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  • Emily Neilson

Buns: Are They Worth It?

Cinnamon buns on Christmas morning are surely a popular breakfast tradition in many households. Last year, our buns were vegan and very good. As all recipes need a critical review, I wondered if the dough was too dense – perhaps a combination of not enough kneading and my flax-egg substitute.


But buns, good God, do they take a long time! Those Pillsbury cans of dough are a corruption to the process AND to reality. Buns are a big deal! Buns are two days of work! Buns are a commitment!


Presently, I'm waiting on savory buns to proof. I've adapted a Deb Perelman's Smitten Kitchen Cookbook recipe of Cheddar Swirl Breakfast Buns to be vegan. How'd I do this? Easy.


– 1 cup of oat milk milk for milk

– 4 tablespoons of olive oil for melted butter (Perelman offered this substitute)

– Violife cheddar cheese for ... you guessed it ... cheddar cheese.


I prepared my dough to rest overnight in the fridge. Out of bed I popped this morning to bring that dough to room temperature and to make the filling. If only my coffee had kicked in stronger, faster, better! Rather than 1 & 1/2 cups of cheese, I put in just 1/2 cup! The filling looked scant, I must say, so I threw in some nooch (industry speak for nutritional yeast). Note to self: when things looks scant, review recipe, again.


I rolled that dough out, filled it up, rolled it up, and sliced it up, and now those baby buns – lacking 1 cup cheesy goodness – are resting for another 2 hours before going into the oven. I'm salivating just thinking about how they might turn out.


So back to my question – Buns: are they worth it? I think yes, but only when you spend two days thinking about the moment when every crevice of your kitchen fills with yeasty, doughy warmth like caulk into a crack; or the moment when you behold that first bun on your plate, a small baked blessing of what you're capable of!


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Vegan Cheddar Swirl Breakfast Buns Review: Outstanding! Vegan cheese is funny – it doesn't melt the same way under the broiler as cheese shreds normally do, so I need to do more experimenting. But inside of those buns? Ooey-gooey goodness. I'd say this vegan adaptation was a total success!



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