Cinnamon Rolls with Dates

A great way to start a special morning – Christmas, New Years, a birthday – whatever!  Do everything the night before and then bake in the morning for delicious, fresh cinnamon rolls!  Modified from this recipe.

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  • 2 Tbsp warm water
  • 1 Tbsp dry active yeast
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk of your choice
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 1 Tbsp succanat or sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/4 cup spelt flour
  • 3 oz dates, pitted and chopped
  • boiling water for soaking
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2+ Tbsp maple syrup (2 Tbsp makes the rolls mildly sweet; Add more if you want them sweeter!)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • non-dairy milk of choice, a tsp at a time

In a small bowl, pour 2 Tbsp warm water and dump yeast on top.

In a small saucepan, combine non-dairy milk, coconut oil, succanat/sugar, and salt.  Heat gently on low until JUST lukewarm.  DO NOT overheat.  If you do overheat, you MUST cool it back to lukewarm before proceeding.  Otherwise, you will kill the yeast.  Trust me.  I experienced this.  😦

Once you are sure the milk is a good lukewarm temperature (like body temp or so), pour the water and yeast into it and mix well.  Allow to sit 5 – 10 minutes until it gets foamy.  If it doesn’t foam, your yeast is not activating.

While the yeast is activating, boil some water and pour on top of dates in a bowl.  Set aside to soften.

In a large bowl, combine both flours.  Once the yeast mixture is foamy, pour in with flour.  Stir well with a wooden spoon until well combined.  (Add more flour if needed.)  Dump out onto a floured surface and knead well.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Wash out your dough bowl and dry completely.  Then, grease the bowl with some oil.  Place dough ball in the oiled bowl.  Cover with a damp towel.  Set a timer for 1 hour for rising time.

Shortly before the hour is up, drain dates.  Using a fork, smush apart the dates so it forms a paste.  Add cinnamon and maple syrup and smush some more.  You could use a small food processor at this point, but I didn’t bother.

After an hour of rising time, the dough should be doubled in size.  Dump it out onto a floured surface.  Roll into a rectangle that’s about 12″ x 15″.  Spread the date mixture on it.  Roll it up and slice it into about 12 pieces.  Grease a 9×9 pan and arrange the 12 rolls in it.  Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning… preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake uncovered for 25 – 30 minutes.  While it’s baking, prepare the glaze by mixing powdered sugar with a small amount of non-dairy milk.  Add the milk in small increments as you stir with a fork until the desired consistency is reached.  Drizzle over hot cinnamon rolls and serve immediately.

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