Healthy Chia Cinnamon buns

My mother and I are cinnamon addicts, i swear its an inherited trait. We go through a bottle of Saigon cinnamon faster than a squirrel goes through nuts. I’m more of a lost case though, I sprinkle it on buttered bread, fruit salad, smoothies and even put it in my bolognese. Is there such a thing as cinnamon poisoning? Dear god I hope not. Ironically enough, I was never much a fan of cinnamon buns, finding them too gooey for my taste. My mother on the other hand adores them, one of her favorite treats of all time being a freshly baked Cinnzeo with a liberal coating of cream cheese frosting.  On special occasions, we’d often share one with a clear understanding of who gets what. I’d give her the sticky innards and she’d let me eat the flakey outer layers. We eventually stopped eating them after we realized how nutritionally defunct they were and I’ve been looking for a recipe that would please both of us ever since. This is it – the dream recipe, yeilding gooey yet flakey cinnamon buns with a third of the sugar and fat of my childhood rolls and twice the fibre and protein thanks to the addition of chia seeds. The process is lengthy but the reward is more than worth the wait. Trust me, these are amazing.

Original recipe from serious eats: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/11/bread-baking-cinnamon-knots-cinnamon-buns.html . My changes are in bold.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup lukewarm water

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup instant mashed potatoes
2 3/4  cups bread flour (I used all purpose)

3 tbsp chia seeds, ground in a coffee press. Chia seeds are what add fibre and protein to the dough without changing it’s taste or texture.

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons room temperature butter (Or same amount, coconut oil)

1/4 cup sugar (I used brown sugar, you could also use raw or coconut sugar)
1 tablespoon cinnamon (I used at least 4)

2 tbsp clarified butter or coconut oil

How to:

In bowl of stand mixer combine water, honey and yeast.  Set mixture aside for ten minutes until foamy. Add eggs, milk, instant potatoes, chia flour and flour. Knead with dough hook at low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Add salt and butter or oil and continue kneading until everything is completely incorporated and dough separates from both hook and from the sides of the mixer.

Take dough out of mixer and start needing by hand. The dough will be sticky from all the honey so don’t panic if it starts to stick to your counter, simply coat your work surface with flour.

Let rise for at least two hours or even overnight in a large bowl coated with a little oil. I let it go overnight as the temperature of our condo drops to 18 during the night. Letting your dough rise overnight in a warm house would spoil the yeast and make it go sour.

In the morning or after a minimum of two hours have passed and dough is risen, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix cinnamon, butter/oil and sugar in a little bowl. Flour work surface. Remove dough from bag and knead with a rolling pin to make a large rectangle, being careful not to have the dough too thin.

Spread the cinnamon mixture onto the bottom of the rectangle and start to roll the dough bottom-up. Cut dough into about ten buns and place on baking sheets.

Cover pans with plastic wrap and let the buns rise again for about an hour. Bake for 25 minutes and serve with either cream-cheese frosting or melted coconut butter, both mixed with honey and a little vanilla to taste. My favorite coconut butter is Artisana (so so sooooo good).

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