Morning. Opened window. Rain drops. Light breeze. Air filled with oxygen. Deep blue sky with a hint of grayish mist. Freshly washed green leaves. Silence. Happy. And calm. I get up and walk to the kitchen. Barefoot. I like that feeling. It’s slightly cold in the apartment. Coffee. I like the smell of the coffee in the morning. It warms up the house. Fall is coming. I can feel it in the air.
Colors are changing. And so is food. I want something to warm me up. I think of cinnamon rolls I had when I was in Sweeden. Nothing better to warm your heart up during those cold winter days. And I want colors. It’s pumpkin season. Sweet orange hokkaido works perfectly with cinnamon. And there are plenty in my mom’s garden.
To start a day with something sweet is a must, but I never like to load up with sugar in the morning. I like to feel the earthly tastes of the food. Lightly sweet wholegrain bread cinnamon roll style is just perfect.
To avoid adding sugar in the dough, I use hokkaido instead. It has dense flesh, but its taste depends largely on how it’s prepared. Roasting on a low temperature will bring out the sweetness and will give it an amazing caramel flavor. The dough will be sweet just enough.
Traditional cinnamon filling is a mixture of butter, sugar and cinnamon. Use ground nuts and dates instead.
Cut the roll if you want individual portions. You can also make a beautiful wreath following this instructions:
- roll the dough to rectangle
- spread with filling
- roll lengthwise
- cut the roll lengthwise in the middle
- spiral one half around another to crate a braid
- form a wreath by connecting the two ends together
- 150 g wholegrain spelt flour
- 150 g finely ground rolled oats
- 1 Tbsp dry active yeast
- 30 ml milk + 1 tsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp agave syrup
- 300 g hokkaido pumpkin puree
- 50 g butter or coconut oil
- 1 egg yolk
- 75 g dates
- 80 ml water
- 6 tsp ground cinnamon
- 60 g ground pecans or walnuts
- If you’re not using bought pumpkin puree, cut and clean one medium size hokkaido pumpkin and oven roast until soft (aprox. 30-40 mins at 180ºc). Let cool, than, leaving the skins, place in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Mix warm milk with one teaspoon of sugar and dry yeast (do not overheat the milk since it can kill the yeast).
- Use coffee grinder to grind rolled oats in flour consistency. Mix with wholegrain flour.
- In a separate bowl mix pumpkin puree, agave syrup, softened butter or coconut oil and egg yolk. Add yeast mixture.
- Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough by adding enough flour so that it doesn’t stick to the surface. Form a ball and place in a floured bowl. Cover with tea towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 mins. Repeat kneading once more and let rise for another 40 mins.
- Meanwhile prepare the filling. Roughly chop the dates and make a smooth paste using a mortar. Place in a saucepan with water and bring to simmer. Stir in ground nuts and cinnamon. Set aside and let cool.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll to approx. 25×30 cm rectangle. Spread with even layer of filling and roll lengthwise. Follow the instructions above to form a wreath or slice the roll to create individual mini cinnamon rolls.
- Cover and let rise another 30 mins.
- Bake at 180ºc for about 30-40 mins, until golden brown. Let cool
* If you want the dough to be sweeter add some more agave syrup or the sweetener you’re using in the wet mixture. If you want sweeter filling you can always double the amount of ingredients used.
* If you’re using sugar, you can sprinkle the wreath with icing sugar when completely cooled.
* If you have too much pumpkin puree left, don’t panic. You can always make a soup 🙂