Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vegan Sweet Potato Cinnamon Buns with Maple Glaze

Having made my first pie crust last week, I was feeling rather bold today and decided to experiment with a new dough.  I wasn't going to make cinnamon buns because there is already a place that solely makes (delicious) vegan cinnamon buns in Berkeley.   I wrote my dear friend Kate about it; and, she suggested I do it anyway as it certainly doesn't hurt to have a good cinnamon bun recipe up your sleeve.  It's a comfort food and it brings in business.  There is absolutely nothing more enticing than the scent of cooking cinnamon.
Someone asked me recently if vegans eat yeast since it's alive.  Caught off gaurd,  I had to think about why vegans can eat yeast.  I finally, decided yeast is ok because it's a fungus and not an animal.  Even so, I should be sure the yeast has a nice life. So, after much deliberation on pandora, I finally settled on a Tammy Wynette station.  After a few knee-jerk thumbs down reactions to Garth Brooks, Pandora seemed to get it and began playing old country songs for my yeast dough to grow up listening to.  It seemed appropriate to be baking comfort food and listening to country music.  I probably won't do it again, though.
The recipe I chose was actually a vegan recipe I found in the November 2011 issue of Vegetarian times found here:
I didn't make any alterations (other than omitting the pecans- which I don't recommend doing unless you think they are the devil, as I do).  *Holy crap.  just as finished typing that last line, I felt my first earthquake.  Hello, San Francisco!  I think this may mean I should never refer to pecans as the devil again.  He doesn't like that.*
Tips for this recipe:
1.  Use a food processor to mash the sweet potato- you don't want any lumps.
2.  Mixing the pecans into the glaze will make them more ascetically pleasing.
3.  I used my kitchen aid with a dough hook for this.  It worked really well!  It's basically fool proof.
4.  Making these on a warm day is actually a good idea.  The yeast likes to be cozy.
5.  I baked mine spaced out on a buttered baking sheet.  I think next time I will bake them closer together in a buttered pan with sides.  They turned out really good, but I personally prefer the softer buns.  The edges of mine came out a little bit dry.  I think eliminating the potential for edges is a good solution.
6.  I ended up doubling the maple glaze recipe.  It just wasn't enough to liberally slather.
7.  These are obviously best served warm from the oven.  I recommend making them when you have company to help you, so you don't eat three of them by yourself, like I just did.

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