixed, roughly form into a ball and place in a large well oiled bowl.
The dough will roughly double, so be sure your bowl is large enough.
Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm dry place (inside of an unheated oven with the light on works perfectly) for 1 hour.

Grease a 8" square or round glass, ceramic, or heavy duty aluminum baking dish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. 
Shape roughly into a rectangle.
Use a lightly floured rolling pin and roll dough out until it is about 1/4" thick,
maintaining the rectangular shape of the dough. 
Using your hands, spread the 1/4c of butter over the surface of the dough. 
It is ok if there are larger bits of butter here and there, just make sure that the butter 
covers the entire surface of the dough, up to the edges. 

Sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter covered dough, covering the entire surface. 
Do the same with the ground cinnamon and nutmeg.
Sprinkle walnuts over top, lightly pressing them down into the dough. 
Roll the dough, from the longer end, into a tight cylinder. 
Do not apply much pressure to the dough while rolling, 
but make sure it is tight enough where all of the layers are touching.
Use a pastry cutter or sharp knife to divide the rolled dough into 7-9 equal sized pieces, depending on desired thickness.
Place the sliced rolls into the prepared baking dish and top with a few bits of butter.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Oh yes, this will do.

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