The other day I had me a humongo stack of paper work that needed my immediate attention, like a really big stack, full of bills, notices, and time sensitive material. So I decided that the best way to go get through all the papers was to stop and make cinnamon buns, cause that was what I really really needed to do (so not really)
I admit that I do thisoften. Not that I completelyignore or neglect adult tasks (sometimes adult-ing sucks) but I am a expert at the art of procrastination. But I am strategic about it. Like these buns. I made sure that what I was baking was yeasted so I had a time frame to work by. I make dough, let it rise for an hour and in that hour I have to do work. Then I roll out dough,fill it, let rise again, and in that time, more work. Buns go Into the oven, and whilethey are baking, still working. See, it totally makes complete since and can even be kind of fun (and messy. Papers and sticky dough and sugar everywhere!) I recommend to anyone that is having a hard time focusing on somewhat tedious tasks to bake some buns while doing said task. It really makes it easier, plus, at the end of said task there are buns to eat. Win win!
Anyway, no matter the means to the buns, the end was what we are looking for. These buns, well what can I say. Everyone that ate them went nuts for them. Even my little (gigantic, 18 year old) brother who doesn't like anything, especially anything with carrots in it. (he ate 2) And the little, they got down with them too, although they picked out the bigger chunks of cranberries (they don't know better) So yeah, these buns are fantastic for all around happiness and for getting paper work done.
To the bun making!
The stuff. Flour, sugar, almond milk, salt and yeast. A couple of carrots, some cinnamon and ginger, earth balance. And finally, fresh cranberries and walnuts.
First thing that needs to happen is that the carrots need to be chopped up and stuck into a pot, ans boiled until tender.
Then those cooked carrots need to get blended up intoa nice, mostly smooth puree.
Carrot puree goes into a bowl (still warm) along with the earth balance. Let it kinda melt. Then add in a bit ofsugar and cinnamon, andthe yeast. Mix it all up and set aside for a few minutes until the yeast is clearly activated (starting to bubble a bit)
Now add in the flour. Start with the lowest amount and add in a little bit more until you get to a good doughy, slightly sticky dough.
And for my favorite part, dump the dough onto a floured surface. Have about 1/4-1/2 cup of flour off to the side and start to knead the dough, adding a little more flour to the surface every time it gets sticky.
After about 5 minutes,, the dough should look something like this.... Not to sticky, but not dry. A little glossy and elastic-y.. All ready to rise.
Stick dough back into the bowl and rub down with at little oil. Cover with a towel and place in a warm spot to rise (about an hour)
Sometime while that dough is rising, prepare the filling. Chop up the cranberries and walnuts into little (or big, or medium) pieces and stick into a bowl with the cinnamon, ginger, earth balance and sugar. Mix it all together and set aside.
Pretty dough, all doubled up in size
Take the dough and roll it out onto a lightly floured surface. You are looking for a rectangular shape that is about1/2inch thick.
Once rolled out, spread the filling all over the dough ( I found my hands worked the best)
And roll the dough onto it self, cut in half, then scoreand cut the two halves into equal sized pieces (I did 7 each, but could get away with 8)
Place the buns into greases 9 inch round cake pans, (or whatever pans you want to use) cover, and let sit for about another 20 minutes for the second rise.
Note... If you want, at this stage, take one of these pans wrap it up in plastic ans stick it into the freezer for another day. (that's what I did). When you are ready to bake them, just remove from freezer ans let the dough coke to room temperature.
Look at those buns all cozy and snug. Now into the oven they go!
So while the buns are baking, grab some powderedsugar and a clementine to make the glaze. All you need to do is add the juice to the sugar until you get a good gooey, not to thick, not to watery consistency.
And after about 35minutes in the oven, these buns are done! Grab them out of the oven.
Let the buns cool for a bit then drizzle on a bit of glaze. And let cool a little longer and add some more. (add as much or as little as you want)
And look at that, ooey, gooey goodness. The product of my severe procrastination.
Hope you folks are having a great week! Maybe we will get lucky around here and get some snow soon!!!!
Carrot Cranberry Walnut Cinnamon Bun with Clementine Glaze
Makes 14-16 buns
for the dough
- 3 1/2-4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup milk (I used almond, but any milk works)
- 2-3 carrots (need 1 cup of carrot puree)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 3 tablespoons earth balance
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 heaping tablespoons sugar
For the filling
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 heaping tablespoons cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons room temperature earth balance
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 cup cranberries
- 1/2 cup walnuts
for the glaze
- a clementine
- about 2 cups of powdered sugar
First off, chop up the carrots and boil them until tender, then puree them into a pretty smooth consistency.
Once you have the carrot puree, and while its still warm, add in the earth balance and mix it in till its melted. Then add in the almond milk, sugar and yeast. Mix all together and set aside for a few minutes until the yeast is visibly activated. Add in the salt and the flour and mix together until the dough is starting to pull form the bowl. Dump dough onto a floured surface and flour your hands cause you are now going to knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Have about a 1/2 cup of extra flour near by to flour the counter as you are kneading. The dough is good once it starts to look glossy ans is no longer sticking to the counter and has a bit of elasticity to it. Place dough into a bowl, cover with a little oil, then cover bowl with a towel. Place bowl in a warm place to let dough double in size (about an hour.
While the dough is rising, chop up the walnuts and cranberries and mix together in a bowl with the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and the earth balance. Set aside.
Once the dough has doubled in size, dump dough back onto a lighty floured surfave and roll out into a big rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Grab the filling and spread evenly all over the dough. Starting at the closest end to you, roll the dough up length wise, somethat tightly, until the doeugh is completely rolled. Cut in half then cut each half into 7-8 pieces that are about the same size.
Grab two 9 inch cake pans (or pans of similar size), give them a good greasing and place the buns into the pans. Cover the pans and set aside for another 20ish minutes to rise again!
Note... If you want to just bake off one batch, just stick the bun, wrapped in plastic, into the freezer at this point. When you are ready to bake them off, just remove from freezer and let the dough comet o room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 375.
Once the dough has risen again (they dont exactly double, butthey get pretty big) place the buns into the oven. Bake until the buns are nice and golden brown, about 35 minutes,
While buns are baking, make the glaze. Powdered sugar in a bowl and whisk in the juice of the clementine. if its to thin, add more sugar, and to thick, add more juice.
When the buns are done baking (you can also check with an instant read therometer that reads 190) remove from oven and let cool in pans. Drizzle the buns with the glaze, while still slightly warm. Let coolsome more and then drizzle a bit more on top. Serve right away.