When I saw Anabel's stunning croissant loaf, I was instantly reminded of my 2013 fall obsession--this pumpkin pull apart bread (that i believe I made at least 4 times last year during the week of Thanksgiving). I was planning to make the pull apart bread to share here; however, I started to brainstorm how to alter the recipe and arrived at the splendid cinnamon roll (which is essentially pull apart bread rearranged in a round dish with a slightly thicker filling!)
Did not intend for the bread to be vegan, it just sort of happened....I didn't have milk so when I decided to experiment with coconut milk (the closest alternative on hand) I figured I might as well keep going and sub coconut oil for the butter. While I'm usually not a huge fan on the vegan baked good, this one is a winner! I think the success is due in large part to the pumpkin, which helps PUMP UP that good moisture.
The vegan element of this recipe that I find most exciting is the date filling. I was worried that a filling made solely of dates and spices wouldn't cut it, but boy was I pleasantly surprised! The texture and taste were on point! I also took pleasure in the knowledge that the filling was actually offering some fiber and vitamins to my belly. Didn't think twice about gobbling up two buns in a row!
Full disclosure: When I pulled the first warm bun from the dish, I experienced something along the lines of hypnosis--it was not until I was half way through eating the bun that I realized I had meant to photograph it. Luckily for the blog and my appetite, there were a bunch more!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Yum Buns
4 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 C coconut milk
1 packet (2 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
1/4 C turbinado sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 C all purpose flour
1 C wheat flour
3/4 C canned pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 C pitted dates
1/2 C water (more if needed)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamon
1 C walnuts (chopped)
In a small pot, melt coconut oil on a low heat. Remove pan from burner and add coconut milk (you want make sure the mixture is not too hot before adding the yeast). Transfer mixture to a bowl and add sugar and yeast. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
Next, combine pumpkin puree, salt, and flour with the mixture. Kneed the dough about 6-8 minutes, adding a bit more flour if the dough becomes too sticky. Grease another bowl with olive oil and set the dough in the bowl, turning the dough until it is coated in oil. Cover with a cloth and allow to rise in a warm spot for about 1.5 hours.
Meanwhile, place dates and water in food processor and chop. Transfer mixture into a small pot and heat on the stove. Add cinnamon, cardamon, and salt. Heat until filling is reduced to desired consistency.
After the bread has risen, knead it again for approximately 2 minutes and then roll out into a rectangle. Spread date filling and sprinkle chopped walnuts atop. Roll the dough into one giant log and then cut into 7 equal pieces. Grease round dish (I used a pyrex pie dish approximately 9'' in diameter) and arrange dough pieces.
Bake for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees F.