I've had quite the eventful start to my new year. A quick trip to San Francisco, a kitchen/bathroom flooding disaster that took over the entire building, and these sourdough breakfast rolls. Can you guess which was the highlight?
It wasn't the flooded kitchen, that's for sure. I've been intrigued with sourdough starter ever since I made my first loaf in November. It's a thrilling feeling, having the patience to cultivate a starter and then using it to make a delightful loaf of bread. But every time you feed your starter you have to essentially throw half of it away, which starts to feel a little wasteful. I've seen a few recipes for sweet dough you can make with sourdough starter, but many involved eggs and milk. I've figured out a way to make the perfect vegan sweet dough using sourdough starter.
I've always loved breakfast rolls. I love the ritual of preparing the dough the night before, I love spreading the melted butter and sugar over the rolled out dough and I love watching the formed rolls rise to the occasion. I feel connected to myself, to the art of baking when I make breakfast rolls. It fills my morning with so much intention, and grounds me. It's almost meditative.
Speaking of meditative, I'm not much for resolutions anymore, but one thing I have promised myself is that I'll do better at listening to my body about what it needs. I'm constantly pushing my thoughts aside in favor of pushing through and getting to the end, but I think that the journey can also be as beautiful as the end result. I'm listening to my body and my heart when it tells me to slow down or speed up, or when I wake up a jolt in the middle of the night, knowing that I need to combine black tea with cardamom.
These breakfast rolls have a subtle, earthy taste. With black tea infused into the dough, and into the melted vegan butter inside. I sprinkled cardamon, cinnamon and ginger into the sugar, and it makes each bite feel special. Like cinnamon rolls on steroids. I like eating these warm, and while they're best served day of I've found that about 15 seconds in the microwave makes them perfect with my morning coffee (oh yeah I drink coffee again) while I look out the window. It's been raining in LA the last few days and let me tell you, these sourdough breakfast rolls go perfectly with a side of morning rain.
Sourdough Breakfast Rolls
yields 7-8 rolls
2/3 cup plant based milk
2 Tablespoons vegan butter
1/4 cup loose leaf black tea (about 4 tea bags)
1/2 cup sourdough starter (bubbly and active)
1 Tablespoon aquafaba*
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons vegan butter, melted
2 teaspoons black tea (1 tea bag)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
The night before you want to serve your breakfast rolls, prepare the sweet dough by combining the plant based milk, vegan butter and black tea over low heat. The ingredients will melt together and the black tea will steep into the mixture. Strain out the black tea or remove the tea bags after about 10 minutes steep time.
In a mixing bowl, combine the sourdough starter, aquafaba and sugar. Slowly add in the black tea infused milk mixture and then the sugar, salt and all purpose flour. After mixing you will have a shaggy, rough dough. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set aside to rest for about 30 minutes.
After you've allowed the dough time to rest, knead it with your hands or a dough hook until a thick dough is formed. The dough should be workable, not too stiff, and easily stretchable. This will take about 6-7 minutes. Cover and set aside to rest for another 30 minutes.
After the second rest, slowly work the dough into a ball by pulling from the outside and tucking it into the center. Do this all the way around, then cover and allow to rise overnight and double in size. About 8 hours.
The next morning, roll the dough out into a rectangle on a oiled and floured surface. I like to use a silpat or pastry slab, but your counter will work as well. Let the dough rest while you prepare the filling by melting the butter and adding in the tea, then combining the sugar, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. After allowing the tea to steep into the butter for about 5 minutes, spread it all over the dough rectangle. Sprinkle with the sugar mixture and rub it in until it has the texture of wet sand.
Slowly roll the dough, tightly until a log is formed. Cut 2 inch rolls and place them in a lined springform pan, or baking dish. Using parchment paper is best, and will make clean up super easy, but you can also butter the dish if you're in a pinch. Cover the rolls and let them rise for 90 minutes.
When the rolls have risen, bake them in a 350 degree F oven for about 40-45 minutes. The rolls should be lightly browned, and the sugar will be caramelized. Let them cool down a little before serving, and enjoy!
Rolls are best served warm, day of. But I've had luck with storing them in an airtight container for 2-3 days and reheating in the microwave.
*Chickpea brine! My absolute favorite vegan egg replacement.
You can make a more traditional cinnamon roll version of these by omitting the black tea, and filling with 3 teaspoons of cinnamon instead of the cardamom and ginger.
Recipe lovingly adapted from The Clever Carrot.