April 26, 2010

Wrapped and ready | Family dinner | Getting testy

Cinnamon rolls wrapped and ready to go to the sale.
This past weekend I participated in another world-wide vegan bakesale — held at Sidecar vegan store in Seattle. The bakesale raised funds for Pig's Peace Sanctuary, a non-profit organization that provides a safe home for unwanted, abused or neglected animals in need. I'm merely a contributor to the sales but the hard work of organizing and running them is done by Bethany, who writes the blog, Spotted Devil Cat and his Vegan Assistant. For this sale I made nearly three dozen vegan cinnamon rolls. Making them wasn't nearly as hard as packaging them, since each item needs to be individually wrapped. I tried to make the packaging attractive by adding a ribbon and ingredient list but it takes so much time, and also I feel guilty about the packaging. I used the last of my roll of cellophane, and then moved on to plastic sandwich bags, ugh.

To make the rolls I used the recipe for Outrageously Easy Big Bread with a few small changes. The ingredients and recipe are all over the Web so I think it's OK to list the ingredients here. The filling was my recipe, but it's so simple it doesn't feel right to claim it.

Baked and smiling sweetly (but not too sweetly.)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt plus 1 teaspoon Indian black salt (or just use sea salt)
  • 4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or corn oil
  • 1 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 1 cup finely ground almonds (or almond flour)
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
Follow the directions in this recipe link for mixing the dough.
  1. Let the dough rise for 2 hours, covered with a damp towel, then punch down. Divide the dough in half.
  2. Roll one half to an approximately 11 x 17 rectangle. (I rolled mine on a floured piece of parchment paper.)
  3. Mix the filling ingredients together and spread half the filling on the dough, leaving 1/2 inch uncovered at each long end.
  4. Roll up into a long log, pinching the last edge to seal.
  5. Cut into 3/4 inch slices with a serrated knife, and place on parchment paper in a large baking pan to rise, covered with damp towel. (Leave at least 1 inch between rolls.)
  6. Repeat with second half of dough.
  7. When doubled in size, bake for 20-25 minutes in a 350˚F oven.
  8. Remove to a wire rack to cool. (Frost or glaze if desired. I like them plain.)
update: The sale raised $1,240 on Sat, $530 on Sun, for a total of $1,170!!!


Dinner for eight

We had a family dinner Sunday night with one of the families contributing a delicious tomato- pesto pasta, my husband making a green salad, and me making roasted cauliflower and white bean salad, kalonji and sunflower seed bread, and rice pudding. The salad came from Herbivoracious, a Seattle-based vegetarian blog that has many interesting vegan recipes. I enjoyed the salad very much, and found it easy to make. (I doubled the recipe.) I didn't have the orange-scented olive oil in the recipe but used TJ's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar which was recommended as a substitute, and it worked well. And I used basil and olives.

tip: Instead of mincing the garlic, I grated it on my microplane zester. I don't like chomping down on pieces of garlic, and the zester puréed the garlic so it mixed easily into the dressing. I was careful not to get my fingers too close to the grating surface but was still able to grate all but the very end of the garlic cloves.

The bread was based on the same recipe as the cinnamon rolls (above) but with a slightly different ingredient list. This bread requires no kneading and is incredibly easy to make. Tastes great, too! It makes two loaves.
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3 tablespoons evaporated cane juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt plus 1 teaspoon Indian black salt (or just use sea salt)
  • 4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons lightly toasted kalonji
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
The kalonji seeds added an exotic flavor to the fragrant, soft bread, and the sunflower seeds contributed to the rich texture and taste. (see above for a link to directions.)


Testing 1, 2, 3 ...

Our dessert was (a lowered sugar and fat version of) Frangipane Rice Pudding, a tester recipe for Celene Steen and Joni Marie Newman's newest cookbook-in-progress. It's been ages since I've had rice pudding, and this easy version was a treat. Of course there was also an assortment of baked goods from the world-wide vegan bakesale but I forgot to take a picture.


  1. Beautiful cinnamon rolls! I bet they were a big hit at the bake sale. I still have not gathered up the courage to make my own cinnamon rolls yet :\

    That bean and cauliflower salad sounds really yummy. Thanks for linking the recipe.

  2. Wow, three dishes, and they all look great! Those rolls are huge! I can just imagine taking a big, big bite out of them, and chomping on them, and... Oh, excuse me, I'm getting carried away. Your other dishes look fantastic too, as usual. :)

  3. Perfect cinnamon rolls and three dozen at that! Shoot that is some work chicky!

    I need to try out that rice pudding i've been putting it off because I don't care for rice pudding but my son and husband do.

  4. Kiersten,
    These cinnamon rolls were VERY easy — the perfect beginner rolls.

    The rolls LOOK huge, but they were only about 3" in diameter or maybe even less than that. The camera makes everything look bigger. But they were toothsome! Thanks for the compliments!

    Making the rolls wasn't nearly as hard work as packaging them!

    The pudding was good — you should make some!

  5. I have been looking for a good vegan cinnamon roll recipe, my daughter loves to bake and loves cinnamon rolls, so this is perfect, thanks!! They look amazing:) And so nicely packaged too.
    And that roasted cauliflower salad looks perfect for me, thanks for the link.

    You raised a good amount of money for the sanctuary, great work!!

  6. Wow--I cannot believe you baked all those cinnamon rolls! That is so impressive, and they look beautiful. You did a lovely job with both the rolls and the packaging!

    That salad sounds fantastic--yum. I am a sucker for anything with roasted cauliflower...mmmmmmmmmm :-)


  7. Looks delicious, as always! Isn't it great how many ways you can use that Big Bread recipe???? And yay for your group - that's a lot of money to raise!

  8. Aw, man! Now what am I going to do with my rolls fantasy?

  9. JAnet,
    This recipe makes a soft dough but after it rests it gets easy to work with. I hope you like it!

    I don't know what I was thinking. :)
    You should make the salad - it's very adaptable and easy.

    The recipe works really well when you want something soft, sweet, and fast. Thanks for discovering it!

    The key is "fantasy." :)

  10. Congrats on the bake sale success!

    Everything looks absolutely delicious. The cinnamon rolls look particularly mouth-watering. Gotta love the versatility of Outrageously Easy Big Bread!

  11. Congrats on the bake sale! Those cinnamon rolls are pretty. I would have bought at least five!

    That bread looks so good! I love kalonji in bread, it's such a special flavour.

  12. Tiffany,
    Thank you! I agree the bread recipe is pretty crazy. I use it when I want homemade bread FAST.

    I've gotten very fond of kalonji - especially in baked goods. Toasting it really brought out the flavor.

  13. Congrats on the bake sale success! And those cinnamon rolls are perfection--they are so evenly sized and round! Gorgeous. Your breadbaking skills always impress me. :)

    The tester recipe looks yummy, too. I haven't been able to keep up with testing, sadly, so I'm no longer on the site. I'll have to get vicarious Celine and Joni fixes from your blog. ;)

  14. Ricki, Well of course I ate the imperfect ones so no one would see them. :)

    I haven't been testing nearly as much as I did last time. I guess I'm just not "hearty" enough. I've got a few more lined up for the "test kitchen," though.

  15. I bet you had a very good family dinner... Wish my family also give importance to family dinner as much as you guys do...


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