Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

All summer long I had study groups at my house for a big crazy PhD exam. I tried to have different homemade breakfasty things every week for my study buddies, and had my heart set on making cinnamon rolls one morning. All the cinnamon roll recipes I found were just jam packed full of margarine... Up to 3 sticks!! I didn't want my rolls to be that heavy, or that fatty. I remembered how much I liked my modified version of Potato Rolls from Veganomicon (Sweet potato rolls) and thought they'd make a fine cinnamon roll. I was right! The dough itself isn't too sweet but the icing and cinnamon sugar more than make up for it! I let these rise in the fridge overnight and took them out of the fridge an hour before baking in the morning so they'd be hot and fresh for my guests. A light powdered sugar frosting topped them off, and they were completely irresistible!

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup rice milk
1 tbsp margarine
1 heaping tsp yeast
~1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
~1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp cold, mashed sweet potatoes

2 tbsp margarine
1/2 c brown sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans

1 cup powdered sugar
1 - 3 tbsp rice milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Combine 1/4 cup warm water and 1/2 cup rice milk with 1 tbsp margarine in a small saucepan. Heat until the margarine melts, but don't allow it to boil.

2. Meanwhile, proof the yeast by adding it to the remaining warm water and letting it sit for about 10 minutes. It's "proofed" if it gets all foamy. If it doesn't foam up, then either your water was the wrong temperature, or it isn't active anymore! (Both are problems. The water should be between 110 and 120 degrees. You can try again with correct temperature water, if that doesn't work, it may be time for new yeast)

3. In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl if you haven't got a stand mixer), mix together the flours, sugar, and salt. Mix in the potatoes using the paddle attachment until it becomes crumbly (or use your hands).

4. Mix in the soymilk mixture, and the yeast mixture. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour a tbsp at a time. It should be soft and smooth, but not dry.

5. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes.

6. Lightly grease the bowl and put the dough back in, turning once to make sure it's coated. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave in a warm space to rise for about 2 hours or until doubled.

7. Punch down the dough and roll it out to about a 10X15 inch rectangle.

8. Melt the 2 tbsp margarine and brush melted margarine onto dough rectangle. Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Sprinkle liberally all over the dough rectangle.

9. Roll the dough up so you end up with a 15 inch dough log. Cut into 10-12 even slices using a serrated knife.

10. Press the sliced rolls down to flatten just slightly and place them side by side in a greased 9X13 inch baking pan. They won't fill it all the way.

11. Options! Want 'em now? Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise in a warm place for about a half an hour until they've doubled.
Want 'em for breakfast tomorrow? Cover the rolls and place them in the fridge to rise over night. Remove from the fridge about an hour before you're ready to bake them.

12. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

13. Mix together the powdered sugar, rice milk, and vanilla. Start with 1 tbsp milk and slowly add more until the icing is of desired consistency. Honestly, I just dump a bunch of sugar in a bowel, add vanilla, and gradually add milk. I just don't measure.

14. Spread the hot rolls with the icing. Try to wait until they cool just a bit before you wolf them down! (Good luck)