I subscribe to King Arthur Flour’s quarterly publication, The Baking Sheet, because I’m obsessed with breads – especially yeast breads. And while a good majority of the offerings are not vegan-adaptable (at least not by this humble baker), there are always one or two recipes that I want to try out immediately. Noon Rogani, in their Holiday 2011 issue, was one of those recipes. I did have to do a little bit of tweaking to make this vegan and also less “refined.” First off, I used mostly KAF White Whole Wheat Flour and a little bit of AP flour. I substituted walnut oil for vegetable oil and agave nectar for the tablespoon of sugar called for in the dough. Instead of the butter/cinnamon/sugar called for in the filling, I used unsweetened applesauce and stirred in cinnamon and Demerara sugar. Butter was called for in the topping as well, so instead I used almond milk and brushed it over the loaves then sprinkled more Demerara sugar on top before putting the loaves in the oven. Oh, and one other change: the original recipe says to roll the dough into a 5 foot (yes, 5 feet) rope. Sadly, I do not have 5 feet of counter space, so I divided the dough in two and rolled each to approximately two and a half feet. This sounds like a complicated recipe, but it truly is not. Take your time, enjoy the process. The dough is forgiving. You will definitely enjoy the results.
Makes 2 generous loaves
3 1/2 cups KAF White Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup unbleached, AP flour
1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/4+ cups warm water (I needed about 1 3/4 cups)
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. agave nectar
1 tbsp. walnut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup Demerara sugar (or more, depending on how sweet you like it)
1 tsp. cinnamon
Dough: Stir together the flours, yeast and salt, then add the water, agave nectar and walnut oil and mix until you have a nice, soft dough. Sprinkle flour on a flat surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a large bowl that has been lightly spritzed with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
Filling: Combine the applesauce, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
Assemble: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough in half and working with one piece at a time (cover the portion you aren’t using so it doesn’t dry out) roll out to an approximately 16″ square and about 1/8″ thick. Spread half of the applesauce mixture over the dough. Roll the dough just as you would for cinnamon rolls. It will get a little bit messy, but it doesn’t matter, persevere! When you have the dough rolled, squeeze and pull gently until you’ve stretched it to about two and a half feet long. Then, start twisting the ends so that you get a swirl going along the length of the “rope.”
Grab one of the baking sheets that you’ve lined with parchment paper and loosely roll the dough around and around. It will look like a big cinnamon roll. Set aside and do the same with the other portion of dough – placing it on the second baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise again for about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Once the loaves have finished their second rise, gently brush the tops with the almond milk and sprinkle with sugar. Place in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes – rotating and switching the loaves between shelves halfway through the baking time for even browning. The loaves will be a lovely, dark brown with a sparkly crust. Remove loaves from their pans and let cool on wire racks.
See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?