Happy Sunday, friends.
My favorite day of the week. I’m all about the hygge life, AKA the constantly cozy vibe life. Sunday morning is just the epitome of coziness, no matter the season. I always wake up wanting something sweet & savory with a hot cup of freshly brewed local coffee. This week, we are brewing up a bag of coffee from Elemental – one of our favorite coffee spots in OKC. Not only is the coffee amazing, but they have a ton of vegan food and all the coffee know-how you could want…they’re hosting a “basics of coffee brewing” class this month, and we’re going to sign up!
How did I get off-topic so quickly? Anyway, I’m all about coziness. The recipe I’m sharing today is perfect for coziness in any weather, but especially the springtime coming up. Although it’s a chill 20 degrees here today, it’s going to be in the 70s this week, and I can’t wait. I love the cold, but I’m ready for a little warmth. Typically, I think breakfast rolls (mainly cinnamon rolls) are associated with colder weather, but I grew up eating orange rolls in my house. The brightness from the orange provides a totally different experience than the warm cinnamon and sugar.
This flavor combination – black sesame & tangerine – was inspired in part by those orange rolls from my childhood, but also by Two Red Bowls black sesame rolls. Because I’m a novice baker, I used Minimalist Baker’s easy vegan cinnamon roll recipe as a guideline for prepping the dough, and they turned out wonderful. I just substituted the cinnamon, sugar, and glaze for my own flavor combination.
All you need is some basic ingredients, some tangerines, black sesame seeds, and a couple hours (includes 1hr long rising time!), and you’ll be enjoying perfectly nutty, complex, sweet, and sour black sesame tangerine rolls.
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
- 1/2 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance brand)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp white sugar or cane sugar
- 1 packet instant yeast
- 1 cup black sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup local honey* (sub maple syrup or agave)
- 2 tbsp tangerine juice, fresh squeezed
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp tangerine zest
*Honey is not considered a vegan food by many. My husband and I choose to purchase locally sourced honey from beekeepers who do not substitute honey stores for their bees with anything – natural or artifical – they only take honey that is in excess of what the bees themselves will feed off of. We do not consume commercial honey found in other products, etc.
- In a small saucepan, melt 3 tbsp vegan butter & mix with 1 cup almond milk. Without bringing to a boil, warm the mixture to a lukewarm bath water temp (or about 110 degrees fahrenheit). Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add in the yeast packet and mix together. Let sit for 10 minutes to activate, then add in 1 tbsp of sugar & 1/4 tsp salt.
- Sift the flour in 1/2 cup at a time, mixing the dough in between each additional 1/2 cup. Once all of the flour is mixed in, knead the dough for a minute or two and form into a ball. Rinse the mixing bowl then grease it with a light vegetable oil or coconut oil. Return the dough ball to the bowl, cover, and let rise for about an hour. It should double in size.
- While the dough is proving (rising), prepare the black sesame paste. In a large non-stick pan/skillet, add 1 cup of black sesame seeds and toast on medium-high heat until fragrant and popping (about 7-8 minutes for me), being careful not to let them burn. Transfer to a food processor and process until it becomes a nut butter consistency (it will turn into a meal consistency first, then as the oils keep releasing, should turn into a seed butter consistency, like tahini, but black), scraping down the sides as needed. This will take up to 10 minutes, but could be less depending on your food processor. Once it turns into a smooth consistency, add in the honey or honey substitute. It’s important you add this in last or the sesame seeds will not turn into a nut butter consistency on their own.
- Once the dough is done proving, transfer the dough ball to a lightly floured surface and roll into a 1/4″ thick rectangle. Melt 3 tbsp of vegan butter and brush it over the top of the dough. Next, evenly spread the black sesame & honey mixture over the top of the dough. Sprinkle tangerine zest evenly over the black sesame & honey mixture.
- Starting at the short end of the rectangle, roll the dough into a log. Using a serrated knife, cut the log into 1.5″-2″ individual pieces. Place the rolls into a greased 8″ baking dish (8×8 or 8-dia.). Melt 2 more tbsp of vegan butter and brush the top of the rolls with it. Preheat your oven to 350 and place the baking dish on top of the oven and cover it with a rag or plastic wrap while the oven preheats to let them rise one last time.
- Once the oven is hot, bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes or until golden on top (it took my oven 30 minutes). You may check halfway and rotate the baking dish so the rolls cook evenly, depending on your oven. The back of my oven is hotter than the front, and half my rolls were a little more done than the other half!
- While the rolls bake, prepare the glaze by mixing tangerine juice with powdered sugar.
- Remove the rolls from the oven & let them cool completely before drizzling with glaze, otherwise it will melt into the rolls and you’ll lose some of the flavor & sweetness.