Espresso Cinnamon Buns
This recipe takes a little time but the result is sublime! Soft dough that melts in your mouth, combined with the familiar taste of coffee and cinnamon. This is perfect alongside a hot drink in the company of good friends
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (good quality)
- 1 cup whole soy milk, warmed, plus 1/4 cup chilled soy milk – Use a good quality soy milk like bonsoy
- 1 tsp plus 1/4 cup vegan syrup (something syrupy and sugary, like rice malt as it needs to feed the yeast)
- 8 Tbsp aquafaba
- 5 vegan egg yolks made from an egg replacer such as Orgran’s Egg-like
- 3 1/2 cups (or more) organic whole wheat baker’s flour
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 2 tsp Diamond Crystal salt or 1 tsp Morton kosher salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted Vegan butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
Espresso cinnamon filling:
- 1/2 cup of unsalted vegan butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon powder
- 3 Tbsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee (crushed into a powder)
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 Tbsp soy milk
- 1-2 Tbsp aquafaba
- Whisk yeast, 1 cup warm soy milk, vegan honey, 8 Tbsp aquafaba, 2 cups baker’s flour, and beat with paddle on medium-high speed until mixture is very light and thick, about 3 minutes.
- Remove paddle, scrape mixture back into bottom of bowl, and sprinkle spelt flour and 1 1/2 cups baker’s flour over top (do not stir). Place bowl in a warm spot and let sit uncovered until mixture is bubbling up around flour, 30–40 minutes.
- Add salt, vanilla extract, 5 egg yolks (made from egg replacer), and remaining 1/4 cup cold soy milk to mixture and mix with dough hook on low speed until a shaggy dough forms. Increase speed to medium and work dough until it is smooth, soft, and elastic and climbing up the hook, 8–10 minutes (it will clear the sides of the bowl but still stick slightly to the bottom; if after 5 minutes the dough is still very sticky, add bread flour a tablespoonful at a time until dough is just tacky). Reduce mixer speed to medium-low and add vegan butter pieces one at a time, letting dough absorb the butter completely before adding the next piece. This part takes a while, so be patient. Dough should be very smooth and slightly tacky and have a soft, buoyant texture.
- Cover and chill at least 8 hours and up to 16 hours.
- Line with parchment or generously grease a 12 inch baking pan or pizza pan and set aside
- In a medium bowl, mix the cinnamon, brown sugar and espresso powder together and set aside.
- Once the dough has risen to at least double, lightly dust a work surface with flour. Punch dough down and transfer to counter. Take sharp serrated knife or dough scraper and cut the dough into 4 equal parts.
- Roll each of the pieces out in a rectangular shape about 8 inches by 12 inches. Slather/spread about two tablespoons of vegan butter on each rectangle using your fingers and leaving about half an inch on the edge of the entire border.
- Sprinkle and spread about a quarter of the filling per rectangle and roll snuggly
- Chill the rolled dough for about 15 minutes before proceeding.
- Once all four have been rolled, take a very sharp serrated knife and cut down lengthwise centre and set aside
- You should have 8 tendrils now.
- Take the tendril and bend at the center to make a “U”. Twist/braid the the two ‘legs’ so they weave together. Now starting from the center end, roll the weaved tendril all the way in a swirl motion. Once you’ve reached the end, tuck that tail under the bun. Repeat with all 8 tendrils
- Arrange your rosy buns on your baking pan or pizza pan and completely cover with a damp cheesecloth or light kitchen towel (dampen cloths by soaking with water than wringing out excess water)
- Place in warm area for the second rise (until they’ve almost doubled in size) about 1 hour
- Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F and place rack to middle position in oven and glaze the buns.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes. Tent with aluminum foil for the last 5 minutes as buns tend to brown rather quickly towards the end.
- They are ready once the internal temperature in the center of the buns reads 90°C/185°F on a thermometer and no longer looks doughy.
- While the buns are baking, prepare the frosting.
- With a fork whisk together the aquafaba, confectionary sugar and vanilla until fully combined.
- Drizzle over buns and serve.
Recipe adaption and photo by Holly Brown