Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vegan Savory Cinnamon Rolls and Mini Sweet Cinnamon Rolls

Over the last few weeks I have been kicking around this idea of doing a twist on a cinnamon roll; instead of smothering it in delicious 'butter', sugar and cinnamon, why not create a savory-ish roll that can be eaten with dinner or lunch or pair with a salad or something like that?

Yesterday, as I have already mentioned was so yuck outside that I ended up adventuring through the kitchen, navigating this nagging idea along with that delish homemade pasta that I blogged about yesterday.

I ended up making two different versions: The first had garlic greens, chives and truffle salt. The second had pickled figs and fresh basil. The pickled figs and fresh basil was by far the most delicious! The green, chive truffle mix was also good but in all honesty it was missing something. I will definitely try them again with some tweaks. Perhaps some crushed garlic cloves or a different type of salt, or even better: truffle paste along with that truffle salt... mmmm.

The joy of this recipe is you can totally let yourself go crazy... get creative with your filling... try sweet and salty together, or another version of sweet or super savory. Simple and fun to mess around with.

For the dough:
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup white wine
2 1/2 teaspoons active yeast
1 Tablespoon agave nectar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour (you can do all white flour or a mixture of whole wheat and white. That is my default no matter what)

For the 'green' filling:
1/2 cup fresh garlic greens, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
2 Tablespoons plus 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Truffle salt

For the fig filling:
1/4 to 1/3 cup Boat Street pickled figs
1/2 cup fresh figs, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, julienned and then some
Dash sugar

In a bowl, combine warm water, wine and yeast and stir to combine. Let sit for a few minutes. Add agave nectar, olive oil and salt; stir to combine. Then add one cup of flour and combine using a fork. When just combined, add the next cup, stir, then add the next cup and stir to combine.

At this point you may need to use your hands... also, you may not need anymore flour. Your dough should be slightly sticky and very pliable. You don't want to have a thick, hard dough.

When combined, knead for a couple minutes then put back in bowl, drizzle with olive oil, cover and let rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes.

During your rise time, prepare your filling! For the 'green' version, chop your garlic greens and chives. In a pan, add some olive oil. When pan is hot, start by sauteeing the garlic greens for about 1 minute then add chives. Let cook for another 1 or 2 minutes then turn stove off.

For the fig version, open your jar of Boat Street Pickled Figs. In addition, chop some fresh figs into teeny tiny bits then pile your basil leaves on top of one another, roll and julienne then slice the julienned pieces vertically so you get even smaller bits.

Take some time to prepare your pan. Simply drizzle some olive oil in a long narrow pan and evenly spread up the sides. I have these fantastic little Mario Batali pans that I got on deep discount. I heart them. If you don't have something as seen, use what you've got, spacing your rolls as appropriate.

After rise time, punch dough down and then split in half. With your first half, turn out onto a floured surface and roll out with a rolling pin, flipping the dough every once in a while to prevent sticking. You want to have a rectangular piece of dough about 1/4 inch thick.

When your dough is ready, evenly spread your filling onto the dough.
For the 'greens' version, start by spreading the sauteed greens onto the dough, then drizzle with the other 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Finish the whole thing with your fair share of truffle salt. I come from the 'more is better' camp when it comes to truffle salt... so good.

For the fig version, start by spreading the Boat Street pickled fig spread onto the dough (it's seriously good!), then evenly spread the fresh figs on top, then the delicious fresh basil; again, evenly all over the dough. Top it off with an even dash of raw sugar all over. Do not go crazy; this is when 'less is more' is really true.

When your filling is spread, start rolling lengthwise. As you roll, gently pull the dough so it gets rolled up tight. Keep going until you're all rolled up.

Using a serrated knife, slice your roll into about 1 inch thick pieces. Put your pieces into your prepared pan. Note: they don't need to be specifically spaced. As you will see, my rolls are not packed in super tight but they are touching. They will rise so keep this in mind and give them a little room but don't go overboard.

Once in the pan, cover and let rise for another 10 to 15 minutes. While they are rising, preheat the oven to 375. After rise time, pop in the oven for 22 to 24 minutes. They should be golden brown on top.

Remove from oven and let cool.

These would be great with a salad or even as a fun appetizer. The fig version was sweeter and could be used as an unconventional dessert. You could even toss a little icing on top and make them a real, fun dessert. Have fun with it; definitely have fun with the filling!



  1. These are so creative and different! Great photos :)

  2. These rolls look awesome! It is a great idea to make savory ones :-) Will try soon, I have bought garlic greens and was not sure on what to do with them...

  3. Thank you so much! They were good... let yourself go with the filling!

    And Sweet Artichoke, I am so glad you bought garlic greens!! They're my favorite... when they are in season they're in almost everything I cook!!



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