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Cranberry and Pumpkin Sourdough Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting by Ed Tatton

(This recipe appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

The sourdough cinnamon bun has become our signature sweet item at BReD. We love the fact that sourdough is so versatile that it can be used for sweet and savory items. Since it’s fall, I decided to create a pumpkin flavored version of the bun, as there are many pumpkin varieties that create an interesting sweet and savory flavor. I added roasted pumpkin at first, but found this changed the structure of the dough too much and didn’t add enough flavor. This is why we decided to roast the pumpkin and then dehydrate it, to intensify the flavor without changing the texture of the dough. Cranberries are also a Thanksgiving specialty food in Canada around mid October and also for other festive celebrations. I knew they would add a beautiful contrast to the golden dough and a nice tartness to add even more flavor.

Yield: 15 buns

Pumpkin Powder

  • 500 g organic pumpkin
  1. Cut the pumpkin into large pieces and slow-roast at 350˚F (175˚C) until soft and tender, about 30-45 minutes. Place the cooked pumpkin onto a chopping board and cut into 5 mm (1/5”) pieces. Spread an even layer onto parchment paper or a silicone mat and dehydrate for 12 hours at 135˚F (57˚C).
  1. Place the pumpkin in a high speed blender and blend until powder forms, about 2-3 minutes. If it is still a little rough, return to the dehydrator for a few more hours, then blend again until it forms a flour-like texture. Store in an airtight container until needed.

Cranberry Powder

  • 250 g organic cranberries
  1. Place the cranberries in a saucepan and cook over high heat for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is boiling and you are able to crush the berries. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  1. Spread the mixture on parchment paper or a silicone mat and dehydrate for 12-24 hours at 135˚F (57˚C).
  1. Once the cranberries are dried, place in a high-speed blender and blend until crushed and a rough powder is formed. The cranberry powder is used as a garnish once the cinnamon bun is baked, so if the berries need more drying, do not worry at this stage. Keep them in the dehydrator and blend again the next day.

Sourdough Levain

  • 40-50 g sourdough starter, as needed
  1. Feed your sourdough starter in the evening so you have active levain ready for the following morning. I suggest feeding your starter with 150 g bread flour and 50 g whole wheat flour, 200 g of water and 40-50 g of sourdough starter, depending on the time of the year.* Mix well and place into a clean container and leave at room temperature for 8-12 hours to be used the following day.

*Note: If you are making these in the summer, I would reduce the amount of mature starter to 40 grams, and use cooler water (68˚F/20˚C), and if it’s winter, I would recommend 50 grams of mature starter and slightly warmer water (75˚F/24˚C).

Cinnamon Bun Dough

  • 180 g organic extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 790 g oat milk
  • 70 g organic maple syrup
  • 60 g egg replacer powder
  • 50 g Pumpkin Powder
  • 280 g Sourdough Levain (above)
  • 30 g ground cinnamon
  • 10 g ground cardamom 845 g organic bread flour (12-14% protein)
  • 280 g organic whole wheat flour
  • 20 g baker’s yeast (optional)
  • 25 g fine sea salt
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the coconut oil, then add the oat milk, maple syrup and whisk in the egg replacer. Let this sit for 10 minutes to bloom.
  1. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a KitchenAid mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the Pumpkin Powder, Sourdough Levain, spices, both flours, baker’s yeast and salt. Mix on medium to low speed for 5 minutes, allow to rest for 5 minutes, then continue to mix on a medium to high speed for 5-7 minutes, until the dough comes away from the mixing bowl, leaving the bowl clean and the dough looking smooth.*
  1. Place the dough into a lightly oiled container that is four times the size of the dough with space for it to rise and not be restricted. Set a timer for 30 minutes. Once the timer goes, stretch the dough to the height of the container (6 to 12 inches), then turn the container 90 degrees and repeat. You need to do this around 4-6 times to build strength and develop texture.
  1. Set another timer for 30 minutes and repeat this process. The dough will double in size over this time. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours; the fermentation will continue, but the dough will cool to help with the rolling process. Start making the jam next while the dough is chilling so it is also cooled and ready to be used once the dough is ready.

*Note: be aware – you do not want to overheat the dough, so if you have a temperature probe make sure the dough does not go above 82˚F/28˚C. This can affect the rise, as you have started to cook the yeasts. We give the dough a 5-minute rest between mixing, allowing it to cool and the flour to hydrate (which will help in the final mixing process). 

Cranberry + Chia Jam

  • 500 g organic cranberries
  • 100 g organic cane sugar
  • 100 g water
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 35 g chia seeds
  1. Place all ingredients except the chia seeds in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes to avoid the sugars catching. Once the cranberries have softened, add the chia seeds and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes over low heat. This should thicken the jam to an easily spreadable consistency. Allow the jam to cool for 10 minutes.
  1. Blend the jam in the food processor for 1-2 minutes, until it becomes a little smoother. Place into a container and store in the refrigerator until needed.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 115 g vegan butter
  • 250 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 230 g vegan cream cheese (we use Tofutti)
  1. Place the vegan butter and confectioners’ sugar in an electric mixer and cream together until smooth. Add the vegan cream cheese and continue to mix until smooth and fully incorporated. Remember to use a spatula to remove excess butter from the sides and the bottom of the mixing bowl to help with mixing and a nice even consistency.
  1. Transfer to a piping bag with a plain nozzle and refrigerate to firm up overnight and improve the consistency and flavor.

Begin Assembly

  • Organic bread flour and organic brown rice flour, for dusting work surface
  1. Use coconut oil to lightly oil extra-large muffin tins or a tray.
  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour a work surface with the flours. Roll the dough to 26-30 inches in length, 12-14 inches in depth and 4-6 mm in thickness.*
  1. Once you are happy with the size of your sheet of dough, spread the cooled cranberry jam over the entire surface. Begin to roll the dough, starting quite tight and working your way along like you are playing the piano; moving from one side of the dough to the other, keeping the tension tight and the rolls close. (To watch videos of this technique, see our Instagram page: eds_bred.)
  1. When you have rolled the whole dough up, reshape to make sure the log is cylindrical in shape. Cut cinnamon buns with a clean knife or dough cutter – each bun should weigh 170-180 g (remember to wipe the blade each time you slice the dough to ensure neat and tidy edges). Once you have cut all the cinnamon buns, sit them at room temperature for one to 2 hours to proof. After the buns have reached the side of the muffin tin and have started to gain height, cover with a piece of plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.

*Note: You can roll the dough up to see how big your cinnamon buns will be to make sure they will fit in your muffin tins. Remember when you add the jam, they will become larger in diameter.

Bake the rolls

  1. The next morning, preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C) for one hour. Remove the cinnamon buns from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
  1. Bake the rolls for 16-18 minutes, until golden brown. When the buns come out of the oven, cool them for a few minutes, then carefully remove them from baking tins and place gently onto a cooling rack.

Maple Glaze

  • 150 g organic maple syrup
  • 150 g organic cane sugar
  • 300 g water
  1. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, reducing the syrup until it is just tacky when rubbed between your fingertips (do not over-reduce as the sugars will crystallize). Brush the cinnamon buns with a double coating for extra shine, but let the first layer of glaze cool for half a minute or so before adding a second coating.

Final Glazing

  • Halved cranberries
  • Ginger mint
  1. To decorate, pipe some cream cheese on top of the bun, garnish with Cranberry Powder, halved cranberries and some ginger mint.

About Ed Tatton

Ed Tatton is the Co-Founder and Head Baker of BReD in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. His early influences included sourdough master Richard Bertinet and Michelin-starred chefs Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White.

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